Pet Allergies can be an absolute misery for animal lovers, faced with the possibility of having to get rid of their beloved companion. But is it really necessary to do so, or is it possible to alleviate the symptoms and still keep your pet? Depending on the severity of your reaction, there are ways of making it easier to cope with pet allergies. Try the following tips …
There are now a number of products designed to reduce the animal dander (which causes allergies). Most commonly available are wipes and sprays. Check out your local pet store, or see amazon.com for examples of available products.
Allergic pet-lovers need to pay extra attention to cleaning. It´s best to reduce the number of surfaces where dust and dander can settle, so avoid having too many objects on display. Regular vacuuming of carpets and floors, and wiping surfaces with a damp cloth, is also beneficial. It might sound a bit excessive, but wear a dust mask when you vacuum.
3. Choose Carefully
Pet allergies may be caused only by certain animals. A careful choice of pet may therefore mean that you can share your life with an animal but not with the allergies. Some dog breeds are better for allergy sufferers; for those with severe problems, reptiles or fish are an excellent alternative. They might not be as entertaining or cuddly as cats or dogs, but can still be fascinating to keep.
Antihistamines, nasal sprays and eye drops can help cope with the allergic symptoms. There is also a treatment called immunotherapy that is suitable for severe cases. It consists of a series of injections and is intended to desensitise you to the allergen, but does require regular doses, so is quite a commitment.
5. Banned from the Bed
Anyone with pet allergies should not allow their animal to sleep or jump up on the bed. If they cannot be trained to keep off the bed, ban them from the bedroom altogether. Remember that we spend around a third of our lives asleep, so that means breathing in a lot of dander if your pets are allowed to sleep there.
6. Brushing and Bathing
The pet should be frequently brushed outside, by a non-allergic person. It´s also helpful for the animal to be regularly bathed. Dogs are, of course, likely to be more cooperative on this front than are cats. Any litter trays should also be cleaned by someone who does not suffer from allergies.
7. Air Conditioning
This might at first seem beneficial when living with pets and a pet allergy. The problem with air conditioning, however, is that it circulates the air from one room into another. So the best thing to do, when you need to use it, is to cover the vents in the bedroom with a material that lets the air circulate while preventing the allergens from passing through.
I´ve already mentioned the need for regular vacuuming. When choosing a vacuum cleaner, one fitted with a HEPA filter can be very useful in reducing the exposure to allergens (a HEPA filter provides a high level of purified air). Alternatively, there are also air purifiers available that contain HEPA filters.
Pet allergies don´t have to deprive you of the chance to experience the joy of having an animal companion. There are ways of potentially easing the symptoms; it may take some experimenting until you find a method that works, but is worth the effort if you want a pet. If you suffer from pet allergies, does it prevent you from keeping animals, or have you found ways that make the symptoms easier to cope with?
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