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1 in 3 Americans is allergic to their best friend!

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, May 9th, 2007 at 7:05 am in Pet Allergies.

There are 139,949,912 pets (cats and dogs) in the United States, says the American Pet Association, and nearly a third of them belong to a human that has pet allergies.

Thankfully, there is a peaceful way to coexist.

James L. Sublett, MD, clinical professor and section chief of Pediatric Allergy at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, has a couple of very simple suggestions for new and old pet owners on how to reduce pet related allergens:

— Vacuum, a lot. Vacuuming every two to three days with a HEPA* filter or bagless vacuum will remove the pollens and allergens that your pets track in and then deposit on your floor, furniture and carpets. Pay special attention to those areas where your pets sleep or spend a lot of their time sitting and grooming. Knowing that your carpet and furniture is free from allergens will allow you, and your sinuses, to rest easy.

— Encase mattresses and pillows with “mite-proof” covers. They keep the bugs from nesting in your feather down pillows and mattresses. It’s best to keep your pets off the bed, that’s ideal, but since most of us aren’t home 24 hours a day, a mite-proof cover is a great way to ensure those creatures stay out of your most intimate furniture.

** NOTE: Does anyone have any other simple (or better!) tactics they use to keep from sneezing their head off every time they pet their dog or cat? Please share!

* From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

“HEPA” is an acronym for “high efficiency particulate air filter.” This type of air filter can remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles 0.3 micrometres in diameter. Particles of this size are the most difficult to filter. Particles that are larger or smaller are filtered with even higher efficiency. HEPA filters are used in most Air-Purifiers. You should be able to pick one up at any vacuum cleaner store.

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