Pet allergens are one of the most common indoor allergy triggers. Contrary to popular belief, it's the pet dander and not just the pet hair that causes most of the problems. Pet dander consist of both hair (or feathers) and tiny flakes of dead skin that your pet sheds naturally. If you or another member of your family has serious pet-related allergies you may consider removing the pet from your home but in this article we'll talk about some ways to reduce pet allergens which may alleviate the indoor allergy symptoms that they can cause. You should talk to your doctor about your specific situation and allergies before taking any action.
1.) Have a designated pet zone. The pet should not have full run of the home but should instead be confined to a room or two. That way you can focus your allergen reducing efforts in one area instead of trying to control allergens all over the house. Ideally, this room should have hard floors instead of carpeting so you can avoid constant vacuuming. Your pet should never be allowed in bedrooms or bathrooms.
2.) Do not share furniture. That means your pet needs to stay off the couches and upholstered furniture. Get your pet a comfortable bed that you can toss in the washing machine often. Use hot water to wash your pet's bedding and the hottest setting on the dryer than the fabric will take.
3.) Clean your pet and his area. Bathing your pet on a regular basis may help reduce allergens, especially if you use a allergen-reducing pet shampoo. How often is often enough? Shoot for every three days for the best results. The person doing the bathing should not be the person with the allergies. Also, make sure to keep your pet's area clean and dusted. The floors need to be mopped or vacuumed regularly. Again, it should not be the person with the allergies cleaning that space if you can avoid it.
4.) Get some help from technology. There are several items you can invest in to help you battle pet allergens. A good air purifier can be an excellent tool but make sure you do your homework before you buy so that you can be sure to purchase one that will best meet your needs. You can also replace the filter in your heating and air conditioning unit to a HEPA filter. Some newer vacuum cleaners employ the HEPA filter or have other allergen reducing features, so that is another option if your pet is in a carpeted area.
5.) Love your pet from a distance. It may be hard to take a hands off approach to your pet but if getting to close or handing your pet sparks allergy symptoms this may be a necessary step. It may help to keep track of your symptoms and record what you were doing at the time so that you can decide how much contact is too much. Again, talk to your doctor about your allergy symptoms; he or she should be able to provide possible treatment options or preventative measures for your pet allergies.