A close friend of mine brought a cute purebred Yorkie for $1000. After several weeks of sneezing and watery eyes, he found out that he is allergic to dogs. If my friend took a skin test at an allergist’s office before purchasing his dog, he could have saved himself several weeks of suffering from his pet allergies symptoms.
What causes pet allergies symptoms?
The causes of pet allergies vary from person to person. Pet allergies symptoms look very similar to pollen allergies with sneezing, watery eyes, stuffy nose, etc. You might be allergic to the proteins found in pet dander, urine, or saliva. Or you might be allergic to the outdoor allergens such as pollen and mold spores that a pet bring into your home clinging to their fur. Cat allergies are more common than dog allergies.
Since allergies change over time, you might be allergy free when you adopt your pet, but develop pet allergies symptoms later.
Can you solve your dilemma of pet allergies vs pet companionship with a hypoallergenic pet?
A few breed of dogs are known to be hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic pets include:
- Portuguese Water Dog (The First Dog in the White House)
- Irish Water Spaniels
- Chinese Crests
- Hungarian Pulis,
- Bichon Frise
- and some Terrier breeds
These hypoallergenic dogs do not generate as much dander as other breeds because their coats do not shed. However, this is only helpful if you are allergic to pet dander. If you are allergic to the proteins in their saliva or urine, then a hypoallergenic dog is not going to give you the pet allergies relief you are looking for.
You might want to consider spending some time with the breed of dog you are considering purchasing beforehand in order to find out if you have any pet allergies.
Pet allergies relief in your home
If you’re severely allergic to your pet, you might want to consider an outdoor only pet so your pet will not be tracking outdoor allergenic such as pollen or mold spores in your home.
Establish no pet zones to minimize pet allergies in areas of your home where you spend the most time. For example, you might want to keep your pet out of the bedroom. Since pet dander is lighter and more buoyant than dust mite, one visit from your pet can cause the dander to linger in your bedroom for up to six months.
Wear a filter mask when you’re brushing your pet or cleaning the house when pet dander exposure is highest. Look for a mask approval by the national Institute for occupational safety and health (NIOSH) your local home improvement store to filter pet allergens. Or have someone else in your household who does not have pet allergies do the pet care duties.
Buy a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. HEPA filters trap pet dander and other offending allergens in the vacuum. If you have pet allergies, it is worth it to invest in a vacuum with a HEPA filter. You might also want to consider putting an HEPA air purifier in your bedroom.
Reduce the use of fabric in your home to minimize pet allergies. For example, use hardwood with rugs instead of carpet. It is easier to wash rugs in hot water to get rid of pet dander than it is to shampoo your carpet. Another example would be to trade in cloth sofa for a leather sofa in order to minimize pet dander hiding in the fabric.
Use allergens protective slipcovers, pillowcases, sheets, etc to minimize breeding ground for dust mists and prevent pet allergens exposure. Wash all these protective covers in hot water every week to get rid of pet dander.
My friend ended up seeking medical treatment for his pet allergies. Every few months he goes to his doctor for allergy shots. You might have to consider medical treatment for your pet allergies symptoms if the above tips to reduce pet allergies do not work for you. Good luck
Until next time and thanks for stopping by Small Steps to Health.
Like what you are reading? How about subscribing? It's free!