People with pet allergies have sensitive immune systems that react to proteins found in dander (shed skin cells), pet saliva or urine. If you are allergic to a pet, the best way to prevent an allergy attack is to avoid contact with the animal altogether. This is easier said than done though, as many people see their pets as part of their family. For those who can’t bear to be parted from their pets, here are some tips to help you alleviate the severity of allergy symptoms.
Clean, clean, clean
If you decide to keep pets at home, even though you have allergies, keeping things clean will go a long way in reducing symptoms. Bath the animal frequently and clean its kennel or cage, bedding and litter box regularly. If possible, ask someone who doesn’t suffer from allergies, such as a friend or family member, to do these jobs for you.
Remove carpets and rugs
If possible, replace carpets and rugs with tiles, wood or vinyl floors. You should also try to replace as many dander- attracting furnishings as possible, such as curtains, horizontal blinds and upholstery.
Establish pet-free zones
If you have to keep your pet indoors, choose certain areas of the house to designate as pet-free zones. Your bedroom is a good choice, as most of us spend the majority of our time there. Pet-free zones reduce the levels of allergens in those areas.
Keep your pet outside
Living outside isn’t an option for many types of animals and in many climates. However, if your pet can live happily outside, this will significantly decrease the levels of allergens in your home.
Improve air quality
Using high-efficiency particulate air purifiers, vacuum cleaners and air vents may help to reduce levels of airborne pet allergens in your home.
For more information, ASCIA website.