Coping with pet allergies

With spring in full gear, flowers blooming and the sun shining, many people are suffering from many types of allergies.  One type doesn’t goes away with the warm weather and that’s pet allergies.  Those who are unfortunate enough to be part of that 15% of the population with pet allergies know that typical story.  You walk into your friend’s apartment for the first time.  ACHOO!  Your eyes start to water and your skin starts to itch.  Then, out of the corner of your eye, you see him.  Mr. Whiskers, your friend’s friendly tabby.  It’s almost as if he was watching and waiting to see who would sneeze first and then he’s all over you.  People who are allergic to him are just that much better to hang out with.

Those who are allergic to pets are typically allergic to dander.  Dander are the flakes from the animal’s skin, so even hairless pets can cause symptoms.  Sometimes saliva or urine on the pet’s fur can be a culprit as well.  So how do you know you’re showing symptoms of a pet allergy?  Your body reacts to the proteins by creating histamines.  Those result in itchy eyes, a rash (hives), wheezy breathing and a runny nose.  It can sometimes appear as if you have a cold.  Those with allergies to pets can exacerbate asthma and those who were not previously allergic can develop allergies later in life.  That is why it is suggested not to become complacent when it comes to preventing the symptoms.

So, what if you have pets or want them in the future and you’re allergic?  Depending on the severity of the allergies, steps can be taken to lessen the symptoms.  If you are highly allergic, you should consult your doctor as to whether it is wise to own pets.  Here are tips to coping with pet allergies in your home:

  • Buy a HEPA filter.  This will lessen the allergens in the air you breathe.
  • If possible, switch to wooden floors.  Dander can get trapped in the carpeting and worsen your symptoms.  If that’s not an option, vacuum often.  HEPA filter vacuum bags are available as well.
  • Designate pet-free areas in your home.  We all want our pets close by, but if they are sharing your bed, the last thing you want is a pillow full of dander.
  • If you must have your pets in bed with you, keep your linens clean.  Frequent washing will cut down the amount of allergens collecting on your bed sheets, couches, etc.
  • Bathe your pets more often.  Understandably, your feline friends will not be a fan of this tip, but even wiping them down with a damp cloth can be helpful.
  • So Mr. Whiskers doesn’t feel left out, make sure to wash your hands after touching your pet.
  • Sometimes people who are allergic to pet urine can have trouble with litter boxes.  Also, the type of litter can have an affect on your allergies.  The dust can be irritating and it is suggested to keep up with scooping the pan and place it in a well-ventilated area.

At sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC, we offer poop-scooping services, which can help you keep up with your kitty’s litter box.  If you don’t neglect to take your allergy medication and keep your home clean, you can discover that it is possible to live comfortably with pets, even with allergies.  Check out our website for more info on what we can do to assist you with your pet’s care!

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