While pets can definitely be life-changing companions, they are also a potential trigger for mild to severe allergic reactions. Unfortunately, there is this misconception about how allergic reactions from pet dander lead to the gut-wrenching option of giving up your beloved pet. That’s simply not true. There are many ways to manage allergies from pet dander. Below, we’ll discuss how you can eliminate or, at the very least, minimize the amount of pet dander that accumulates in your humble abode.
1. Understanding the Source of Your Allergy
It’s best to consult a doctor and get tested to determine what allergens are actually triggering the reaction rather than quickly assume that your pet is the culprit. It could actually be a particular tree pollen that you happen to walk by while with your dog. In case it is your pet that’s causing the allergic reaction, you’ll want to determine what exactly is triggering it. Allergens, which are proteins found in saliva and skin cells, can attach themselves to your pet’s dry skin and fur. They then shed the fur and dander, which falls and sticks to the tapestries and furniture. The root cause of the reaction and its magnitude vary from person to person. Therefore, a consultation with a health expert is important.
2. Create Allergy-Free Spaces
Allocate a space in your home where your pet is strictly prohibited from going, ideally the bedroom of whoever is allergic to the pet. Use impermeable mattress and pillow covers and consider vacuuming the space more frequently than you do the rest of the household. You may also need to institute crate time for your pet whenever the allergic person has to use other spaces, such as the kitchen or living room.
3. Invest in an HEPA Air Cleaner
Air cleaners with HEPA technology filters have been shown to eliminate up to 99% of airborne particles that circulate in your household. Get rid of these pollutants to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction and, more importantly, to improve your long-term health. Cleaner air means better sleep quality, lower risk of respiratory problems, and even a longer life expectancy.
4. Bathe Your Pet
Bathing your pet on a regular basis can help reduce the amount of dander that’s causing your allergic reaction. Washing them helps remove loose fur and old skin cells. That being said, you should also be careful not to overdo it. Giving your pet a bath too frequently can dry out their skin and wash off beneficial natural oils. Most pet owners adhere to a monthly bathing schedule. Check the shampoo and conditioner products that you use on your pet, and make sure it’s designed specifically for them.
5. Groom Your Pet
Grooming entails cutting and brushing your pet’s fur. Get in the habit of regularly brushing them to remove as many hair fibers as possible. It leaves little room for the dander to attach itself to your utensils, furniture, and other household items.
6. Consider Clinical Treatment
There are a couple of treatment options to combat pet allergies. These include immunotherapy, also more commonly known as allergy shots, steroidal sprays, and antihistamine pills. Combined with good home maintenance, these medical options can effectively control the symptoms of your allergic reaction. Immunotherapy has been shown to help 85% of patients who consistently receive treatment for three to five years.
7. Wash Your Carpets/Rugs Regularly
If you want to minimize the amount of dander that accumulates in your household, look for the areas or objects that tend to attract and collect them. Carpets, rugs, and curtains are some of the common magnets for dust and debris. Wash your tapestries at least once every month or replace them if they’ve begun to fray. You should also run your carpets and rugs through a vacuum at least once a week.
8. Invest in an Air Conditioner
If you don’t already have one, you should get an air conditioner, especially during allergy season. Air conditioners can help lower symptomatic reactions to pet dander. The AC’s filters can catch the irritants and produce higher-quality air indoors. Air conditioners can also regulate humidity levels, thereby helping create a more comfortable environment.
9. Get Air Flowing Through Your Home
Continuous airflow is key to removing the particles that could potentially trigger an allergic reaction. Make sure your air conditioner is able to filter the air in and out without any trouble by cleaning the interior and exterior components. Clean your air conditioner’s air filters, vents, and fins. These parts collect the most particles of dust, debris, pollen, and pet dander. Consult with an experienced HVAC technician to get a comprehensive diagnosis and the necessary repairs and replacements done professionally.
10. Give Your Pet More Outdoor Time
Being outdoors with your pet creates a lower risk of getting an allergic reaction since pet dander has more space to drift off to. Pet dander can only go so far indoors, especially if you live in a smaller space, such as an apartment unit or condominium. If you have a backyard or front porch, consider fencing it to allow your pet to roam around freely around the space without any risk of them running away.
11. Open Your Windows
As mentioned earlier, airflow is key to avoiding allergic reactions from pet dander. Aside from air conditioning, you can also create conducive airflow by opening your doors and windows. This introduces fresh cool air from the outside. You can also turn your exhaust fans on to suck out the hot air and the dander that comes with it. Be sure to periodically clean the exhaust fans to clear the dander that sticks to the fan blades and casing.
12. Keep Allergy Medications Close
While allergic reactions can’t be completely avoided while you’re living with your pet, you can minimize the impact of symptoms by having allergy medications readily available. One of the common allergy treatment options mentioned earlier was antihistamines, which can come in either spray or pill form. If you want to get work done or retain a general sense of awareness and function, make sure to opt for the non-drowsy 24-hour antihistamine medication. This will help manage severe allergic symptoms.
Get Professional Help
Maintaining high indoor air quality is especially important if you have pet allergies. Unfortunately, it’s also something that a lot of homeowners neglect. Few people are aware that there are professionals who can help improve their indoor air quality through audits, vent and filter cleaning, and routine maintenance checks throughout the year.
A company like White Mechanical, Inc. offers indoor air quality inspections and any necessary installations or repairs that your household may need. We’ve been serving the Foothill Ranch, CA area for years now, helping both residents and businesses maximize their HVAC system’s lifespan. We also offer affordable heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance for both residential and commercial needs. Give us a call today, and one of our representatives can walk you through our services in more detail.