Dog and cat allergies are incredibly common. Some people suffer from pet allergies their whole lives, while for others pet allergies do not develop until much later in life, even in some cases developing in individuals who have owned pets for years.
Pet allergies are caused by proteins found in the saliva and dander (dead skin flakes) of household pets. These allergens are often carried on moulted hair. Sometimes the human immune system can overreact to these harmless proteins in order to protect itself. This overreaction presents itself as allergy symptoms – typically a runny nose, itchy face, eyes, ears and hands, sneezing and hives.
Unless your pet allergies are life-threating they can be managed. It can take some extra effort to tackle these issues, but it is certainly worth it to keep animals in your life.
Top 10 Tips for Tackling Allergies
- Keep pets out of the bedroom. You spend at least a third of your time in this room, so keeping your bedroom a pet free zone can help reduce allergy symptoms.
- Vacuum and dust regularly. This removes allergens from your home directly. Ensure you wear a mask when completing these tasks to prevent further irritation from any disturbed allergens.
- Take your dog to a professional groomer. This is especially useful in moulting season, as the groomer can blow out moulted hair with a blaster, removing any dander and allergens with it.
- Remove any wall-to-wall carpeting. If at all possible, try not to have much carpeting in your home. Pet allergies are sticky, and will cling to the fibres of your carpet – they can even remain on carpets after heavy vacuuming. Ideally, you should have rugs that you can wash regularly, and you should also clean/wipe floorboards too. If you must have carpeting then steam-clean it regularly to keep allergens at bay.
- Keep your dog’s skin healthy. Use products that soothe irritated, flaky skin and supports the skin’s natural pH. This may help reduce the production of dander.
- Avoid touching your eyes or face after grooming or playing with pets, and always wash your hands afterward.
- Groom your pet regularly. This will remove all the loose hair and dander. Wipe your pet daily with products formulated to remove debris and dander. You should also brush your dog regularly. Ensure you do this task outside and wear a mask if necessary.
- Have pet free furniture, and use throws or rugs on the items your pets do sleep on. That way they will be easier to wash. Leather sofas are also much easier to keep clean and allergen free, so you many also find it beneficial to invest in a new sofa.
- Wear special clothes when handling your pet. Invest in a professional quality grooming top, waistcoat or jumpsuit to wear when you groom or play with your pet. Professional quality grooming clothes repel pet hair and protect your regular clothes from any allergens.
- Install an air purifier. This helps remove allergens including dander from the air in your home.