Question: I have noticed I am allergic to my pet. Does it mean I need to get rid of my favorite dog or cat? Is there any alternative solution, since I want to keep the pet?
What Does Allergy to Pet Mean?
Definitely, the moment you have learnt about the pet allergy you have, you feel disappointed and anxious. Do you need to get rid of the pet?
There are some instances, when people really have to give up their pets because of allergy. However, nowadays there are too many effective methods of reduction and controlling the signs of allergy, so you may not need to part way with your friend.
Many patients can still keep animals in their homes, even if they cause allergic reactions. However, there are too many things for it to work out. Avoidance techniques and other measures allow keeping pets even inside the house.
Realistic Point of View on Keeping the Pet with Allergy
Once you have decided to keep your pet, you need to realize that the symptoms of the condition will continue anyway. You will have higher chances to minimize them, but some of them will regularly bother you.
Definite symptoms of the allergy you experience may determine how realistic it is to keep the animal. Once you have only minor adverse reactions, such as itchy eyes or runny nose, you can cope with the problem. Nevertheless, it can become a bigger problem for people, who have serious asthma associated with pet dander.
Therefore, there are many pros and cons of leaving a pet, as well as yes and no questions you need to answer before making a decision. Moreover, it is always a personal choice based on severity of symptoms and extent they can be controlled.
How to Decrease Exposure to Pet Allergens with Avoidance Techniques
Below you can read a list of effective avoidance techniques, which will help you decrease exposure to pet allergens and reduce the symptoms. They include the following:
1. Vacuum regularly with a special HEPA-equipped vacuum cleaner.
2. Wide down the pet with baby wipes or wet cloth on a daily basis.
3. Make sure your animal is neutered. Neutering male cats and dogs decreases their production of allergens.
4. Keep the pet in the garage or inside the house, but in an uncarpeted area. Mind the climate of that place and whether the conditions are suitable for the type and breed of the pet.
5. Bathe the animal minimum 1-2 times a week. Some cats and dogs carry considerable dislike to bath time, so do it cautiously to avoid scratches and bites.
6. Take the pet out of the bedroom. Close the door and all the air vents leading to that room.
7. Buy a HEPA room air cleaner to use in the bedroom and other frequently visited parts of the house.
Clean the House to Remove Dander (Necessary Even after the Animal is Gone)
Once the above mentioned measures are of no help, you may need to say goodbye to your friend, especially if you are diagnosed with uncontrolled asthma. Even if you have got rid of the pet, the allergen may persist for months within your home. Clean the house thoroughly to avoid negative influence:
• Vacuum all the floors;
• Steam clean upholstered furniture and carpets;
• Replace heater vent filters and air conditioner;
• Launder all curtains and bedding;
• Wide down the furniture and hard surfaces;
• Clean the vents (ensure your dryer vent is cleaned. Despite it is not related to pets and allergies, it is a considerable cause of home fires. Additionally, dryer vents tend to collect more lint, especially if there is an animal in the house).
Conclusion about Having a Pet and Allergy
People, who are allergic to home pets, especially the ones with asthma are not likely to keep their animals, irrespective of the measures they will take. However, a few simple steps may allow you to leave your small friend around and feel comfortable together. Make sure you have a proper allergy medication and Kleenex at hand.