3 Ways to Reduce Pet Allergies

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pet allergiesAre you tired of having to explain that the reason you don’t have a dog or a cat is because of a nasty pet allergy? The truth is, just because you suffer from certain pet allergies doesn’t mean you can’t have a pet of your own.

But how is this possible? Here are three ways to reduce pet allergens.

Before you can reduce pet allergens, you need to know which allergens don’t play nice with you. It’s important to go see a doctor to determine which allergies you have, since it may not be your pet at all (we can’t help but remember Jan Brady’s nasty allergy to the Brady Bunch dog … only to later discover it was the dog’s flea powder).

If you can/have discovered that your pets are the cause of your discomfort, it’s important to realize why and how this happens. Allergens (which is just a fancy term for an allergy-triggering protein), can be found in a pet’s saliva, skin glands (dander) and fur. Things like fur and dander can be found all over a home, such as walls, floors and clothing.

A person’s allergic reaction can range from the sniffles to life-threatening asthma.

Reducing Pet Allergens

If you’ve decided that having a pet outweighs the potential discomfort you might face, here’s how you can make your life a little less uncomfortable:

1. Create an allergy-free space (such as your bedroom), that can serve as your respite. Use HEPA air cleaners in this area (as, while you’re at it, throughout your home), and consider using impermeable covers for your bedding. You can’t make a 100% allergy-free home, but focusing on one room is possible.

2. Bathe your pet weekly. Weekly baths help to reduce the level of dander a pet has. Be sure to use shampoo that’s designed for your pet (cat/dog, etc.). It’s always a good bet to get a recommendation from your veterinarian.

3. Try allergy treatments. Don’t give up so quickly. Try allergy shots (immunotherapy), steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays and pills. If having a pet is really important to you, it’s best to find an allergist who is willing to work with you to make this happen. Often times a combination of approaches (from treatments to bathing and house cleaning) can make it possible for you to have a pet, even if you suffer from allergies.

Many people with pet allergies might wonder why you’d want to put yourself in such discomfort, for the love of a pet? But there are thousands of people across the country who manage their allergies just fine, and live happily and healthily while preserving the bond between human and pet. If you don’t want to miss out on this bond, be sure to try these methods, and talk to an allergist.