How to Treat Pet Allergies
Pet allergies are crummy. There are two kinds of friends that would agree:
- The Allergic One: They can’t go to a friend’s house without what seems like an entire pharmacy in their bag.
- The Hospitable One: The person who can’t host in order to keep your friend from being miserable.
Or in some cases, you’re both – you love the cat, but your allergies do not.
Unfortunately, there is no complete cure for common pet allergies – there are, however, different methods of prevention and treatment one might try.
1. Identify the Problem
Oftentimes, people experience a reaction of some kind and just assume it is from an animal. This is not always the case in some situations. To actually identify what may be causing a reaction, schedule an appointment with an allergist to get a skin test. You may be allergic to several things and are just unaware of it! Once you have a professional diagnosis, then you can take the steps to get the correct medication, if needed.
As we mentioned before, there is no treatment that will take away any allergies completely – though they may significantly reduce the symptoms.
- For mild allergy symptoms – like itchy eyes or nasal congestion – you can buy over-the-counter antihistamine medications. Depending on the severity of your allergies, your physician may suggest a prescribed medication.
- Immunotherapy Shots. These shots are designed to build up a person’s immunity to a specific allergy. Once a week for several weeks, the patient is given a shot containing allergy-causing proteins. This will help the body produce antibodies, which will block reactions. The shots significantly help, but don’t expect to be cured from all allergies!
Talk to your doctor about what option will work best for you!
If you are the “Hospitable Friend” or the “Allergic Friend” who can’t bear to find a new home for your pet – check out these allergy prevention tips!
Isolate the Pet. Not in a “you’re in trouble” kind of way, but in a way that is helpful to you. Restrict the pet’s free roaming to the downstairs, or keep their kennel and litterbox in one secluded room, or even just keep them off the couch! Creating a “cat free zone” will help the dander not go everywhere around the house.
- Invest in a HEPA Air Cleaner. These filters are designed to keep the air free of fur, dander and other allergy-causing particles.
- Clean Well & Often. Housework isn’t that bad, is it? A great way to reduce sneezing and itchy eyes is to keep things clean. This means washing curtains or couch covers often, vacuuming well (with an allergen-proof vacuum bag!), and allowing the pet some time outside. For more ideas on how to get rid of pet hair, take a look at this article.
- Replace Carpet. This is a slightly pricey option, but it will help! Getting new tile or hardwood floor will help get rid of remaining dander in the carpet, and will make things easier when it comes time to clean.
- Bathe Pet Often. Simply keeping your pet clean will give your allergies a sigh of relief. Try to bathe them at least once a week or right before you have a friend who is allergic visit.
Hopefully, with these tips, you can more readily enjoy your own home, or someone else’s!
Which tip was most helpful to you? Let us know in the comments below!