Call it “stuffy love,” that feeling when you love your pet so much but can’t stop feeling congested, itchy, or sneezy in their presence. It’s nothing they did. You’re just allergic. What can you do? Besides making an appointment with an ENT specialist, there are some adjustments that make life better at home while still enjoying your furry best friend.
1. Don’t Allow Your Pet to Sleep in Your Bedroom
This one may be tough, especially if your critter is a snuggler, but it’s one of the best ways to alleviate allergy symptoms caused by pets. Keeping their fur away from your pillow, where you will be breathing all night, is basically preventing the most prolonged exposure to the animal you would have. If you must sleep with your animal or they enter your room while you are away, you can also consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows on your bed and wash them often.
2. Purchase a HEPA Air Cleaner or Impermeable Covers for Your Bed
Sure, you can keep your pet out of the bedroom where you sleep, but what about all of the other rooms you hang out in during the day time? Allergists suggest that you purchase a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner to keep in any room of the house you see necessary. This will help purify the air where the pets are present or have been spending a lot of time.
3. Wash Your Pet and Vacuum Often
This is really the most important thing you can do to save yourself from excessive cat or dog fur. We all know pets shed like crazy, and brushing and washing them at least once a week can help rid them of loose fur which may have other allergens attached to it. Check with your veterinarian or a reputable pet guide book to choose a good shampoo for your pet and learn how to bathe them safely.
One concept to note is that it isn’t always the fur itself causing your allergies. Some people are more allergic to the pollen which is carried inside on the fur than the fur itself. If you go get tested by an allergist you will know for sure which allergies to focus on.
As far as your house goes, you should avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings, such as cloth curtains and blinds, and carpeted floors. Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, concentrating on articles such as couch covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.
4. Keep the Animal Outdoors as Much as Possible
Certain household pets must remain in a glass casing, like reptiles and amphibians, but with mammals like cats and dogs, keeping them outdoors for much of the time isn’t a problem. They like to run freely so why stop them? The more time they spend outside, the less time they have to shed fur on all of your furnishings and clothing, leaving you susceptible to your pet dander allergies.