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This information was reviewed and approved by Flavia Cecilia Lega Hoyte, MD (2/6/2023).

Having certain pets in the home may cause problems for people with asthma who are also allergic to animals. Animal dander (dead skin that is continually shed), urine, feces and saliva from feathered or furry animals can cause allergy symptoms. Asthma symptoms can develop within minutes of being exposed to pet dander and other substances. However, sometimes it can take several hours or days for a reaction to set in. Cats, dogs, birds, rodents and horses are common examples of feathered or furry animals. As always, make sure to discuss an asthma action plan with your doctor to help determine what you should do in case of an allergic asthma attack.

View our infographic on pets and asthma.

Actions You Can Take

  • Remove the animal from your home.
  • If you do not own a feathered or furry pet, do not get one, because you can develop allergies with repeated exposure.
  • If you must have a pet, keep it out of your bedroom at all times. Keep your bedroom door closed and put a filter over air vents in the bedroom.
  • Ask for a “no smoking” and “no pets” hotel room. Keep in mind that the hotel may not have an efficient air filter system.
  • Keep the pet away from upholstered furniture and carpet as much as possible.
  • Avoid visits to friends and relatives with pets when possible. Ask your doctor about using an inhaled medication before you visit a home with a pet.
  • Choose a pet without fur or feathers. Snakes and fish can be good pets.
  • Read more about animal allergies.

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