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Tips for Dealing with Pet Allergies

Aug 17, 2007
It will seem horribly unfair to any child who suffers with allergies that they cannot have a pet or must loose one whom they have grown attached to. Is there a way to deal with pet allergies which may lessen or even eliminate the suffering for adults and children with allergies?

WHAT ARE YOU ALLERGIC TO?

By establishing whether the animal is actually the cause of an allergy is certainly the best starting point. However, that can be a difficult task if you already have an animal since the allergens are extremely difficult to remove entirely.

If an existing pet can be removed and the home thoroughly cleaned (carpets, walls, furniture etc.) you MAY be able to verify the allergy in several months. Obviously that is not the easiest solution.

Having the child stay with a friend or relative for a week (as long as there are no pets in the home) may show an improvement that might indicate an allergy to the family pet.

A visit to the doctor can confirm an allergy with a simple test. The tests vary, but some can be mildly uncomfortable and would probably not be considered if the allergy symptoms were mild.

Some allergy symptoms are compounded by exposure to several allergens. By identifying other sources and removing them you may find the reaction to pets is lessened and not a barrier to enjoying their presence.

CREATING AN ALLERGY FRIENDLY HOME

There are several steps you can take to reduce the build up of allergens and bring relief to allergy sufferers.

The first recommendation is to have hardwood or other smooth surface for your flooring. Carpets hold far more of the particles that cause allergies and hard flooring makes it easy to clean.

Leather furniture is also ideal for homes with pet allergies. For the same reason as hard flooring is more suitable than carpet, leather holds far less allergens than fabric.

Keep a seat for the allergy sufferer that pets are not allowed to sit on. Also be certain that animals do not sleep on the beds or enter the bedrooms of allergy sufferers. Consider keeping the sleeping area of the home as a pet-free zone.

MAKING YOUR PET AS HYPO-ALLERGENIC AS POSSIBLE

There are even things you can do with your pet to reduce the allergic effects of having them in your home.

Frequent grooming and bathing with a mild soap to prevent over drying will reduce the dander that is one of the main causes of pet allergies. It would be recommended that someone without allergies take on this task.

Washing hands after playing with a pet and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands will also help. Since some individuals are also allergic to the saliva of pets it would be sensible to not allow your pet to lick you.

In the case of more serious allergies or asthma it may be best that no pet share the home. For older children or adults it may be possible to find a medication or treatment which makes the situation tolerable if they prefer to keep the pet despite the allergy.
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