Remove the animal from home if possible.
The best way to reduce exposure to animal allergens is the removal of the animal from the home or place. In addition, you should perform a thorough cleaning of the house – upholstered furniture, carpets and other reservoirs because allergens dander can remain in the house in high concentrations, even up to six months after removal of the animal, especially in the case of cats.
Indirect exposure to animals should be avoided as far as possible, and not go to places where you may encounter any. In the case of schools, the presence of animals in the classroom should be prohibited.
If it is not possible to remove the animal.
If the patient decides not to remove the pet, there is a series of measures that can be advised to reduce the amount of allergens produced by the animal and their concentration in the environment:
- You can reduce dander in your home by keeping your pet outdoors as much as possible.
- You should avoid touching the animal and try to wash your hands afterwards. If contact with an animal is made, a dust cover should be worn and removed later.
- At the very least, you should bar pets from bedrooms where people with allergies or asthma sleep.
- Keeping pets off carpets, upholstered furniture, and beds can reduce exposure to dander. Keeping pets out of cars—or restricting them to a tailgate area, if possible—is also a good idea.
- Any furniture, fabrics, or materials that pets do come into contact with should be vacuumed or washed frequently. This includes throw rugs, pet beds, cushions, pillows, and blankets.
- The house should be aired often, and air purification systems containing HEPA high efficiency filters can be used.
- Perform a thorough cleaning of the house with HEPA vacuum cleaners especially on mattresses, pillows, upholstered furniture and curtains, where more animal allergens are deposited.
- Cats and dogs should be bathed at least once a week to reduce the amount of accumulated dander allergen, and apply chemicals that remove loose scales (Vetriderm®). It is preferable that a non-allergic person does this.
- Wash clothing that has been in contact with animals.
- Rub your pet regularly, 2 to 4 times a week with a damp towel.
These measures reduce the amount of allergen but do not entirely eliminate the symptoms nor substitute the desirability of removing the animal from the house or administering immunotherapy if available.