(NewsUSA) - By gaining a better understanding of the allergies caused by pets, you may be able to find a healthier coexistence with your furry friend.
According to The Humane Society, 62 percent of American households have at least one pet. Yet, an estimated 31 million Americans are allergic to animals, including up to 30 percent of those who have asthma. Here's what you should know about pet allergies:
Myth 1: It's only pet hair that causes allergies to flare up.
Not true. Pet hair is a nuisance and causes allergies, as it contains saliva or other pet proteins. Allergic reactions to pets are actually caused by pet proteins contained in pet dander, such as microscopic skin flakes, saliva and urine. Overactive immune systems in those with allergies attack these otherwise harmless substances.
Myth 2: Continuous exposure to animals will eventually desensitize you to them.
Not only is this not true, but in some cases the opposite is true. If you have a confirmed allergy to animals, it usually will not get better through increasing exposure. In fact, it may get worse.
Myth 3: With the right pet breed, allergy problems go away.
Not true. All cat or dog breeds produce dander. However, some breeds are believed to be better for allergy sufferers than other breeds. Typically the best breeds are those that shed the least fur and/or are the most frequently bathed. Also, smaller dogs produce less saliva than do bigger dogs.
Myth 4: Small animals are not a problem for allergies.
Wrong. Hamsters, guinea pigs, birds and other warm-blooded mammals can also trigger asthma and allergies in people with allergies to animal dander, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Myth 5: Outside the home, you shouldn't have pet allergies.
Not necessarily. Because of their microscopic size and jagged shape, pet allergens easily stick to clothing and other fabrics and are carried to other locations. Animal dander -- in sufficient levels to cause allergies -- can be found in many public places such as the workplace, classrooms and hospitals, according to the American Lung Association.
Myth 6: An air purifier will help with pet allergies.
It depends on the air purifier. Only a high-performance air purifier can help. Some allergy sufferers report that small, low-quality air cleaners make little or no difference at all. However, many allergy sufferers report that their IQAir air purifier, in combination with improved cleaning methods, has reduced or completely eliminated their allergic reactions to pets in their homes.
For more information, visit the IQAir website at www.iqair.com.
The Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo is the perfect test for the top regional cowboys from all across the country.
The Texas-based stock contractor will feature 36 animals at the RNCFR, set for Wednesday-Saturday in Kissimmee, Fla. That is the largest contingent of animal athletes from all the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association stock contractors in Florida.
The list of Carr animals includes a big number that have bucked at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo, including bulls Medicine Show, Footloose, Cajun Smurf, Line Man and Mind Games; saddle broncs Cool Runnings, Mike & Ike, Empty Pockets, Lone Star, Gold Coast, Spur Strap and Lori Darling; and bareback horses Ragin Angel, Witchy Woman, Ladies Man, Utopia, Yo Yo, Night Bells, Alberta Child, Big Lights and Real Deal, a former Bareback Horse of the Year.
With that kind of firepower, itâs bound to be an explosive race to the national championship.
NACOGDOCHES, Texas â Pete Carr is always on the lookout for the brightest talent in Pro Rodeo.
As owner of Pete Carrâs Classic Pro Rodeo, Carr knows the key to his business is to provide a great competition and incredible entertainment, all wrapped into a nice package that is rodeo. Whether itâs an athletic horse, a bucking and spinning bull or a great act, the purpose is to bring the best before the fans.
âAll anyone wants is a chance to win, and the fans are there to be entertainedâ Carr said. âI get a lot of feedback from our contestants and fans about the stock and that they really enjoy the clowns and specialty acts that we are able to secure for our events across the country. We try to rotate the top people in the business to keep it fresh and at a level the fans have come to expect and enjoy. â
Enter John Harrison of Soper, Okla. In 2013, he was selected to work the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo as the barrelman. Last season, he was recognized as the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Associationâs Comedy Act of the Year and the Coors Man in the Can, an honor that rewards the top clown in the association each year.
In addition to hysterical acts that showcase Harrisonâs talent and athleticism, the Oklahoma man serves as a valuable piece of the puzzle that helps make for a near-flawless performance each time he speaks.
âJohn is a true professional. He is good, clean family fun,â said John Gwatney, the production supervisor for Pete Carrâs Classic Pro Rodeo, the livestock producer for the rodeo. âItâs his rodeo background, because he grew up in this sport. He has perfect timing and helps us with the ebb and flow of a rodeo performance. He has a tremendous amount of talent and versatility that translates into a vital piece of the puzzle for a successful event.â
Thatâs the key to reaching fans with a variety of entertaining items. Whether itâs a trick riding display that will leave fans in awe or his parody of rodeo queens, Harrison has a lot of ammunition in his bag.
âI do this for the love of the sport,â he said âGrowing up with it, you enjoy it. Now I can actually make a living at it, so that helps.â
While family is a big part of who Harrison is, he realizes that rodeo serves as a foster family of sorts.
âThe friends and the âfamilyâ you meet on the road is a big deal for us,â he said. âPlus if it wasnât fun, I wouldnât do it.â