Do your eyes get itchy after brushing your pet? Does your nose start running after playing with your dog? If so, you could very well be suffering from a dog allergy.
With as much as 36% of U.S households owning pet dogs – this isn’t good news! More so if you own a dog yourself, and it seems impossible to escape the itching, sneezing or rashes.
Contrary to popular belief, a dog allergy is not caused by fur or hair. Instead, the culprit is often a response to pet dander – i.e., dead skin. Some also happen to be allergic to a dog’s saliva.
Thankfully, you wouldn’t probably need to give up your beloved pet for relief. Here are a few tips for you to minimize allergens in your home.
Rugs, Heavy Curtains, and Carpets
Heavy furnishing can trap significant amounts of pet dander. And whenever these fibers are agitated, allergens are released into the air. So if your dog is kept indoors, it’s a good idea to replace the carpet with hard floors. Or you can make sure you vacuum as often as possible – on a daily basis if possible. The use of a steam cleaner to dig deeper into carpets is also advisable.
Most vacuum cleaners are fitted with standard filters. These again trap larger allergens, while allowing smaller particles to escape. As a result, many vacuums only pick up pet dander from floors and then pump it all over your home – not good!
HEPA filters, on the other hand, trap over 99.97% of particles with a size of 0.3 micrometers. So if you are prone to dog allergy, a HEPA vacuum is an essential purchase.
Install HEPA Air Filters
The air indoors might look alright, but it contains thousands of grains of dust, skin flakes or even dust mites. Regular air filters can remove most of these, but not the tiny particles. HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are much more efficient at removing such small particles from the air.
Proper ventilation is also crucial. In the summer months, it’s better to keep your home ventilated and to keep your dog outdoors as much as possible.
Creating “Pet-Free” Zones
It might seem unfair for pet owners to restrict a pet to certain areas of the house. This, however, is an effective way of reducing allergic irritants. At the very least, it’d do good to keep your pet away from your bedroom. Bedding, mattresses, and sheets are ideal traps for pet dander. Remember that you spend more time in bed than almost anywhere else indoors.
Regular Baths For Your Dog
By giving your dog a thorough wash each week, you will be able to remove most of the dead skin cells that will otherwise be released in your home. This is very effective and can get rid of up to 85% of pet dander. Ensure the use of an appropriate dog shampoo and aim to soak up your pet for at least five minutes to achieve best results.
Living with a dog can be difficult for those allergic to pet dander. But that shouldn’t mean giving your pooch away. By following the above tips, you can prevent allergies and cherish your time with your pet.
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