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Allergies, Pets and You

Bundles of allergens

Are allergies holding you back from quality time with your pets or even from possibly adopting them? If you find that you’re allergic to pets or allergies have been holding you back, here are a few tips to improve the situation to spend more time with your pets or adopt pets.

According to NIH around 10-20% of the population are allergic to pets. The proteins found in your pet’s dander (dead skin cells), saliva and urine all cause allergic reactions.

Start with your home

Clean Routine

Furniture and Floor Coverings – Allergens can collect in furniture, rugs, drapes, etc. Using slipcovers and extra blankets on sofas or beds can also help reduce the number of allergens – plus most slipcovers and blankets are machine washable.

Vacuum and dust frequently. Your pet may not be the only contributor to household allergies. Dust, pollen and mold can come into our homes in a variety of ways, so frequently dusting and vacuuming can provide allergy relief as well. Using dusters and microfiber cloths are a great way to alleviate dust and other allergy irritants.

Plus, there are a number of vacuums available on the market now that are specially designed with attachments to deal with pet hair.

Clean pet bedding regularly – This can alleviate hair, dander, pollen, etc. that accumulates over time with your pet’s bedding.  It is best to purchase bedding that can be washed or bed covers that can be removed and washed on a weekly basis. If your pet’s bed doesn’t have a removable cover, with your next pet bed, you may want to invest in a pet bed with removable covers.

If find that you can’t wash your pet’s bed, as some covers aren’t machine washable or can’t be removed – apply a handheld vac to the bed or use a lint roller. This maybe time consuming – but it’s worth the effect to keep your allergies at bay. Plus, your pet isn’t lying a bed full of hair and dander and then spreading it around the house.

Wash clothing weekly too – Pet clothes are a magnet for accumulating pet hair. So, sweaters, tops, pants, etc. should be washed weekly too.

Clean carriers and totes – These items can build up hair and dander quickly – especially if your pets travel with you frequently.

Start with you

Your clothes – pet hair loves clothes – it’s a natural magnet. Washing your clothes frequently or using a lint roller to remove those “magical hairs,” as their often referred to can ease allergic reactions.

Rinse your hands after each interaction

Also, clean your hands after each interaction with your pet – this limits allergens coming into contact with your face.  

Create a pet free space – Having a pet free zone, such as a den or bedroom would give you several hours daily to avoid coming into to contact with allergens.

Keep your pets groomed

Pawsitively Clean

Washing your pets – weekly baths can also help prevent the spread of allergies as well. You do have to be careful not to dry out your pet’s skin, so check with your veterinarian to find a pet shampoo that works.

Groom your pets – There are a wide variety of grooming and shedding tools on the market for pets. While these tools won’t completely eliminate all dander and flake buildup with pet hair, it does help to alleviate the amount of hair be spread around your home.

Skin Conditions – Have your veterinarian check for any skin conditions which could contribute to excessive shedding.

All of these suggestions may make feel you like you’ve taken on a second job, but these tips whether you use some or all can help you take steps towards alleviating most allergies from your home.

If you don’t have time to clean or wash your pet weekly – other alternatives include weekly visits to the groomers, a cleaning service or both.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5809771h

https://www.aspca.org/pet-care

https://primereviews.org/best-pet-hair-vacuum-cleaners

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