Many cat and dog lovers simply do without because of their allergies. In fact, pet allergies are not uncommon and it is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from some form of pet allergy. But the exciting reality is most of these pet allergy sufferers can still share their homes with furry loved ones.
In an article posted on dBusinessnews.com, there are a number of steps highlighted that you can take if you suffer from pet allergies and you still want a pet. Or in the case of many families, your young son or daughter comes home with a stray and there’s no way you can say no to your pleading child or the silent meows from that six week old kitten.
The first step is to create an allergy free environment.
- Make at least one room in your house completely off limits to pets.
- Have a chair or some other type of seating solely for the allergy sufferer. Other members of the household can easily transfer pet hairs so make sure no one else can use the chair.
- Use leather furniture and limit your use of carpet. Hardwood or some other type of smooth flooring is easier to clean and hair does not get imbedded.
- Limit the use of draperies.
- In extreme cases it may be necessary to close the ducts and vents to the rooms most used by the pet allergy sufferer.
- Cover mattresses, box springs and pillows with zippered, plastic allergy-proof cases. Use pillows and mattresses with non-allergenic polyester filling.
Next, use HEPA air cleaners.
- Use a whole house version connected to your central air system or have portable units in every room.
- Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Replace central heating/cooling system filters and humidifiers often.
And, finally spring clean more than once every spring.
- Wash all bedding and linens frequently in hot water.
- Steam clean any carpets, curtains or upholstery three to four times a year.
- Wash floors and walls regularly.
- Dust often using a damp cloth which prevents dust and pet hair from being stirred up scattered in the air.
- Vacuum a lot.
- Open windows and doors when possible.
- Brush your pet as often as you can and bathe once a week using a hypoallergenic or oatmeal based shampoo.
- The allergy sufferer should wash their hands anytime they touch the pet.
Additional recommendations for people with cat allergies include:
- Use dust free cat litter.
- Use your allergy as an excuse to never scoop the cat pan! Let someone else do it.
- Female cats have less allergens than male cats.
Now, the person with pet allergies can and should make some personal adjustments as well including:
- Don’t smoke as this lowers your allergen resistance and aggravates your lungs.
- Feed your pet a well-balanced diet with natural fats to reduce shedding.
- And don’t forget allergy shots and antihistamine sprays and pills are available.
If you are looking into getting a pet whether cat or dog and plan to take action by using the steps above, there are breeds that that shed less than others. Discuss your concerns with a veterinarian and ask him or her what breed of cat or dog they can recommend that poses less of a risk to exacerbate your allergies.
Live in the Portland area? Hannah can help you find a pet that works with your lifestyle, personality and allergies.