While most of us love our furry little companions, for some people pets can be an allergy nightmare. Having a pet can actually put people off visiting your home, and in some cases compel existing pet owners to part ways with their furry friends!
By understanding what actually causes allergic reactions though, you can start making changes to minimize them and make your home a comfortable place for everyone to be.
Understanding Pet Allergens and Dander
Pets produce a protein in the glands of their skin, which is left in the dead skin they shed (known as dander). This protein is also found in their saliva, and if your pet licks their fur the allergens can flake off once their fur dries. This means that anyone who suffers from pet allergies can have a reaction just by entering a room that a pet regularly stays in.
Allergic reactions can have a range of effects on the human body, including asthmatic symptoms and skin rashes. If you regularly suffer from allergic reactions and think it may be pet related, consult with your doctor about allergy shots - some may be available that could help to ease your symptoms.
The best course of action if you suffer from pet allergies is to do what you can to cut down on dander within your home. Get your grooming kit out, and let 's get your home as clean as possible, so you and your pet can live in total harmony!
Minimizing Allergies in Your Home
1. Make Your Spare Room an Allergy-Free Zone
Restricting your pet's access to one room in the house is one of the easiest ways to create an allergy-free zone for visitors. Box rooms are a good option if you need to give your cat or dog their own space so that they can eat, drink, play and sleep, without letting them run around your home. This will help contain their allergens to one room, meaning cleaning them away is much easier. Most of us choose to have our pets live coexist throughout the home with us. If this is the case, consider trying a dander free spray to keep your pet's coat in check.
2. Keep Your Carpet and Furniture Clean
Sofas and carpets are the prime targets of pet damage, as they are easy to bite and scratch. Rather than letting your pet on the couch and bed, consider buying him his own bed to keep allergens in one, easy-to-clean place. You need to keep these areas as clean as possible, which isn't as tricky as you may think. A lint roller is a handy way to quickly pick up any hair from furniture, and if you have multiple pets and struggle to keep on top of them, deep carpet cleaning services can remove allergens effectively.
3. Get Your Pets Used to Being Groomed
Your dog may put up a fight to begin with, but regular bathing can reduce the amount of allergens found on their fur by up to 84%. Regular bathing will keep their fur clean, but it is also recommended that you brush them every day and wash their bedding and toys. If you have caged pets, be sure to clean their cages out at least once a week.
4.Take Advantage of Home Improvements
If you're renovating part of your home, consider making changes that will help you to clean up after your pets. You could shorten the curtains in your living room or opt for wooden floors, which will make cleaning up pet hair much easier than on carpets with surface cleaners. For cats, make space for a scratching post in your living room, which should help move them away your furniture and reduce the spread of allergens.
5.Increase Your Home's Ventilation
Dander can become airborne and spread throughout your home if it is picked up by a ventilation system. Just trying to keep your home comfortable could spread allergens to rooms your pets don’t even visit, so keep the air vents in some of your rooms closed. High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) purifiers and filters will also help trap and filter out dander around your home. They are built to trap more particles than air filters, making them great for rooms with lots of pet activity.
Finding out about pet allergies doesn't have to result in you parting ways with your canine companion or feline friend. Just follow these tips to reduce household allergens as best you can and you'll really notice a big difference!