New Contest and Tips for People with Pet Allergies


Play the game at and enter the contest at

For the approximately 15 percent of Americans who have pet allergies,1 pet dander can trigger bothersome nasal allergy symptoms ” like sneezing, itchy nose, runny nose and congestion ” throughout the year. But armed with the right information, pet allergies don’t have to be so “ruff.”

The first step to helping control the sniffling and sneezing is to identify what’s causing it in the first place. Although many people blame pet hair for triggering indoor nasal allergy symptoms, it’s actually the saliva and proteins in animal dander (dead skin) that are to blame.1 Hair also can collect indoor allergens like dust mites and outdoor allergens like pollen, but hair alone won’t trigger symptoms.2

Because all cats and dogs shed dander and produce saliva, all cats and dogs may cause nasal allergy symptoms.1 Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a non-allergenic breed. Even so-called “hairless” breeds can trigger symptoms.

Tips for Limiting Exposure to Pet Dander

Pets are beloved members of the family, so finding ways to cope with nasal allergy symptoms can make life easier for everyone. The good news is there are easy ways to limit exposure to pet allergens in the home.

  • Rover-free Room: Okay, it’s not easy, but the bedroom should be a no-go zone for your pet ” keep the door closed and clean all surfaces regularly to remove stray dander.1
  • Keep it Clean: Wash furniture covers, pillows and pet beds in hot water regularly to get rid of allergens that may have collected.2
  • Sticky Situation: Because dander sticks to surfaces, keep pets off of furniture and regularly scrub walls and woodwork throughout the home.2
  • Clear the Air: Forced-air heating and air-conditioning can spread allergens through the house, so cover bedroom vents with dense filtering material like cheesecloth.1 Adding an air cleaner with a HEPA filter can help remove pet allergens from the air.2
  • Clean Canine: Giving your pet a weekly scrub down can help reduce allergens on their fur by as much as 84 percent.1
  • Shield Your Schnoz: Vacuuming can stir up pet allergens, so wear a mask when cleaning house. Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter is also a good idea.2
  • Helpful Hints: Visit for more information about treating nasal allergy symptoms and to get a $15 savings coupon.

Good Stuff for the Stuffy

Because you can’t completely avoid exposure to pet dander, it’s important to visit a doctor to discuss treatment options. For patients suffering from nasal allergy symptoms, a prescription nasal allergy spray is a recommended first-line treatment when congestion is present.3 Remember to take your prescribed medicine as directed by your doctor to help keep symptoms under control.

Name Ronnie Nose’s Dog!

Someone who knows all about pet allergies is Ronnie Nose, a cartoon nose with nasal allergies. Ronnie Nose is the leading man in “Don’t Blow It” ( ” an online educational game that teaches people about nasal allergies. The game also features Ronnie’s canine companion, but sadly, the mutt has no moniker. That’s why we’re asking pet lovers to use their pooch naming prowess to suggest a name for this nose’s best friend.

Entrants should submit their most creative canine name by 11:59 a.m. EDT on 9/11/09 via the entry form at The name that stands out as being best-suited for Ronnie Nose’s dog will be featured in the game. Plus, the winner will receive a $500 gift certificate to FetchDog, the leading online destination for quality dog supplies, including dog beds and pet gates. Two runners-up will each receive a $250 FetchDog gift certificate.

And don’t forget to check out “Don’t Blow It.” For every new player a low-allergenic tree will be planted4 ” we’re sure your pups would be very grateful for the trees!

Editor’s Note: Photos of Ronnie Nose and his dog are available upon request. To request copies, or for more information about the contest, contact Julie Lux (908-298-4774;


  1. The Humane Society of the United States. “Allergies to Pets.”
  2. Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. “Pet Allergies.”⊂=18&cont=236.
  3. “The Allergy Report. Diseases of the Atopic Diathesis.” American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 2000, Vol. 2; p.16.
  4. Ogren, Thomas Leo. “OPALS ” The World’s First Plant-allergy Scale.” Allergy-free Gardening. 2007.

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