How to Help Pet Allergies at Home: An Expert Guide

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Living with pet allergies can be a pain. So why are people allergic to cats and dogs?  It's a common misconception that pet hair is the main allergen, but it's actually pet dander, tiny skin flakes, and saliva that trigger allergic reactions.

 Understanding what triggers your symptoms and how to manage them can allow you to continue enjoying the love and happiness that pets bring to our lives. 

This guide offers practical advice on minimizing pet allergens at home, ensuring a healthier environment for everyone.

Understanding Pet Allergies

Pet allergies arise from proteins found in an animal's dander, saliva, and urine, which can trigger reactions ranging from mild to severe. 

Symptoms often include:

  • Wheezing
  • Itchy Rash
  • Watery Eyes
  • Nasal congestion

The first step in managing these allergies is to identify the exact cause. 

A visit to an allergist for a specific allergy test can pinpoint whether your symptoms are due to your pet or other allergens like pollen or dust.

Create an Allergen-Free Zone

Pet-Free Bedrooms

As we spend about one-third of our day in the bedroom, keeping this area pet-free is crucial. 

Regularly clean the room and use allergen-resistant bedding to reduce exposure. Adding a HEPA air purifier can further enhance the air quality by—it does this by capturing those fine particulate matter that may worsen your allergies.

HEPA Filters and Ventilation

Modern homes can trap allergens, so it's essential to use HEPA filters in your HVAC system and vacuum cleaners. 

These filters are specifically designed to capture fine particles, including pet dander, helping to clear the air effectively. Regularly open windows to allow fresh air to circulate and dilute the concentration of indoor allergens.

You should also consider using a standalone HEPA air purifier in areas where your pets spend most of their time to further enhance air cleanliness and reduce allergen levels in your home.

Contact COIT for a professional cleaning!

Incorporate Daily Habits to Reduce Pet Allergens

Regular Pet Grooming

Brushing your pet weekly can significantly reduce the amount of dander and loose hair. It’s best to perform this task outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. If possible, someone who isn't allergic should handle the grooming. 

Bathing your pet once a week can also help minimize dander. You should consult with your vet to recommend a suitable shampoo and grooming routine

Frequent Cleaning

Dust and vacuum multiple times a week using a vacuum equipped with a HEPA filter. Pay special attention to upholstery, rugs, and any soft furnishings which can harbor allergens. 

Professional cleaning services can be employed every six months to deep clean these areas, which can be especially beneficial in managing pet dander.

Create Restrictions and Boundaries

No Pets on Furniture

Pets love to curl up on sofas and soft chairs, which unfortunately are excellent at trapping allergens. Establish a no-pets policy for furniture and provide pets with their designated beds.

If that’s not possible, you can ppt for furnishings that are easier to clean, such as leather or vinyl, which don’t trap dander as fabric does.

Wash Your Hands and Clothing Frequently

After interacting with your pet, it’s important to wash your hands and change clothing if necessary. This reduces the spread of dander to other areas of your home or onto your face, which can increase your allergy symptoms.

It’s also a good idea to keep designated "pet clothes" to wear during play and grooming times, which can be laundered separately to further minimize allergen spread.

Understand Your Environment

Allergen Cross-Reactivity 

If you’re allergic to other substances like dust mites or pollen, you may find that your pet allergies worsen during high pollen seasons or in dusty environments. Tackle this by reducing overall allergens in your home through thorough cleaning and using air purifiers.

Consult Healthcare Providers

Discuss over-the-counter and prescription options with your doctor. Treatments like antihistamines, nasal sprays, or even immunotherapy (allergy shots) can help manage symptoms effectively. Each person’s allergies are unique, so personalized medical advice is crucial.

Pets bring so much love and joy to our lives. Pets also bring hair, fur, and dander.  Minimize allergens and maximize joy by following a strategic  pet allergy plan.  

Need more pet care and cleaning tips? See the COIT blog.  We have tips on everything from DIY pet toys to organizing a linen closet.

Consider enhancing your home's cleanliness with COIT's professional carpet cleaning and deep cleaning services. These services can significantly reduce allergens, making your home healthier and more comfortable for everyone. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help keep your living space fresh and allergen-free!

Contact COIT for a professional cleaning!

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