Finding the Balance: Living with Pets and Managing Pet Allergies

We are a nation of pet lovers. However, being a pet owner is not always straightforward. While our pets bring us joy, love and the companionship we need on a daily basis, they also need some training, veterinary care, love, attention, and sometimes, tolerance. You mainly require understanding especially when one is allergic to them.

According to studies, over 60% of households in the world have pets and, one in four of those people suffer from allergies, with pet dander being one of the main allergens. Lucky for you, various practical techniques and remedies will assist you in managing these pet allergies. Here are some of the top tips.

Understanding Pet Allergies

As per the research by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, amongst 300 adults allergic to cats or dogs and advised by their allergists to give up their pets, only one out of five did. What’s more, 200 of them went ahead to obtain another pet after a previous one had died.

It is without a doubt that the benefits of owning a pet outweigh the drawbacks of pet allergies for most pet owners. When you choose to live with your pet in spite being allergic comfortably, you need to have an excellent understanding of your allergic condition and have an adherence to a few rules.

Every cat and dog is allergenic, allergy-causing, to pet allergy sufferers. However, in the ratio of which one is more allergenic, cats tend to be more allergenic than dogs, even though most persons are more sensitive to dogs than cats. Contrary to the popular myth, there are no “non-allergenic” breeds of dogs or cats; even hairless breeds may be highly allergenic.

What Is the Primary Source of Irritation to Pet-Allergic Humans?

Most people think that pet hair is the cause of their allergies. However, pets secrete tiny allergy-triggering proteins, allergens, which linger in your pet’s fur but also float effortlessly in the air.

These allergens are also present in their saliva and urine too, and they may become airborne when saliva dries on the fur. However, the severity of allergic reactions varies from one person to another. It may range from mild sniffling, itchy eyes, sneezing and to life-threatening asthma.

So, if you are suffering from these allergies, take these following steps to reduce the symptoms:

#01. Make Sure You Create an Allergy-Free Zone

Ensure you create an allergy-free zone in your home, particularly your bedroom and strictly forbid your pet from accessing it. You also need to utilize a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner to clear out at least 99.9% of microns in the air including pet dander.

Another thing to consider is using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows to prevent allergens from accumulating them.

#02. Utilize the Services of an Excellent Vacuum System

Instead of using regular vacuum cleaners, ensure that you use a HEPA vacuum cleaner, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings like blinds and carpeted floors. You also need to vacuum often. You should also remember to use a “microfilter” bag vacuum cleaner to catch all the allergens effectively.

#03. Bathe Your Pet on a Regular Basis

Frequently cleaning your pet reduces the number of allergens on fur by 80%. Just make sure you do it outside and consult your veterinarian or a reliable pet care site or book for directions about how to do that correctly. You also need to ensure that you use the shampoo your veterinarian recommends.

#04. Do Not be Quick to Blame Your Pet

You need to consult your allergist first before going ahead and making assumptions. You also need to understand that allergies are cumulative. Most allergic persons are sensitive to more than one allergen.

So, if you are allergic to insecticides, pollen, dust and cat dander, you will have to reduce the overall allergen level by concentrating on all of the triggers, not just the pet allergy.

#05. Immunotherapy

Allergy shots help you to improve your symptoms. However, one cannot eliminate them entirely. They gradually work by desensitizing your immune system to the pet allergens. The allergist injects these allergen-causing proteins are under your skin, thus triggering your body to produce antibodies (protective proteins) which then block the allergen from provoking a reaction.

#06. Hygiene

Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with antibacterial soap after having an encounter with your pet or any animal at the zoo, the pet fair or even your neighbor’s. You also need to ensure that you change and wash your clothes and shoes after such an encounter as soon as you get home.

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