Sniff. Sneeze. Allergies!
Many people suffer from allergies, whether they have a food allergy, seasonal allergies, or a pet allergy. Proteins found in your pet’s urine and dander can cause a reaction for some people, which can lead to various signs and symptoms. Sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and visible rash/hives are a few common signs and symptoms. It can be frustrating coping with a pet allergy, and downright upsetting when time spent with your pet can result in uncomfortable itching and sneezing. However, we still cannot deny how wonderful it is to have a pet! They are family, and for most, giving up a pet due to an allergy is impossible. By changing a few things around your home and making some lifestyle changes, you can ease your allergies and enjoy your time with “man’s best friend” again. Spending time outdoors will help too!
You can designate certain areas of your home to be space for your pet. For example, keeping your pet out of your bedroom will limit dander and hair around your pillows and blankets. Spending time with your pet in certain areas of the house will allow you to have rooms in your home that are (mostly) pet dander free. With that being said, keeping your home clear of clutter and decreasing overcrowded spaces in rooms will decrease trapped dander and hair. You can also begin to vacuum your floor surfaces more regularly to eliminate hair and dead skin cells. Be sure that your vacuum has a HEPA filter to take care of your pet’s dander each time you clean your floors.
When petting your dog or cat, avoid contact with your face and eyes. Be sure to wash your hands regularly, as well as before and after handling your pet. Washing your hands after handling and cleaning your pet’s litter box and bedding is also essential, as dander and hair gather in these areas frequently and in high volume. Not only can you keep your skin and face clean, but you should bathe your pet; consider speaking to your veterinarian on the frequency and which types of shampoos to use on your animal.
If you are thinking of getting a dog or a cat, but find that you are highly allergic, you may want to consult with a doctor and opt-out to get a different type of pet. There are many options out there that allow you to care for a pet but without the allergic reaction!
Speak to your physician if you suspect you have a pet allergy, or if you are not finding relief from environmental and behavioral changes. Your doctor may be able to refer you to a healthcare professional, such as an Allergist or an Immunologist that can assist you. Over-the-counter medication may help, as well as a prescription. Always talk to an appropriate healthcare professional before taking any type of supplement or medication. Drop us a line if you'd like to learn more!