pet in house with asthma

My house has 2 floors. My dad has asthma and lives on the bottom floor with an apartment kinda deal with kitchen and living space and a garage. My mom and I live on the top floor. Are we able to safely introduce a dog into the house which lives on the entire top floor? 

Measures to limit dander spread are very regular grooming and cleaning. Buying a HEPA air cleaner. Also using antihistamine. 

Are there other things I'm able to do to limit the spread of dander? Specific shampoos maybe idk


Comments 5

  • K8sMom2002

    I know you don't want to hear this, … but it depends.

    • How allergic is your dad to pet dander?
    • How stable is your dad's asthma?
    • What does your dad's allergist say about having a dog?
    • Are the HVAC systems for both parts of the home separate?
    • How much visiting will there be between your dad and you and your mom? 
    • What sort of upholstery and carpet will you have in both sections of the home?
    • How will you limit access for the dog in your dad's apartment? 
    • How do you access the top floor? Do you go through a common area of the house? Or is there a completely separate entrance for your dad?
    • How committed to FREQUENT deep cleaning are you? 
    • How isolated would your dad feel not being allowed to visit the parts of the home where a dog is?
    • How willing would you be to have ALL joint meals and family events in his apartment?

    Here are some .

    It's one thing if your dad's asthma is stable and he's not very allergic to pet dander AND there is no choice but to keep the dog — say the dog is very old and would most likely be euthanized at a shelter. OR if another member of the household needs a bona fide service dog — say, a person who needs help with blindness or low vision, or a person managing epilepsy or autism.

    It's another if you're weighing the joy of adding a puppy into a household against the very real medical limitations of a person with a severe dander allergy. 

    Could you have a family meeting with your dad's doctor and talk through this?

    Hugs … I know this is a tough decision and debate.

  • throwaway

    Thank you so much for your response. The dog I'm looking at is the Samoyed. Lots of fur, but technically hypoallergenic. My house is made so the dog will be completely separate from my dad. We don't really have that family kind of deal where we all have dinner together. We have wood floors and some tile. No permanent carpets. There's not too much visiting but there is concern about exposure still. I'm willing to buy any products and do very frequent cleaning. 

    My dad doesn't like medicine really.. pretty irrational. I know there are further allergy/asthma measures you can take past antihistamines. Things like shots and whatnot.

  • K8sMom2002

    Samoyeds are very beautiful! I can see why you want one!

    I get why your dad can be hesitant about medications. For one thing, even the best medication has:

    • side effects
    • financial costs
    • inconveniences — you have to remember to fill them and take them

    Sometimes they're necessary to control asthma. And sometimes, because of other health issues, a person can't take some of the really good meds that are now out there for asthma.

    I'm one of those people — because I have a couple of other health issues, my doc is hesitant about putting me on a daily controller med and instead urges me to work to avoid my asthma triggers. 

    Shots can take years to build up a tolerance, and they can be expensive and sometimes not covered by insurance. Plus, you are tied to a certain schedule — you have to go to the doctor's office on a regular basis, take the shot, wait at least 20 minutes to make sure you don't have an anaphylactic reaction. 

    For some people, shots can make a difference, but it's not something that can immediately make something tolerable. Plus, not everyone can take allergy shots.

    One thing that lots of people don't understand is that dander is not just on the fur of an animal. It's in the saliva, the urine and the skin of animals, and it's the protein in that dander that causes allergic reactions. Pet dander is super sticky and long lasting, and you basically have to scrub it away.

    Some people think that if a dog sheds less, then it's a hypoallergenic pet … but there really IS no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog.

    Could you talk as a family to your dad's doctor and see what the expert opinion is? Only your dad's doctor could really say whether this could be a workable situation.

  • Shea

    Allergies are a big deal and people underplay them alot but the allergic person cannot breathe– thats a big deal!!– and if the pet is in a living environment it can turn into a chronic and life threatening disease fir the allergic person. I nearly died from my health being put below family members desire for a pet so I know firsthand how serious it can be, and hiw physically and emotionally hurtful it can be. I had a heart attack at age 28 from allergic blood cells called eosinophils surrounding my heart and choking it and developed a lifelong chronuc allergic disease called churg- strauss syndrome because I was trying to survive in a home with my now-ex and his pets– all wood floors I even tried to isolate myself in a room. If its the same ac system the dander will travel. It travels on feet and clothes and dust and through air. I now have way worst allergies than prior. This does not happen to everyone but it is becoming a more common disease and is linked with some common allergy medications although they havent gotten the definite cause I know mine had to do with trying to live with pets I was allergic to snd medicate (which these medications were not meant to be to take to live with a pet youre allergic to but now are often marketed as such to make $$– it isnt good). My son and I are both allergic and do not go to his dads house and now have our own home… our allergists and most allergists who are honest will say it us best for your health to not live with a pet you are allergic to. People think pets are cute and so fun to have and they are highly marketed (huge $$industry) but loved ones health is so important. I would recommend a Bearded Dragon. 

  • Marie E Natzke


    There is no such thing as an hypoallergenic animal. It was a marketing strategy to get people to buy pets. My previous boss had a hypoallergenic dog. Labradoodle. I had a major asthma attack. Had to walk away from my job of 32 years. Just keep this in mind. No drug will keep someone from having an asthma attack if they are exposed on a regular basis to their trigger. The best medicine someone can take is avoidance. I really hope for your family's sale you do not get any pets. It's harder to part with them once you have them then never having them. It's not fair to the animal.