Ways of Dealing with Pet Allergies without Getting Rid of Your Pet
Living with pets is often an exciting but equally stressful experience for most people. Pets are usually a source of joy and companionship, but they require training, veterinary care, attention, and tolerance. Tolerance is especially necessary when you find out that you are allergic to your pet. All cats and dogs are allergenic to people who have reactions to animals and dander. Even the hairless breeds of animals can be highly allergenic to some individuals. How do you avoid the occasional sneezing, wheezing, or skin rash that’s caused by animal allergens without getting rid of your pet? Below are some practical steps that you should take to create a favorable environment that won’t worsen your allergies.
Invest in HEPA Filters
One of the most efficient ways of dealing with pet allergies in the home is getting rid of animal dander. Dander comprises of small and microscopic flecks of skin and hair shed by dogs, cats, and other animals with fur. Animal dander is so airy and light, and it can find its way onto surfaces around the home. Investing in high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can be an effective way of getting rid of pet dander in the home. These filters trap tiny airborne pollutants such as dust mites, pollen, and pet dander from the air that you breathe. They are an ideal option, especially if you are allergic to other air pollutants besides pet dander.
Reduce Allergens in the Home
Just because you have a cat or dog in your home doesn’t mean that you have to endure the allergies. You can reduce allergens in the home or isolate particular areas from your pets. For instance, you should prohibit pets from accessing the bedroom to avoid reactions when sleeping. Have a HEPA filter in each room and invest in allergen-proof mattresses and pillow covers. Other measures that you can take include the following:
- Wash your pet weekly and take it to a groomer regularly as this will significantly reduce the allergens on the fur.
- Avoid thick carpets and furnishings as they tend to attract or trap allergens and are harder to fully rid of tiny particles.
- Clean curtains, draping, clothing, and towels regularly, vacuum or wipe down furniture and surfaces to get rid of pet dander. Pay attention to areas that the pets frequent for the most cleaning.
- Feed pets with diets that include natural fat which hydrates the skin and minimize shedding.
If you are unable to handle your pet’s cleaning and grooming sessions due to the allergies, you can ask a non-allergic member of the family to handle the tasks for you.
Get Allergy Medication
If you still experience allergic reactions after taking the necessary precautions, it may be time to seek treatment. Different types of allergy medication can ease reactions depending on how much time you spend with the pet. If you are visiting a friend who has a pet, you’ll only need to pop an over the counter antihistamine. If you live with the pet, you should ask your doctor to prescribe a nasal steroid which should be taken daily for effectiveness. Also, there is allergen immunotherapy for individuals who suffer severe allergic reactions to animals. The treatment involves injections of pet allergens under the skin, and they are administered at predetermined intervals.
These tips should help you in dealing with pet allergies without having to give up the companionship of your favorite animal. However, if the symptoms worsen, it may be worth getting rid of the pet to avoid the risk of developing asthma, particularly if you are allergic to other triggers besides animals.