How To Reduce Pet Allergies In Your Home
No matter what time of year it is, having pet allergies greatly affects many pet owners. People will often see an increase in their allergy symptoms around springtime. This is thanks to the increase in pollen, dust, and mold in the air.
If your pets go outside in the warm weather, they may bring these things inside with them. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that six out of 10 people in America have regular contact with a furry friend.
Three out of 10 people with seasonal allergies also find themselves allergic to cats or dogs. Even hairless cats and guinea pigs can have folks reaching for an antihistamine.
Being allergic to a pet can have you dealing with itchy eyes, coughing, body hives, and even wheezing while you breathe.
While there isn’t a hypoallergenic pet you can go adopt, there are things you can do to make life with Fido a little more tolerable. Many experts suggest getting rid of your pet, but that should be a last resort.
Below we’re going to deep dive into easy things you can do in your everyday life to reduce pet allergies in your home.
Symptoms That Suggest You Have Pet Allergies
There are a handful of different physical symptoms that come with being allergic to pets. The most common are caused by inflammation in the nasal passages. People with asthma are also greatly affected by this. Here are some of the most common symptoms of pet allergies:
- Itchy eyes
- Scratchy throat
- Difficulty breathing (asthma patients only)
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy nose
- Chest tightness (asthma patients only)
- Facial pressure
- Nasal congestion
- Swollen under-eye area
- Itchy roof of your mouth
- Audible wheezing when exhaling (asthma patients only)
- Facial pain
- Issues sleeping
How Do I Know If I’m Allergic To My Pet?
There are two tests your primary care doctor may conduct if you think you’re experiencing a pet allergy:
- A blood test
- An allergy skin test
During a skin test, small amounts of purified allergen extracts are pricked into the surface of your skin. Depending on the physician, they may do this on your arm or upper back. After 15 minutes, they’ll look at the results.
If you’re allergic to a specific pet, the area will likely be red and itchy. This lasts around 30 minutes. Blood tests are conducted if a skin test isn’t an option.
The medical professional will take labs to see if there are any allergy-causing antibodies in your blood. They may suggest over-the-counter or prescription medication to relieve symptoms.
Tips For Reducing Pet Allergies
Bathe Them Regularly
The first thing you should look into is bathing your canine or feline friend on a regulated schedule. Some pets, such as guinea pigs and hamsters shouldn’t have bathes often since they do the job themselves.
It’s perfectly okay to take lukewarm water and wash your cat or dog. If it’s in the summer, they’ll likely enjoy cooler temperature water to break away from the hot sun. Don’t use any soaps or shampoos during this time.
If you’ve ever tried to bathe a cat, you know that you can end up scratched up head to toe. To get the job done and avoid becoming a scratching post, use a wet towel and wipe them down.
Pet Hygiene Matters
Now that you’ve got a regular bathing schedule down, there are more hygienic matters you can take to reduce allergy symptoms. There’s no denying that cats and dogs shed a lot! To reduce this and take back control, brush or comb their hair regularly.
There are plenty of fun products that can make this an enjoyable chore. There are standard brushes, gloves with built-in bristles, and even motorized brushes. Be sure to go slow and gentle to keep your furry friend at ease.
Something else that may play a big role for those with smaller pets or cats is their cage or litter habits. Thoroughly clean litter boxes each day and ensure that you’re using litter that doesn’t create dust. For those that have rodents, be sure you’re changing their bedding daily.
Have a Pet-Designated Outfit
Pet parents are often on the floor, couch, or even in bed cuddling with their cat or dog. If you can designate a specific outfit for your cuddle sessions, this can cut back symptoms.
For those that run around outside with their dog, wear athleisure clothing that you can quickly throw in the wash when you come inside.It’s a good idea to wash your hands after playing with your pet as well.
On the same note, if you do sleep or cuddle with your pup on the couch, consider buying them a blanket they can lay on and put over your comforter. This acts as a barrier and can be removed if your symptoms increase.
Have a Pet-Free Room
While this may not apply to everyone, it can help greatly if you can use this tip. Have a pet-free space in your home. Whether it’s your bedroom, an office, or the basement, having an area you can go to to get relief is key.
Pets often have a small world and it’s best to try not to reduce that any more than you have to. For this reason, it’s a good idea to pick a smaller room, so Fido still has plenty of room to roam indoors. Keep the door closed to prevent any allergens from getting in the room of your choosing.
Control The Air
The air in your home is usually where you’ll come in contact with the allergens from your pet. There are a few things you can do to reduce the amount this affects you. For starters, if you have forced-air in your home, put cheesecloth over vents to help trap the allergens.
Also, there are HEPA filter air cleaners that can be a life-saver. They work to remove the smallest of particles from the air, so you can breathe easier. Filter King offers HEPA filters for delivery at our online store!