sphynx cat wrapped in a blanket

7 Secrets to Having a Pet When You’re Allergic

It can be a pain to live with the constant sneezing and the never ending runny nose that comes with having a pet when you’re allergic.

It’s also difficult when you want a pet, but someone in your house has allergies (my brother and dad both are allergic to cats, so I know your struggle!).

But let’s state the facts: Around 10% of people are allergic to their pets.

The primary cause of pet allergies is the dander they carry on their skin. The more dander that’s in your home, the stronger your allergies will be.

But don’t lose hope just yet! I’ll explain everything you need to know to reduce the amount of dander in your home.

You NEED to talk to your doctor!!

This is sooo important because if your allergies are too serious and your doctor advises against a pet, the following tips will be useless. However, if your allergies aren’t too serious and having a pet is still on the table, a doctor can prescribe you medication that can reduce symptoms.

So definitely schedule a doctor’s visit before getting any type of pet that will set off your allergies.

Now that that’s out of the way…

Clean, clean, clean!

Your pet’s fur will be a definite trigger for an allergic reaction, so you need to sweep the floor and vacuum the carpet a minimum of once a week. Getting rid of carpet completely would be great, but let’s be real: most of the time that’s not an option, so a weekly vacuuming session is completely fine.

Look for a vacuum that is specifically designed to combat pet hair. These have special brushes that penetrate deep into the carpet to get rid of stubborn pet hair.

And don’t forget the walls! This isn’t something we would normally think about when cleaning, but your walls may actually be home to a great deal of your pet’s dander and fur, which can easily stick to certain paints.

Use a sponge, warm water, and and some dish soap to remove pets hairs stuck to your walls. Repeat this task every four months.

Your home needs a pet free zone

If possible, it’s a good idea to utilize the bedroom of the allergy sufferer as a pet free space, because it’s best to sleep somewhere where you don’t have to worry about an allergy flare up that may keep you from a good night’s sleep.

an open door to the bedroom of someone with allergies
Photo by Esther Wilhelmsson on Unsplash

If you do decide to let your pet snuggle with you in bed, WASH. YOUR. SHEETS. I can’t stress this enough.

Wash your pillowcase and sheets twice weekly in hot water to get rid of any saliva and dander your pet may have left behind.

But for best results, just keep them out of the bedroom altogether.

Your furniture is not a place for your pets

Furniture is a dumping ground for all sorts of allergens, so you’ll benefit from not letting your four-legged friend on the couch.

This means you’ll need to create a designated spot for your pet in each room of the house.

This is easy. Place a comfy dog or cat bed somewhere in each room. This will prevent them from taking comfort on your couch and allow them to have their own little nest all to themselves which you’ll both love.

an allergic pet owner's dog on a dog bed
Matthew Hamilton via Unsplash

If multiple beds are out of your budget, there are so many tutorials out there that show you how to make a DIY dog or cat bed.

You should brush your pet often

The easiest way to prevent fur and dander from spreading around your home is to brush your pet often.

Cats and dogs naturally shed and when you brush them, you will be saving yourself so much trouble by removing excess fur.

You can brush your pet once a day to keep from experiencing allergy symptoms.

Baths are a must

This might not be the greatest idea if  you have a cat, but if you’re allergic to your dog, a weekly bathing session should be in order.

Use can wash your dog in the bathtub with a special pet shampoo.

Certain breeds will be better for your allergies

If you’re allergic and still on the hunt for a pet, consider hypoallergenic breeds, breeds that are good for people with allergies.

A dog breed that fits well for those with allergies is the American Hairless Terrier. They’re — you guessed it — hairless. This means the things that make you allergic to pets can’t stick around in their fur because they have none.

On the flip side, a cat breed those with allergies should consider adopting is the Russian Blue cat. They produce less allergens so many cat lovers with allergies are able to manage them with this breed.

a baby Russian Blue cat
Ankhesenamun via Unsplash

And just look at how adorable they are.

Life with a pet can be made more difficult when allergies are thrown into the mix.

I hope you’re able to utilize the tips I’ve outlined in this post and spend more quality time with your four-legged friend without the oh-so-familiar allergy flare-up.

Share this post with someone who is also suffering with pet allergies to help them out!

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