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Pet dander is one of the most problematic triggers when it comes to allergic asthma symptoms — it’s the proteins in a pet’s dander, saliva, and urine that aggravate asthma symptoms. “Pet dander particles are really small, especially in cats, so they can deposit deep in the lower bronchioles,” says Princess Ogbogu, MD, an allergist and immunologist at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center in Columbus. “When people with asthma inhale the particles, this can really set off an asthma attack.” Dr. Ogbogu says the best way to avoid pet dander is simply to not have a pet. “If you do choose to have a pet — and they’re important members of the family for lots of people — limit your exposure to the animal by keeping it out of your bedroom,” she says.
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