Living with pets and allergies
We Irish love our domestic pets, but they are increasingly being found to cause allergies. And look further than Rover the dog, because cats, rabbits, hamsters and other furry pets can also cause allergies.
Around half of all asthmatic children are allergic to cats, while 40pc are allergic to dogs.
Although there are conflicting studies over whether or not growing up in a household of pets can exacerbate allergy symptoms or help to protect children, the advice remains that for those who have eczema, hay fever or asthma, removing pets is the best advice, even if there is no obvious allergy to them at present.
If that is not an option:
Do not obtain any new pets.
Restrict pets to outdoors or to limited areas in the house - certainly not in the bedroom.
Wash cats and dogs regularly, and wash all pet bedding and baskets regularly.
Keep your pets healthy and well groomed where appropriate.
People who are in contact with animals outside the home, such as horses, or other people's cats or dogs, should change their shoes and clothes, and wash their hair when arriving home.
If possible, remove carpets from rooms where pets are kept. Vacuum floors regularly. Remaining carpets should be cleaned with a steam cleaner.
Health & Living