We love our pets, and it would pain us to have to get rid of them for a regrettable reason such as pet allergies. Sadly, three out of 10 pet owners are allergic to their own pets. The good news is that this doesn’t mean you must get rid of, or can never own, pets!
Continue reading to see how to manage pet allergy symptoms and what tools you can purchase to help.
Certain proteins found in the skin cells, saliva, and urine of both dogs and cats are what cause pet allergies in humans. Those who have a sensitive immune system may react negatively when in contact with these particles. Although pet hair itself rarely causes an allergic reaction, it helps to trap particles of dander, as pet hair can still be a problem if it collects on the floor, your furniture, or gets into the air. Pet hair can collect other animal products such as pet saliva or urine, which contain allergy-producing proteins as well.
Symptoms, such as sneezing, sniffling, or itching, occur when the immune system goes into “defense mode” and tries to fight off what the body thinks is a threat. While this response is unfortunate for animal lovers, it is possible to live with pets even if you are suffering from mild to moderate pet allergies.
Pet allergy symptoms are actually quite similar to the common cold. These typically manifest as:
Asthma symptoms may also occur due to pet dander exposure. You may experience chest tightness and shortness of breath when in contact with animals. If this is the case, we recommend speaking with a medical professional as these symptoms may be severe and cause possible complications.
Reducing pet allergies will take some work on your part, but it will be worth it to keep your beloved pet. First, try to minimize contact with your pet. Also be mindful not to touch your face or eyes after coming in contact with a pet. Washing your hands can minimize an allergic reaction.
In addition, keep your home as clean as possible. Frequently dust, vacuum, and wipe down all surfaces. This can prevent airborne particles from collecting and creating dust. Most importantly, regularly wash all fabric textiles in your home, such as rugs, carpets, curtains, and bedding. Establishing designated areas in your home for your pets will also help prevent the spread of allergens throughout your home.
Along with treating your allergies at home, you can purchase certain tools and products to help manage your allergy symptoms. With so many tools and products on the market touting the fact that they help with allergies, we’re going to show you what to look for when shopping!
It’s important to research the best air purifiers for allergies and pets before making a purchase, as there are so many on the market that claim to reduce allergies of all kinds, like perennial and seasonal allergies. For pet allergies specifically, choose an air purifier with a high Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR. This number explains how well the purifier can filter airborne allergens and pollutants, so the higher the number the better. The unit should also use HEPA filters, as these are the most efficient kind available.
There are two brand options that reliably filter pet allergens: Blueair and Molekule air purifiers. With great ratings and thousands of reviews, these two brands offer purifiers that effectively remove dog and cat allergens to help manage your symptoms.
Not all vacuums work the same, so finding the best vacuum for allergies and pet hair will also require some research. Look for a HEPA vacuum or a model with a HEPA bag or filter to trap even the smallest particles. While bagless vacuums are more popular these days, vacuums with a bag trap particles more efficiently, unlike bagless models that can redisperse pollutants back into the air when emptied. If you prefer a bagless vacuum, be sure to empty the canister outside and wipe it down before bringing it in the house.
An excellent vacuum for allergies and pet hair is the Shark Navigator Lift Away. What sets this vacuum apart, is the fact that it features a sealed air system with a HEPA filter. This allows 99.9 percent of allergens to be removed from vacuumed surfaces. This feature isn’t found in most models, so pet allergy-sufferers should consider taking a look at it.
A second vacuum recommendation is the Kenmore Elite CrossOver. As a canister vacuum, this powerful model is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). Not only does this vacuum provide a deep clean, but it captures allergens at a very high rate. With an onboard HEPA filtration system, the HEPA exhaust filter first captures allergens and prevents them from recirculating. Then, the HEPA cloth bag contains the allergens, dirt, and pet debris for a powerful clean.
HVAC filters can make a significant difference in the allergens within your home. Be sure to choose a HEPA filter for a reduction of pet allergens within your home. The best filter will have a good MERV rating, built-in activated carbon granules that capture odors, a pleated surface to efficiently trap particles, and a synthetic material design to prevent bacteria and mold growth.
There are a few products and tools for your pets you will want to keep handy for managing your pet allergies. The most important tool is a great brush. A slicker brush is made of thin wires that effectively removes dander and other trapped allergens such as outdoor pollen. Brush your pet outdoors to ensure removed particles are not being released inside. If your symptoms are more severe, consider wearing a mask to avoid inhalation of irritating particles.
In addition, regular bathing — regardless of the type of pet shampoo — is also recommended. If you're prone to pet allergies, the AAFA recommends weekly baths to reduce the amount of airborne allergens in your home.
If you love animals, it can break your heart to think you could never own one simply because you or someone in your household is allergic. To keep your pet allergy symptoms in check, look into owning a hypoallergenic dog or cat breed when considering bringing a pet into the family.
Or, use our patent-pending cream to find relief from your pet allergies and enjoy living with the pet of your choosing. Click below to get more information and see if our treatment is right for you!