Millions of people own pets, and many of these pet owners suffer from pet allergies. How do they do it? While none of these suggestions will completely eliminate pet dander if an animal resides in your home, they can help reduce allergic reactions and when used in tandem with your doctor’s treatment plan can greatly improve the chances of overcoming the allergies instead of finding a new home for your pet.
- Bathe your pet often. While mastering the martial art of cat bathing takes time and patience, it’s worth the effort in the long run. Research shows that pet dander can be reduced by as much as 50% with a good, sudsy bath. However, it only takes about three days for the dander levels to return to normal, so plan on twice-weekly baths to reduce your allergic reactions.
- Claim your space. Yes, it is very cute when your dog or cat curls up at night to sleep with you, or claims a part of your couch for an afternoon nap. Unfortunately, dander collects in the fabrics of furniture and bedding, and is one of the primary causes of allergic reactions in pet allergy sufferers. Give Fido his own bed, and be sure to wash it at least once per week to cut down on dander buildup.
- Keep pets outdoors as much as possible. If you have a safe area for your pet to get some fresh air, take advantage of this as much as possible. Letting your dog spend the day outside while you work can make the home environment much more allergy-friendly. Just remember the elements, and make sure outdoor pets have shelter and plenty of water.
- Dust and vacuum often. Using a vacuum that has a HEPA filter and dusting with a damp rag can greatly reduce the amount of dander that collects in the fibers of your carpets and on surfaces of the home. Weekly cleaning at a minimum should be a priority, although for more severe allergies or pets that produce a large amount of dander, vacuuming and dusting two to three times per week is ideal.
- Change air filters often. Make certain you change your air filters in your HVAC system regularly. For a few dollars more, you can purchase HEPA filters that are specifically made to reduce allergens. Placing room sized air purifiers in rooms that your pets spend a lot of time in can also be a big help.
If you suspect pet allergies, contact Atlanta ENT for allergy testing and treatment. Many options are available to help make living with your pet more enjoyable.