Pet allergies are caused by a variety of factors. Some pet allergy sufferers are reacting to the pet’s saliva, while others are reacting to allergens in the pet’s dry skin and dander. In addition to having different causes, pet allergies also manifest differently. An allergic reaction may be as mild as occasional sneezing or as severe as life-threatening asthma. Fortunately, there are several steps pet parents can take to mitigate the effects of their pet allergies and have a better chance at living happily with their pet companion.
The first step toward coping with pet allergies is knowing what is triggering the allergic reaction in the first place. A pet owner who is reacting to dander can benefit from strict cleaning regiments and air filters while a pet owner who is reacting to a pet’s saliva may require a different method of treatment. See a doctor to understand fully the nature of the allergy so it can be treated at its root. Pet owners who are allergic to their pet, but do not react in life-threatening ways, can take the following actions to mitigate the effects of pet allergies:
Avoid Cloth Furnishings
Create an Allergy “No-Fly” Zone
Bathe the Pet Weekly
Pet dander is one of the most common allergens; pet owners who react badly to it will benefit from avoiding dander-catching materials such as cloth curtains, sofas, carpets, or upholstery. Opt for hypoallergenic fabrics or leather furnishings that can be cleaned thoroughly. Additional measures such as a HEPA air filter and frequent cleaning of dander-catching zones such as sofa cracks and floors will help mitigate symptoms as well.
For those who suffer from more severe allergies, an allergy-free zone is important. Designate one room, such as the bedroom, a pet-free zone and be careful to prohibit the pet and things that have been exposed to the animal from entering it. This will allow the allergy symptoms to take a break and will provide a place for allergy-free relaxation within the home.
Bathing a pet on a regular basis can help cut down on allergy-producing irritants that cling to their skin and hair. Cats can be bathed as well as dogs, although it is important to use products that are specially marked for pets to avoid causing irritating dryness or rashes.
After the above precautions have been taken, pet allergy sufferers may find relief through further treatments. In addition to over-the-counter antihistamine pills, doctors can offer treatments like allergy shots, steroid nose sprays, and immunotherapy that may help alleviate symptoms.
Although suffering from pet allergies is unpleasant, it does not have to mean the end of the relationship between you and your furry friend. Simple actions such as weekly baths, allergy-free zones, and non-absorbent furnishings can greatly improve symptoms while additional medical treatment may alleviate them entirely. Pet parents should thoroughly explore their options and speak to their doctor. Most pet allergy sufferers can find a way to live happily and healthfully with their pet without suffering from constant reactions.