Allerpet History

Allerpet was created by Larry and Shirlee Kalstone as the first external product to aid in the removal of pet-related allergens from the animals of those persons who wanted pets but were unable to have them because of allergic reactions. Allerpet, introduced in 1988 after three and one-half years of testing, is a product for people who are allergic to pets.

The Allerpet solution substantially reduces the volume of allergens, including Fel d 1, on an animal’s fur and skin by eliminating them at their source. Currently, the treatment of choice for most patients allergic to animals is complete avoidance.

It is unfortunate that this treatment is not always practical. There are those whose livelihood depends on animals and those who just simply will not follow the advice to avoid them. It is also unfortunate that the frequent recommendation of avoidance deters many others who need professional help from seeking it.

Intense emotional issues surface when people are told to give up their pets. It can be especially traumatic when several children are involved and only one is allergic. Indicative of this are the large numbers of persons who keep their pets in spite of being told to give them up. (Estimates range from 65% to 85%)

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THE PREMISE behind Allerpet is the removal of pet related allergens before they become airborne and have an opportunity to enter the environment of an allergic person. It is felt that cleansing an animal’s fur and skin will keep it sufficiently free of fel d 1, dander and other allergens as to cause the total environmental allergen load to fall within more acceptable levels. In university testing, Allerpet reduced Fel d 1 in house dust by 50% with weekly use. Further anecdotal testing indicates greater reduction in allergen levels with use very 3-4 days.
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THE PROBLEM was how to cleanse the animal’s fur and skin of these allergens and, at the same time, keep the alkaline pH balance and the natural protective oils and film in place. It was felt that a weekly cleansing of the animal was necessary to adequately reduce and maintain the allergens at an acceptable level. (This was later shown to be reasonably accurate.) Over a period of time, frequent bathing tends to dry out the fur and skin, resulting in a greater production of dander and flaking than would normally occur. Of prime importance was how to prevent the skin from being stripped of its natural lipid film and the fur of its protective oils.
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BATHING was not a viable option. It had its own inherent problems… the time, the effort, the turmoil, and realization that most patients would never follow thorough with it. An alternative method of care was needed that pet owners would use with a greater degree of regularity.
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SHEDDING. As dogs and cats progress from birth to old age, a notable change occurs in the quantity of dander and scale produced and circulated throughout the home. Puppies and kittens have very supple skins; they shed little dander and cause relatively few problems, even for animal allergic persons. Aging animals lose this suppleness and shed much more profusely (there is a dramatic difference in an animal at 2 months and at 2 years). This condition is intensified by the low relative humidity and infrequent air exchanges of today’s homes and apartments… frequently as little as one air change per hour. For the allergic person, the normal use of a coat conditioner to minimize this drying effect is thwarted by their oily nature which is predisposed to attract, collect and bond additional irritants almost instantaneously.
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THE GOAL was to develop a product that was non-toxic and safe to use; would cleanse the animal of these allergens; would re-moisturize the fur and skin to minimize future accumulations of dander and scale; would replenish the stripped-out oils of the hair; could be applied conveniently without effort; and most importantly, would not leave any residue on the coat to either ingest or to attract additional allergens.
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ANECDOTAL TESTING of Allerpet commenced in April of 1985. The study lasted over three years and involved 168 individuals, all of whom were either allergic to their pets or had someone in their household who was. All individuals in the study told us that they were experiencing allergic reactions with varying degrees of discomfort. All had sought professional help at least once during the previous year and had either cats or dogs as their primary pet. Many also had rabbits, birds, or small furry animals as secondary pets. All of their statements were accepted at face value. Information gathering was casual, but well documented. All individuals were talked to every three to four weeks and their comments noted.
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THROUGHOUT THE STUDY, A CONSISTENT 80 TO 85% of those participating expressed a significant improvement in their ability to tolerate their pets. This high success rate is not inconsistent with many papers that have been published on the subject of aero-allergens over the last few years. Removal of the allergens from an animal before they have a chance to become airborne is the easiest, quickest and most certain way to reduce the environmental load of pet-related allergens. This is especially true of the fel d 1 allergen which remains airborne for such protracted periods of time. When the first steps to minimize the build-up of pet-related allergens in the environment are taken, Allerpet should be considered as an integral part of the solution.
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ALLERPET DIRECTIONS ARE EASY TO FOLLOW: For the first application, the pet should be brushed or combed to remove as much loose hair as possible, preferably by someone other than the allergic person. A washcloth should be lightly wetted (not saturated) with Allerpet and thoroughly wiped over the animal, both with and against the lay of the hair. Particular attention needs to be paid to the area surrounding the genitalia, the tail, and other area that the pet tends to self-clean excessively. If the pet is small enough, this procedure can be accomplished while it sits on a towel in the owner’s lap. It is not necessary for the animal to be saturated, just dampened to the skin. Generally, a once-a-week application should be sufficient for most individuals, but Allerpet may be used as often as necessary without any fear of adverse reactions. Allerpet® is non-toxic and completely safe. Birds should have their feathers misted every 2 or 3 days.