Pet Allergies – Tips for Living with Your Furry Friends

Your pets may be your best friends, but are they on good terms with your allergies? Most allergists suggest that the best method for reducing your allergy attacks is simply avoiding the source of allergens-but when it comes down to it, would you be willing to give up your pets? If your allergies are not too severe, this article can help you get some tips to help keep your house a little more dander-free, whether it be for yourself or your visiting friends and relatives with allergies.

Did you know?

15% of people with allergies are allergic to animal dander-for individuals with asthma the rate is almost doubled, leaving 20-30% of people affected by animal allergens.

An allergen protein is found in the dead skin cells, saliva and urine of animals. Once these tiny, sticky particles become airborne, they land on the sensitive linings of the eyes and nose, triggering an allergic reaction. Typically, it takes minutes for the allergens to begin irritating allergies, but sometimes hours pass before the trigger has a full effect on a sensitized individual. For some individuals, animal allergies have a cumulative effect-so after several hours of exposure, the body begins to react hours later. In this case, the worst reactions occure 12 hours after contact with the animal has stopped.

Symptoms associated with animal allergies:

Most of the eyes, nose and lungs are affected. The eyes usually feel itchy and watery, while the nose may become stuff or runny, accompanied by sneezing. Some people experience an itch or tightening of the airways. It is also possible to develop rashes and hives if the animal's fur, saliva or urban were in direct contact with skin.

Without having to give up your animals, here are some allergen solutions:

Some Tips for Your Animals-

  • It may be time to start a weekly pet bathing regimen. By washing away excess dander and saliva build-up, you can minimize the amount of allergens shed by your pet. There are several shampoos that you can find at pet shop or pet specialty stores that are formulated for allergies in particular.
  • Have a non-allergic family member brush pet outside. This removes loose hair and allergens without having spread through your home.

Target your bedroom-

  • If you share your bed with your pets, it would be advisable to set up your pet's own bed in some other area of ​​the house. It may take a little while for them to realize that your bed is not theirs-but in the end, both you and your pet can enjoy a comfortable, healthy environment.
  • It is prefer to have hardwood or laminate floors if you have bad allergies, because allergens are easier to sweep up. It your home has pre-existing carpets, be mindful of when it comes time to vacuum-unless you own a vacuum with special filters for allergens, the process of sweeping the floors will kick up a lot of dander.
  • If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, period steam cleaners are can be beneficial
  • If you have rugs on your hard wood floor, make sure that they are durable enough for regular washing
  • If you've shared your bed or sofa with your pet in the past, it may take several weeks to a few months for the amount of dander on the fabric to decrease. One way to cut down on animal dander in your bed is by using allergy bedding like plastic or densely woven material casings. These casings will prevent any allergens that have sunk into your pillows or mattress to be stirred up every time you climb into bed.
  • You may occasionally want to air out your house-if you are not also affected by pollen allergies. The best time to do this is in the afternoon or at night (when less pollen is released by plants). Although there is the chance of pollen coming in the house, for the most part, airing out the house can remove concentrated allergens. If your house is a newer, energy-efficient model, what you are saving on your energy bills might be irritating your allergies. One study showed that super-insulated homes had up to 200% more allergens than older less airtight homes.
  • Try Allergy or Asthma Treatments-

  • Medication that suppress symptoms like over-the-counter-antihistamines are best used if you are only have minimal contact with animals. Taking OTC antihistamines can leave you feeling "drugged".
  • Many prescription antihistamines do not leave you feeling drowsy and require only a quick trip to your doctor.
  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots) treatment can improve symptoms over time. This treatment is most effective if you do not live with animals, but have unavoidable situations where you visit friends or family with pets, etc.