Friday, October 08, 2010

Dealing with Pet Allergies: Keep your pet. Reduce your suffering!

Most commonly associated with cats and dogs, pet allergies can actually be triggered by a wide variety of pets including birds, gerbils, hamsters and even horses!

Pet allergies occur when your immune system reacts to proteins in pets' dander (skin flakes), saliva or urine. Inhaling these allergens triggers inflammation in the lining of your nasal passages, causing sneezing, a runny nose and other signs and symptoms usually associated allergies.

For some people, pet allergies actually lead to an asthma attack triggering contraction of airways of the lungs resulting in wheezing and shortness of breath.

As a pet owner, it's often frustrating when people suggest you "get rid" of your pet to combat your allergies. True, eliminating the source of the allergens seems like the most logical course of action, but for most pet owners this isn't a desirable or practical solution (although in the case of asthma it may something to seriously consider).

If you have pet allergies, but want to keep your pet, here are a few coping strategies:

No Pets in the Bedroom!

You spend more time in your bedroom than any other room in your home. That means the air in your bedroom should be as clean as possible and free from animal allergens.

Run a HEPA air filter 24/7

With pet allergies a high quality air cleaner is a must. Your home has constant supply of airborne allergens, therefore your air purifier should be providing constant air cleaning. AllerAir’s Air Medic series is designed for 24/7 operation and comes with a 10 year warranty on the motor! It features a medical-grade HEPA that removes 99.97% of even the smallest airborne particles, like pet dander and hair and has a large carbon filter for odors and chemicals.

Buy a HEPA vacuum and use it often
A good HEPA vacuum traps the allergens you vacuum up, preventing them from being blown back into the air. With pet allergies it’s really important to vacuum at least twice a week to help reduce the allergen level.

Bathe your pet and its toys once a week
Studies show that weekly baths can reduce the level of allergens on an animal by up to 85%. I speak from experience when I say wear gloves if bathing a cat --- I also did it in an enclosed shower stall which prevented wild escapes which could hurt both you and the animal.

Image credit: 
Image: federico stevanin /

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. No advice on the internet should ever replace that of a qualitfied physician.

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