6 Tips for Reducing Pet Allergens at Home
Despite a pet allergy problem, many people choose to keep a furry friend at home. For them, the joy of pet ownership far exceeds the pain of pet allergy symptoms. A friend who snuggles on the couch, amuses all with their antics, and melts hearts with a warm greeting at the door seems to make the sniffling, sneezing, and watery, itchy eyes seem entirely worth it. What many don't realize, however, is that it can be easy to reduce allergy symptoms with a just a few changes at home - without removing your beloved pet. Below are six tips to make living with pets and allergies even better.
#1 Groom Often
When you groom, you remove fur and dander that may otherwise spread to and cover your house and clothes. The American Humane Society recommends that people with pet allergies bathe and brush their pets once a week and, yes, even cats can become used to bathing, though it's easier with kittens. Grooming your pets as often as possible will reduce the spread of allergens in your home. Brushing outside is best, as it lowers your chance of a reaction at the time and further prevents fur and dander from falling inside your home.
#2 Enlist Others
Tasks like grooming and litter box cleaning are two of the most allergy-aggravating activities. If you have non-allergic family members in your home, call on them to help with these tasks and reduce your allergen exposure. If this isn't an option, wear a mask and gloves during these chores. Be sure to dispose of waste (which carries allergens) outside.
#3 Consider Other Allergy Triggers
Many times, allergy sufferers will be affected by multiple types of allergens. When your pets go outdoors, they may be bringing in pollen and other seasonal allergens when you let them back in. Using a natural fibered cloth to rub their fur will help remove loose hair, dander, dry saliva, and outdoor allergens - all in one easy step.
#4 Keep an Allergy-Free Zone
You love your pet, but making at least one room off-limits to your pet will go far to help reduce allergy symptoms. The best choice for your pet-free zone would be any allergic person's bedroom. Prohibit animals from entering, and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows.
#5 Clean House
It's a good idea to install HEPA air filters for fantastic automatic removal of airborne allergens. Another good way to reduce the effects of airborne allergens would be to avoid cloth curtains and carpeted floors, both of which are excellent dust and dander catchers. Frequent cleaning and washing of couch covers, pillows, and curtains will also help avoid allergens from building up. Any soft surface is an allergen collector.
#6 Wash Up
After playing with your pet, it's a good idea to wash up. Wash your hands, face and any other part that came in contact with your pet, or even take a shower or bath. Remove clothes that are covered in fur, and keep clothes out of your allergy-free zone or bedroom.
Photo Credit: bgolub