Pet allergies are on the rise.
It is estimated that almost 70% of US homes have a pet or multiple pets, and according to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, “Almost 10 million pet owners, including kids, are allergic to their animals and must be extra careful around their best friends.”
If you are one of the 10 million, or you develop a pet allergy to your animal in the future, you will want to know what it means to “be extra careful around their best friends.”
First, it would be a good idea to know exactly what triggers those pet allergies.
The fact is, it’s not your pet’s fur.
The pet allergens come from a protein found in its urine, feces, saliva, and dander (shed skin).
And, as with a number of allergens, it can be carried from place to place on shoes, clothing, hair, in the air, and as part of dust and dirt.
This makes pet allergies a bit tricky to control.
It’s also important to understand that it’s not just your cat or dog that can trigger pet allergies, any animal (including rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, mice, birds, even horses) with fur or feathers produce allergens.
This knowledge equips you with power because you know what you’re dealing with.
Now, it’s time to learn the necessary steps needed to help reduce your exposure to these unhealthy, and in the case of asthma sufferers, potentially dangerous allergens.
How to Reduce Pet Allergies & Indoor Pet Allergens
1. Be sure to wash your hands and change your clothes after interacting with pets. Using a pet allergy products may be beneficial
2. Keep the bedroom pet-free. And, if your pet was allowed in there before, you will need to do a very thorough cleaning to remove any pet allergen residue. It would also be advisable to keep a pet-free room in the house, designate a specific area such as your office or family room.
3. Allergy-proof your bedding with special encasings for your mattress, box spring, pillows, and comforter. You will also need to regularly wash all washable bedding in hot water of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, or you can use a product such as Allersearch Allergen Laundry Detergent which will work in all water temperatures.
4. If possible remove carpets and replace them with wood, tile, or vinyl flooring.
5. Vacuum at least weekly with a vacuum that utilizes HEPA filtration.
6. Dust regularly with a damp or microfiber cloth to prevent dust from being redistributed into the air.
7. Invest in a quality HEPA filtration air purifier.
8. Keep your pet/s off the furniture, and cover upholstered furniture with towels or sheets—wash them frequently.
9. Make sure your pet and its surroundings is kept clean. This means grooming or bathing and brushing on a regular basis. If possible, a non-allergic family member should handle this chore.
It’s the combination of these strategies that will effectively reduce your allergies and exposure to pet allergens.
And, the most important step, if you haven’t yet, is to see an allergist for a proper diagnosis and treatment protocol.
This guest post is by Jacob Maslow the Marketing Manager for Allergy Be Gone, a site which sells allergy control products. Jacob and his writing team constantly update the Allergy Relief Blog
Photo Credit: KTPupp