You’re Allergic to Your Pet- Now What?
Like many of us, I have been someone that has suffered from allergies for YEARS. It has been super frustrating and feels like a never-ending battle. Anyone with allergies knows that they can stem from a variety of different sources. Many of those being standard seasonal and outside/environmental.
But many more of those can come from right inside the home.
I had made an appointment to see an allergist because so many of my allergy and sinus symptoms were turning into full blown sinus infections. Long story short, after being tested for a whole bunch of allergens, pet dander was one of the BIGGEST reactions I had based on the skin test. I had always had a dog throughout my life and didn’t realize the effect it was having on my health.
As any pet lover knows, the loyalty and love runs deep. There was no way it could be as simple as the physician made it sound when he said, “it would be best to find your pet a new home”. Although these were disappointing test results, knowledge is power. I was glad to at least have awareness so that I could help myself and ultimately feel better. I refused to follow the advised path, and knew there had to be another route. Another route that would allow me to have the best of both worlds.
I made some changes. It took a bit of work, a little bit of money but it helped me A LOT. And my dog is still sitting right next to me as I sit here writing this. 🙂
Keep your pet out of the bedroom or at least not in your bed
This was difficult for me because I love puppy snuggles in bed. I love them on a cold night, and especially early in the morning before the day starts. BUT having animals in your room isn’t ideal, and when in your bed, it can really be bad for allergies. The bedroom is where we spend much of our time. If we are constantly in contact with pet dander and breathing it all in, our symptoms will be much worse.
Wash bedding in HOT water 2-3 times a week
I’d be lying if I said I was always on top of my sheet-washing game prior to all this. I would try to wash my sheets once a week but wasn’t perfect at the routine. Now, I make sure to wash them 2-3 times a week in HOT water, especially if animals hang in your room. Cold water just doesn’t kill allergens the same way as hot water or get rid of the pet dander.
I didn’t really believe in these prior. But my allergist recommended it so I gave it a shot and it was helpful in my opinion. You will find a large variety of air purifiers and price points. My advice would be to do your research. Find one that will do the job but won’t be obnoxious in your bedroom. (or home in general) I wouldn’t say it’s necessary to buy the most expensive one, but also don’t go for the cheapest option either.
I haven’t found some perfect recipe for how often to vacuum my home. But I will say I do it much more often than I did previously. In my bedroom, it’s often every other day. And no matter how often I do it, there is still always pet hair inside that vacuum. If you want less work for yourself, consider purchasing a robotic floor vacuum. With the press of a button, it will give your home a quick cleanup.
Bathe Your Pet Weekly
Giving animals a bath more frequently is obviously going to remove dirt and dander in general. Thus less of it will end up in your home. Pay even closer attention to this if your pets spend a lot of time outside. And that being said, be careful of overdoing it. You don’t want to dry out their coat either and make them the itchy ones!
Zyrtec daily for me (no excuses)
No matter how on top of these I stay, I still take an antihistamine. For me, it’s Zyrtec but find what works for you. Certain ones make people tired and may work differently based on other medicines you are taking etc. It’s worth it for me to take this every single night to feel my best. I find that when I don’t do this and love on my pup, I get itchy right away. Even though I’m better at controlling the environment, I still want to get up close and love on my dog.
You can always make your own trip to the allergist to get tested. Make sure your pet is actually the problem. There could be so many other contributors and this could make your approach and ability to manage it a bit different. It does take discipline, but I wouldn’t have it any other way and my pets will not be going anywhere soon!
(This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and is 100% based on opinion. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions before moving forward with medication or supplements.)