Dealing with pet allergies when you are a pet owner can be frustrating. On one hand, you love your pet and see them as part of the family. But on the other hand, your allergy symptoms are making you miserable and feel like you can’t deal with your symptoms for much longer.
We are here to assure you that just because you have pet allergies doesn’t mean you must get rid of your pet or that you can never own an animal! On the contrary, there are many tips you can implement to help you and your pet live under one roof without any sneezing, itchy eyes, or difficulty breathing — the common symptoms associated with pet allergies.
Read our tips to learn how you can live with a pet you are allergic to.
First and foremost, get tested! Oftentimes, people assume their pet is to blame for their allergy symptoms, when it’s actually the pollen your pet brings inside from being outdoors. Of course there is no guarantee that this will be the case, but getting an allergy test done can at least confirm what exactly is causing your symptoms.
Once you have been tested for allergies, you will be encouraged to try immunotherapy as a treatment option for pet allergies. Immunotherapy is the process of slowly exposing your immune system to the allergens it’s sensitive to. Over time, your immune system sees these allergens as less of a threat and can start to function normally without “overreacting” to the allergen.
Immunotherapy comes in many forms, such as allergy shots, drops, or topicals. We recommend topical immunotherapy for anyone looking for an easy at-home treatment that doesn’t require frequent doctor’s visits.
Along with immunotherapy, at-home treatment options for mild allergies include antihistamines, decongestants and more. Learn more about these over-the-counter treatments and their effectiveness.
It’s preferable to have someone groom your pet on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Getting rid of pet dander which is the culprit behind most pet allergies will help you have less symptoms.
However, regular grooming can become expensive, especially if you own an animal that doesn’t like to be groomed and requires anesthesia during grooming sessions. If this is the case, wear long sleeves, a mask, eye goggles, and gloves when grooming your pet. While this all may seem excessive, it’s worth making sure your pet is clean and free of dander or pollen.
If you haven’t already, set boundaries with your pet. Although it’s tempting to snuggle them and keep them close by, this might not be an ideal option if they are the cause behind your allergies. Create pet zones throughout your home where your pet can have access to most of the house while not being too close to you. Include pet-specific furniture so they aren’t tempted to use yours.
Maintaining some distance between you and your pet can make all the difference when dealing with pet allergies. However, we never recommend keeping your pets outside full-time as this can be dangerous for them!
Flush out your sinuses to get rid of any irritating allergens that are bothering you. Purchase a squeeze bottle, bulb syringe, or even a neti pot to rinse out allergens. You can pour or squeeze a saline solution directly into one nostril. Then, allow the solution to flow out of the other nostril to drain. Continue repeating on both nostrils for instant allergy relief.
Wherever you can, replace any soft fabrics and materials with options that are easier to clean.
For example, replace all carpet with hard flooring and get rid of any rugs. In addition, use window treatments such as blinds instead of curtains that can trap allergens. These materials will prevent allergen-build up in your home, especially if your pets tend to come in contact with these items.
Cleaning your home often will ensure less allergens are lingering throughout your home. First, wipe down all surfaces to get rid of any dust and dead skin cells coming from your pet. You may also want to wipe down all hard floors and pet toys or bowls to remove remnants of their saliva which also causes pet allergy symptoms.
If you suffer from multiple types of allergies, it’s in your best interest to keep your home very clean. Fortunately, keeping your home free of allergies is fairly easy when you know what needs to be cleaned and sanitized and how often it should be done. Download our free guide, the Room by Room Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Allergen Removal, to learn how to manage allergens within your home.
Allergens are circulated throughout your home as they make their way into your air vents and filters. Keeping your air clean will help relieve your allergies and prevent symptoms from worsening.
Believe it or not, you must change your home’s air filters about once a month for maximum efficiency and allergen particle removal. In addition, use air purifiers that are specifically made to prevent allergies that have a high Clean Air Delivery Rate, or CADR. Using household tools that are improved by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America and equipped with HEPA filters can make all the difference in the air you breathe.
Now that you know that you are in fact allergic to animals, make sure your next pet doesn’t make your allergies worse! Hypoallergenic cat and dog breeds can somewhat reduce allergens and typically make great pets. While there’s no such thing as an allergy-free pet, these breeds can at least make it easier to live in close quarters with them.
In addition, explore alternative pets to own. There are many options available, such as reptiles, fish, birds, and other types of animals that are less likely to cause allergies. Be sure to do some research on pet options to answer all of your questions!
Together, all of these tips will help you and your pet live happily ever after! Once you've identified your pet allergens, starting immunotherapy is the next step in living allergy-free.
Here at ShotFree Allergy, we’re excited to show allergy-sufferers a new way of treating allergies. Injections are expensive and a (literal) pain, while specialized allergy drops are also pricey and not the best tasting – and therefore never easy to convince kids to take!
Our topical allergy creams are an ideal option for anyone looking for an easy way to get allergy treatment. Not only are we a fraction of the price of other types of allergy treatments, we offer custom options that address your allergy symptoms and provide much-needed relief.
If you are interested in learning more about how to get started with ShotFree Allergy, schedule an appointment to get started.