According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, about 10 percent of pet owners have allergies. But no need to worry, since maintaining allergies is easier than everyone thinks. Although it takes time and dedication, here are the best tips and methods to coping with pet allergies.
The best method to understanding whether you have a pet allergy is to get tested. Pet owners can schedule an appointment with an allergist for a skin test. This clarifies whether you have a pet or environmental allergy, and can help you find the right solution.
Wash Your Hands and Toys
Wash your hands immediately after petting your dog. If you are unable to wash your hands, avoid touching your face until you can find soap and water. Also, wash slobbery dog toys in hot soapy water. Doing this daily or several times per week minimizes allergic outbreaks.
Make a Pet-Free Zone
If you tear up at the sight of pet hair, it’s best to have a room dedicated to yourself. If you wear socks or shoes in your house, remove them before entering the room to avoid tracking in fur and dander.
Purify the Air
Most people with pet allergies are actually allergic to a pet’s dander, not just their fur. HEPA (High Efficiency Air Particulate) air filters are pricy but reduce the amount of dander floating in the air. Some filters claim to completely remove airborne allergens. Using a HEPA filtration vacuum ensures that dander won’t end up stuck on carpets or rugs.
Groom Daily, Bathe Weekly
Grooming is essential to maintain allergic reactions. Grooming can occur daily and outside to avoid the release of dander inside the home. Consider bathing your pup weekly to minimize dander build up, but be careful not to over-wash your dog or you will strip his coat of natural oils and dry his skin out.
Feed a Well-Balanced Diet
Make sure your dog eats a diet full of natural and healthy fat. Healthy fat ensures the skin doesn’t dry out, which results in less shedding. If your dog is prone to allergies, when he or she has an outbreak, it can trigger your allergies. Talk to your veterinarian on the best foods that aide healthy coats and skin.
Keep it Clean
If you have allergies, it is best to avoid upholstery, drapes, rugs or heavy curtains that trap dust; pet fur and dander can hide easily on or inside these items. Carpets should be steam cleaned at least once per quarter for those with severe allergies. When you dust, use a damp cloth or moist towel; dry devices spread instead of pick up dust, dander and dirt molecules.
Find the Right Treatment
If you have pet allergies, talk to your doctor about the best homeopathic remedies or medications that interest you. You can use anything from an allergy pill to nasal sprays. If you visit a friend who also has a pet, use your treatments about 20 to 30 minutes prior to entering their home for the best results.