Here are ten great ideas for helping you or someone you love control allergies so you can get a companion animal or keep the one you have. People who are allergic to pets usually are reacting to dander (pieces of skin that have been shed) and saliva.
Keep in mind that people who have allergies usually react to more than one allergen. Allergy to dust mites for instance is even more common than allergy to dogs and cats. Sometimes pets take all the blame when in fact there are other things in the house contributing to allergic symptoms.
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Some of these tips are primarily for dogs while others will apply to either dogs or cats.
- Keep your pet out of the bedroom.
- Bathe your pet more frequently. Between baths, try rinsing your pet in plain water which can keep the dander down. Some people believe that using distilled water is better than regular tap water.
- Groom your pet more often outdoors or perhaps in the basement away from the main living areas.
- Eliminate allergens from the bedroom. In addition to forbidding your pet from the bedroom, remove any carpet from the room (and elsewhere in the house if necessary) as well as curtains and other dust and dander catchers.
- Keep the bedroom as clean and as free of dust as possible.
- Invest in covers for the mattress and pillows since they harbor dust mites. Get rid of feather pillows and buy the washable hypoallergenic kind.
- Wash bedclothes and pillows frequently in hot water which will kill dust mites and get rid of any pet dander that might be present.
- Keep humidity in the house low which helps control the dust mite population.
- Invest in an air-cleaner for the bedroom and maybe even main living areas.
- Invest in a vacuum cleaner that keeps dust from blowing back out all over the house which is what happens when you use a regular vacuum cleaner. Bagless vacuums work well to keep expelled debris to a minimum.