You love animals and you’re serious about getting a pet, but there’s always a little trepidation about what you are letting yourself in for. Pet care is a whole chapter by itself and there’s always the problem of having to contend with pet allergies caused by dander, urine, pet fur and saliva. Fret not, you’re not alone- studies show that almost one-third of all allergies are pet-related. The good news is that there are ways to keep these allergies at bay.
What causes pet allergies?
Pet dander, hair, fur or pet saliva is not the real culprit- a sticky protein- FEL-d1- present therein is what causes allergic reactions in people. These remain suspended in the air for hours together and also cling readily to anything in their way- mattresses, clothes, curtains, and cushions. Little red flags that send the ‘allergens alert’ pop up. A scratchy throat, running nose, coughing, sneezing and in severe cases, wheezing and shortness of breath is always on the cards. But allergies are manageable- Dip into the tips below to see how you can counteract them.
1. Choose your pets wisely
Keep away from them- that’s the most obvious thing to do if you’re pet-allergic. However, if you do have the pet-fever and want to desperately own one- opt for something that doesn’t have hair, feathers or fur. A tortoise waddling around the house or a goldfish in a glass bowl can be just as exciting!
However there are hypoallergenic dogs that do not produce as much pet dander and etc. That maybe dog friendly for people who suffer from dog allergies.
2. Put up "No Trespassing" signs
Don’t allow your pets to invade your bedroom. Keep them well away from your bed and off the couch too. In fact, don’t let them usurp any of your living room furniture. Upholstered stuff attract animal dander like a magnet. Designate ‘pet-free’ zones but don’t forget to create play areas where pets can move and roam about freely.
3. Vacuum and clean regularly
Vacuuming regularly helps to keep allergens from adding up and becoming a nightmare. When attached to a HEPA filter, a vacuum's efficiency in removing tiny particles increases immensely. Clean the cages or crates well and get rid of all waste matter. Empty the vacuum outside the house in the garbage can in order to prevent allergens from spreading inside the house.
4. Invest in air purifiers
You need to breathe air that’s relatively free of pollutants such as dander, pet hair, and pollen. Use an air purifier for pet hair and for greater effectiveness, combine it with a True HEPA filter.
5. Stay on top of your chores
Dust wooden surfaces and walls regularly, use hot water and soap liberally while washing linen and other fabrics. Wash pet beds frequently, there are specially formulated detergents that promise to remove all allergens. Once in awhile, do think of replacing the bed sheets. That way, allergens are kept at arm’s length.
6. Replace carpets and drapes
As sticky allergens attach easily to cloth surfaces, it pays to make them allergen-resistant. Eschew carpets and opt for hardwood or laminate flooring, do away with drapes and curtains and replace with shutters and blinds. If, for some reason, these are not options, deep-clean everything a couple of times annually.
7. Groom and bathe your pet
This is simple to do and easy too- so brush and bathe your pet. Regular baths and frequent grooming is said to reduce allergens by as much as 84 percent. Getting a dog grooming table can help you safely groom your dog, read our best grooming tables for dogs article. When a full bath is not possible, use wipes and other products to curb built-in allergens.
8. Things to do at a personal level
Make it a point to wash your hands immediately every time you touch your pet. Make sure that your hands don’t go anywhere near your eyes or skin- these are sensitive areas- while you cuddle or play with them. You can go a step further and wear old clothes while playing with your pet and then change afterward. However, this may not always be practical and doable. Smoking supposedly lowers your tolerance level to allergens, so cut it out.
9. Consider Medication and supplements
Antihistamines are good for relieving mild allergy symptoms but may be inadequate while dealing with asthma and wheezing. Taking probiotic supplements and eating fermented food can strengthen your immune system. Also, Allergy shots help long-term pet owners contain their allergies.
10.Train your pets
Potty train your pets so that there are no accidents around the house that could cause the release of allergens (through urine).
In conclusion, you see that it’s so easy to keep those allergens on hold and keep your allergies in check. Experience the joy of your pets without any anxiety or fear!!!