Can You Keep a Pet if Your Child Has Asthma?

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Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the air passage and is associated with symptoms like breathing difficulties, chest tightness, and wheezing. Although it is commonly believed that asthma is caused by genetic factors, the environment also plays a major role in this medical condition.

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In dealing with this condition, it might be necessary to identify the triggers for the individual patient as not every allergen can trigger an asthma attack in all patients. For example, at least 30% of people with asthma are allergic to animals, according to KidsHealth.

This brings us to the question, “Can you keep a pet if your child has asthma?

Based on the statement above, only 30% of people have allergies to animals; thus, it is safe to say that a lot of households do not have to get rid of their pets as the asthma sufferers might not be allergic to these pets and their fur or dander, anyway. Animals’ hair, dander, and urine have detrimental effects on the human body.

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The tricky part here is that it is difficult to ascertain whether your child is truly allergic to the pet. Moreover, getting rid of these pets does not usually bring immediate relief from the symptoms as it takes several months (around 6 months) to rid the home of the allergens caused by pets. Thus, you might feel discouraged that you gave up your pet for re-homing to protect your kids from asthma.

But here’s good news, though. In direct conflict with the common misconception about pets and asthma, Wikipedia reported that studies have shown that the occurrence of asthma is lower in farms and in households with pets.

So, how do you decide on this matter? Well, your kids and you will surely be heartbroken when you put up the pet for adoption or animal shelter. The best you can do is to discuss your options with your doctor. Chances are he/she will let you keep the pet but with close monitoring to minimize the child’s interaction with the pet.

The doctor will request tests to fully determine whether the kids are allergic to your pet (and to any other trigger). If the kids are allergic to the pets, you can either get rid of the pets or deal with the constant asthma attacks.

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