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How To Protect Yourself and Family From Pet Allergies

11/01/21 Homeowner Tips

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According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology statistics, nearly 62% of American households have pets, including over 1.5 million cats and dogs. With more than 50 million Americans experiencing various allergies annually, many people may suffer from pet allergies. Symptoms of pet allergies include wheezing and sneezing, a stuffy nose and runny eyes, itchy throat, and nasal congestion of varying degrees from mild to severe.

Dander is a flaky substance on most furry or fuzzy animals, including dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, and guinea pigs. People often believe that pet allergies result from dander, but a specific protein in the pet’s dander, an allergen, triggers allergies. A medical doctor diagnoses an allergy through either a skin prick test or an intradermal test. The allergist should specifically test for allergies to pet dander since multiple allergens may be causing the issues, and it’s advisable to reduce other potential allergens in the home along with dander.

Even people with pet allergies can live with pets. Discover several ways to keep pet dander to a minimum and reduce allergic symptoms.

Keep Pets Off Furniture

Since pets leave dander where they lay, keep pets off couches, chairs, beds, and tables. Training pets to stay off furniture will minimize dander on the items and maintain your furniture’s condition.

Create an Allergen-Free Zone

Create an allergen-free zone in the home by designating a room the pets aren’t allowed to enter to keep dander to a minimum in this area. Bedrooms should be allergen-free zones to help people get a good night’s sleep. Reducing exposure to pets for at least eight hours a day may significantly reduce allergy symptoms. Another way is to purchase impermeable bedding, which reduces exposure to allergens.

Use a HEPA Air Filter

A HEPA air filter can help remove dander from the home. According to the EPA, these filters can remove at least 99.7% of dust and other airborne particles. Air purifiers require regular cleaning and filter replacement to operate effectively. These devices may also help reduce symptoms of multiple allergies.

Bathe Pets Weekly

Bathe pets weekly to reduce dander and allergens. Use shampoo created for animals, such as dogs or cats, since other products may harm their skin. A veterinarian or animal care professional can recommend safe pet cleaning products and give bathing instructions.

Clean House and Launder Linens Weekly

Clean the house weekly to minimize dander. Dust, vacuum, wipe down surfaces, and launder bed linens weekly. You can also reduce pet dander in your home by replacing carpeting with tile or hardwood floors or reducing the amount of upholstered furniture in your home. Carpet and fabric such as curtains, bedding, and upholstery can trap and hold allergens. If your pet has contact with fabrics, throw rugs, and couches, wash these items frequently.

Following these tips can make a home more comfortable for people with allergies and allow them to continue living in their homes with their furry friends. Dealing with pet allergies doesn’t have to steal your joy for living.