Top-10 Ways to Manage Allergies to Your Pets

We've compiled this list from a variety of medical sites as well as from people with allergies who are also successfully living with pets.  Since many people are allergic to or at least sensitive to multiple things, these steps can help you by reducing all of the allergens in your home.

Allergies making you miserable?
Photo Copyright "foshydog" / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
  1. Keep your pets out of the bedroom.  You should also wash bedding frequently and you can even use allergen-blocking covers on pillows and mattresses.
  2. Bathe your pets every week, and brush or wipe down your pets several times a week.  Ask your vet about the best grooming products to manage pet dander.
  3. Wash your hands, face, and any other exposed skin after interacting with your pets.   If you've had a lot of close contact with them then you might want to change your clothing as well. 
  4. Vacuum everything frequently, but especially furniture and floors.  You can also use steam cleaning to do an even more thorough job.
  5. Get rid of other potential indoor air pollutants, such as scented candles, air fresheners, and potpourri.  For some people even scented laundry detergent can be a problem.
  6. Replace your heating and air conditioner filters on schedule.  Also, get a stand-alone HEPA air purifier for rooms where you spend a lot of time.
  7. Try some over-the-counter remedies to help relieve your symptoms.  A nasal saline rinse is often helpful and is completely drug free.  Many people also find antihistamines and decongestants to be very effective.
  8. If cleaning and air filters are not enough, replace carpets with hard flooring, replace curtains with non-fabric blinds, and get rid of "poofy" furniture that can trap allergens in the cushions.
  9. If your allergies are severe enough, find an allergist who supports your commitment to keeping your pets, and ask about immunotherapy and other prescription remedies that might be right for you. 
  10. And last but not least, when you have a rough day, remember how much you love your pets!  By choosing to manage your allergies you are making a sacrifice for them, but they will repay you with happiness.

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