Allergies to pets may prevent people from keeping dogs or cats. With a little help from this article by Ken Hyden, you may be able to live allergy-free with your dog…
Are You Allergic To Your Dog? Try These Steps
Dogs are a rewarding and loving part of our lives and our family. They make great companions and help watch over your home. But research shows one in ten pet owners suffer from pet allergies. That’s good news for anyone contemplating getting rid of a furry family member. There are other answers! Taking care of yourself, your family, and your dogs even with your allergies is possible. All you need to do is follow the steps in this article, and you’ll be smiling, instead of sneezing, in no time!
- Ask Your Physician
If you think you’re suffering from pet allergies, the first thing you should do is see your doctor. Over-the-counter allergy medications may be useful if you’re suffering from sneezing or itchy eyes, but they’re less effective for severe, asthma-type symptoms, and may not affect anything at all if you suffer from hives. The first thing you should be doing, if you struggle with pet allergies, is to see your allergy specialist. They can help you decide if prescription allergy medication is more effective than over-the-counter. They may also help you get access to an allergy shot, which can be beneficial when you’re dealing with a long-term allergen in the home.
- Create A Pet Room, and Pet-Friendly Spaces In Your Home
Making your bedroom a pet-friendly zone goes a long way towards helping your allergies. Even a few hours away from an allergy source has a significant impact. Train your dogs to stick to designated areas of the house. If you’ve got a puppy you’re still training, baby gates and closed doors will help him learn boundaries.
Along with keeping your bedroom, office, or other spaces in your home pet-free, you may want a pets-only zone in your home. Keeping your dogs’ dish, bed and toys in a single room of the house means they’re less likely to spread hairs and dander all over your home. It may be impossible to keep your dogs in a single room, but keeping their possessions in one place, especially if it’s a place that’s easy to clean, with sufficient ventilation can help you cut down on dander and hair in the rest of the house.
- Get Rid Of Carpets In Your Home
Carpets hold a lot of pet dander. Not to mention dust, fleas and other allergy triggers. Cardogs can increase your exposure to allergy no matter how dedicated you are with the vacuum. Tiles, ceramic, hardwood and laminate flooring is much more allergy-friendly. Sweeping and dusting are a lot more effective at getting rid of allergens you can actually see. Using the top-down method of dusting will help you get rid of dust and dander that has settled in the air, and sweeping and mopping regularly will keep it off the floors. Easier, and cheaper than having to steam clean!
- Get an Air Purifier
A HEPA air filter can help remove both the visible and invisible pet dander and hairs in the air. A filtration system throughout the home is costly and tends to be less effective, but keeping air filters in your bedrooms at night will ensure you can sleep comfortably, even when living with the source of your allergies! With proper use, the right air filter can get rid of 97%-99% of all allergens. It also deals with pet odors, dust mites, and other bacteria. Just remember to change your filters at least once every two months.
- Spend More Time Outside
Having areas of the house for your dogs, and yourself is great. But the best way to clear an allergy out of the house is some fresh air. Spending time out of doors, away from your dogs helps to boost your immune system, and give you a much-needed break.
- Increase Ventilation In The House
Speaking of fresh air. Make sure your home is well-ventilated to help with pet allergies. Opening windows in all seasons can keep a good circulation of fresh air in your home. Cleaning your vents at least once a year can also improve ventilation and lower your risk of allergy exposure. In spaces without windows, like bathrooms, or your basement laundry room, make use of extractor fans and air purifiers.
- Vacuum and Sweep Regularly
To keep your dogs at home when you suffer from an allergy, cleaning day ought to become your favorite day of the week! Washing bedding, upholstery, and other textiles weekly, and sweeping and mopping floors every day will drastically cut down on dander both in the air and on everything from your clothes, to your bedding, to your furniture. If you have rugs that can’t be easily washed, invest in a steam cleaner. Don’t forget Fido’s bed!
- Wash Your Hands
Bathing your dogs regularly in plain water is an excellent way to cut down on the dander that can cause allergic reactions. But the effect is short-lived, and the effort can be substantial. Like other bacteria, pet dander and oils can be transferred through your hands. Always wash thoroughly after playing with, training, or walking the dog. Changing your clothes after you’ve spent time with your furry friend is another way to cut down on the risk of particles and hairs that can trigger your allergies. Grooming yourself is often easier than grooming your furry friend, so keep your body and clothing free of animal hair to avoid an allergy attack.
We’re all animal lovers. But allergies can eat away at your health and life in a serious way. They can cause breathing difficulties, insomnia, and leave your immune system weakened, and leave you more susceptible to colds, and sinus complications. There are ways to live in harmony, even with pet dander. You can enjoy your best friend, and stay healthy, with just a little effort.
About the author:
Thank you for reading, I’m Ken Hyden. Dog AND cat person, avid tech geek and charming introvert. I own the popular Bestseekers.com, where you can find advice on dog goodies for things like dental care, dog beds and chow. In my ample free time, I play geeky games, race my dog (she beats me every time) and devour superhero comics.