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Animal dander is very much like human dandruff. Your pet sheds dead skin cells which become air borne and are easily inhaled….

What is Animal Dander?

Animal dander is very much like human dandruff. Your pet sheds dead skin cells which become air borne and are easily inhaled. Although most people believe they are allergic to an animal’s hair or feathers, it is actually the allergens found in the dander, saliva and urine that are causing the allergic reaction.

Is it true that a short haired cat or dog is less allergenic?

Many people are under the mistaken impression that a short haired cat or dog is non-allergic. This is not true. What you are allergic to is secreted on the animal’s skin and, in greatest quantities, is found in the animals’ urine and saliva. The reason hair is such a problem is that as the animal grooms itself the saliva gets all over the hair.

If I keep my pet properly groomed, will this help reduce my allergies?

Although grooming your pet will not improve your allergies, it may help to reduce the severity of the reaction. As stated before, allergens are produced by the animal’s dander, saliva, and urine. Washing your pet twice a week and having a non-allergic family member brush the pet outdoors will reduce the amount of allergens to which you are exposed.

We have recently discovered that our daughter, Gayle, is allergic to our cat, Sam. What steps can I take to reduce Gayle’s allergies without getting rid of Sam?

Pets are now considered family members and it is often difficult to send them away. However, there are steps you can take to reduce your daughter’s exposure to the allergens produced by Sam:

  • Create an allergy free zone in the home, preferably in the bedroom and strictly prohibit the pet’s access to it.


  • Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as couch covers, pillows, and curtains. Use a HEPA vacuum cleaner to effectively catch all the allergens you vacuum up.


  • Wash your hands after contact with the pet.


  • Non-allergic family members should bathe the pet twice a week to reduce the amount of allergies the animal gives off into the environment. Also brush the pet outdoors and clean out the animal’s cage or litter box.


  • Cover the pet’s bed with a washable sheet; wash the sheet by itself and regularly.


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