Many people – including pet owners – suffer from allergies caused by cats and dogs. These allergies can trigger painful, annoying and even debilitating symptoms and reactions, such as skin irritations, hay fever and asthma.
In the home, the saliva, hair and shed skin of the animal can stick to furniture, clothing and even float around in the air, where the human occupant can experience a reaction to the allergen. And that reaction might not be immediate – it could be some time after contact with the allergen that a person will experience the symptoms of an allergy.
While it’s easy for non-pet owners to avoid the trigger of their allergies, for animal lovers, this pet allergy can be a major problem. If you are a pet owner and you find that you’ve become allergic or sensitive to your pet, this doesn’t mean, though, that you have to find a new home for your furry friend.
Here are some tips to help manage your allergy:
- Spring clean your home. Trapped allergens are likely the cause of your symptoms so clean curtains, bedding, rugs and soft furnishings. In the bedroom, put a plastic or allergen-resistant mattress protector on the bed.
- Restrict your animal to certain areas of the home (it’s really important to keep the pet out of your bedroom).
- Don’t forget to wash your pet regularly. (It might be an idea to get someone else take on this job.)
- Your cat’s litter is a great breeding ground for allergens, so ensure the litter tray is cleaned regularly.
- Ensure your home’s carpet, furniture and soft furnishings are thoroughly cleaned regularly. In fact, carpets are the perfect home for allergens so if you are an allergy sufferer and you’re thinking of getting new flooring, choose tiles and timber.
- Air out your home every day.
- It also might be an idea to get an air filter or cleaner, which can remove airborne particles from your home’s interior atmosphere.
- Remember, even if you restrict your pet’s access to certain rooms it can take many months for any allergens that do exist in the carpet, rugs, furniture or window coverings to go, so be patient.
Of course, you should also head to your doctor who can refer you to an allergy specialist for diagnosis and treatment. Many allergy sufferers, with care and the appropriate medication, can live harmoniously with their pets.