Allergies and Pets | Millions of people worldwide enjoy the company of their pets, even those who have pet allergies. Unfortunately, most people assume that once they are diagnosed with a pet allergy, they have no choice but to live away from pets for the rest of their lives.
Surprisingly, that’s not the case. If you are allergic to pets, there are many solutions that you can explore that would allow you to keep the company of your favorite canine while managing your allergies. In this post, we talk about how you can live with allergies and pets.
Perhaps the most important thing that you need to do is to understand your allergies. Make sure you see a doctor and find out what exactly you are allergic to. You might be thinking that you are allergic to your pet, but there is a good chance that you may be allergic to something else and not your pet. There are several types of allergens, so it’s critical to understand your allergy before considering ending a beautiful bond between you and your pet.
Once you get the allergy test results, you would know what you are allergic to. If your test results show that you are allergic to your pet, it’s important to understand what is causing the allergic reaction. Usually, the allergy-triggering proteins are found in pet saliva and skin glands which stick to the pet’s fur and dander. When you get exposed to your pet, the allergens can trigger an allergic reaction that can range from minor sneezing to life-threatening asthma.
Once you know you are allergic to your pet, you don’t have to live a life without this bond. There are ways you can manage your allergies while maintaining a healthy relationship with your favorite pet. Let’s look at a few tips that can help you live with allergies and pets.
If you are allergic to your pet, you can still have one at home but make sure your bedroom is pet-free. This simple change can significantly decrease your exposure to an allergen. Since your pet is out of your bedroom (and bed), it’s less likely that the fur or dander would stick to your bed linen, which reduces the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
HEPA filter, also known as a high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter, is incredibly effective in capturing particles of every size. Whether it’s pollen or pet dander, a HEPA filter can filter it all out, leaving the air you breathe clean and allergen-free. So make sure you invest in HEPA filters for your home’s heating and cooling system.
Since exposure to dander increases the risk of an allergic reaction, it’s best to bathe your pet frequently. If your dog has normal skin and a healthy coat, it can go on without a bath for at least a month. But to reduce the risk of allergic reactions, you can bathe them every week. Ensure you use specialized pet care products that your vet recommends or other animal care professionals, as excessive use of pet care products can cause skin problems.
Now that you are putting in the effort to keep your pet clean, don’t forget to keep your house clean. Make sure you change your towels and bed linen every week. Vacuum all carpets, rugs, couches, and upholstered furniture frequently. It is also a great idea to shampoo your rugs or convert them to hard-surface flooring to minimizing the fur and dander build-up on carpets which are likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
While it is a good idea to bathe your pet frequently, it is equally important that you wash your hands frequently. Give your hands and face a good scrub to keep away from possible allergens.
Moreover, as a pet owner, you should maintain basic hygiene practices such as changing clothes twice a day and taking a regular shower.
Mild pet allergies may not require specialized treatment, and most people feel comfortable using over-the-counter allergy medications, such as antihistamines. However, in case of severe allergies that cause symptoms such as chest congestion and wheezing, you will need to consult a physician or an allergist to get the most appropriate treatment for your condition.
You can also try considering an allergy vaccine. If you know you will be around your pet for a long time, allergy shots can help you develop antibodies, so you don’t have an allergic reaction when exposed to an allergen. However, unlike the flu vaccine, the allergy vaccine is not a once-a-year shot. Instead, you will be required to take almost a year of weekly injections before you get monthly maintenance doses. You will also be required to take another 3-5 years of monthly vaccines before you be free from all your allergy symptoms, and that’s when you will no longer require any medication.
Many pet owners feel that pet allergies are only caused by furry pets such as cats and dogs. But that’s not always the case. You can find a furry dog breed but do not cause any allergic reactions or are hypo-allergic. But you can also find hair-less dog breeds that can cause severe allergic reactions. So make sure you understand your allergy first and if you feel it is triggered by the fur and dander of your pet, think about adopting hypo-allergic breeds.
With a few lifestyle changes and a little effort, you can live a healthy life with your allergies and pets.
by Maria A Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™ .
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