Spring is synonymous with allergies, but, for many, allergies can strike any time of year. Some lucky few, yours truly, for instance, have allergies all year long. I had always had a little bit of hay fever growing up, but, as I grew older, I became allergic to all nuts, seeds, and worst of all, cats. As a huge cat lover and avid cat mom, I had to navigate my new allergy and discover the best ways to fight my pet dander allergies. Today, I want to share some of my favorite pet allergy tips.
Pet Dander Allergies & Remedies: Living with Pets & Pet Allergies
For as long as I can remember, I’ve shared my life with cats and dogs. I love them both (and lizards too!), but my cat, Cloudy, always had a special place in my heart. We were bonded from the time I was 7 until I married my husband at 23. As newlyweds, my husband and I got a new cat, Miss Neka Love. Unfortunately, my system was only used to Cloudy’s dander, not Neka’s. My allergies started to act up again.
A few years later, a good friend’s cat had kittens. We fell in love with one special kitty named Gracie. She was an adorable calico tabby mix; the runt of the litter. We got to help bottle-feed her. We fell in love instantly. To this day, that sweet calico tabby mix sleeps against my belly under the covers. She is my sweet baby girl.
Much to my chagrin, I’m more allergic to my baby Gracie than any other cat. Even the nuzzle of her nose will cause me to break out into hives. It’s hard to be allergic to cats and have two of them, but we make it work with the following dander management strategies:
Living with Pets & Pet Allergies: Regular Housekeeping
I’ve found that vacuuming and dusting at least once or twice a week helps reduce airborne allergens. When we walk on floors or carpeting, we release embedded dander, causing allergy flairs. The fewer particles in the environment, the fewer allergy symptoms we will likely experience. It’s not just pet dander that causes allergy flairs. pets, humans, and technology combined can create a lot of dust. If you suffer from allergies, keeping dust to a minimum is key to your comfort and enjoyment.
Living with Pets & Pet Allergies: Air Filtration
It is imperative to have a HEPA vacuum and dander-specific HVAC filters when reducing airborne allergies. These tools, in addition to an air purifier, can drastically reduce the fur and dander that accumulates in the home. Keeping air purifiers on at all times does not use much energy but will ensure consistently improved air quality.
When using HEPA filters in appliances, HVAC units, and air purification systems, be sure to clean and replace filters per manufacturer recommendations. A dirty air filter will not work to purify the air in your home.
Living with Pets & Pet Allergies: Regular Grooming
Brushing and bathing pets helps control the amount of shedding. A dog or cat that is shedding hair or fur is also shedding significant amounts of dander.
I brush my cats outside on the porch to keep brushed hair and dander from entering my home. Regular brushing helps keep my home clean and my allergies at bay. Baths also help control dander so bathe your pet as often as their breed and skin will allow.
Living with Pets & Pet Allergies: Allergy Medication & Treatment
To ward off allergies as a professional pet sitter that is exposed to numerous new pets daily, I consistently take indoor/outdoor allergy medicine. I’ve also used allergy shots and nasal sprays as needed.
I encourage pet parents struggling with allergies to discuss their options with their medical team. From quercetin, known as nature’s Benadryl, to over-the-counter, homeopathic, and prescription medications, etc. there is something out there for all allergy sufferers.
Living with Pets & Pet Allergies: Designating Dander-Free Zones
Many pet lovers that suffer from pet allergies find that keeping their pet(s) out of their bedroom helps ward off allergy attacks. They spend their quality time with their pet in the living areas, snuggle on the couch, and enjoy the catio together, but, when it comes time to sleep, they restrict their cat’s access to their bed, linens, and selves.
While it may take your cat a few weeks to settle into a new routine, ensuring they get the interaction and affection they crave before bedtime will ensure a successful outcome for all involved.
Pet Dander Allergies & Remedies: Layered Approach
I have found that a mix of all of the above approaches works best for us when managing my pet dander allergies. I make sure to keep dander and dust at a minimum when I can, I brush the cats outside, and when needed, I use my inhaler and take antihistamines.
Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to give up your pets or avoid sharing your life with a beloved pet. Coming up with management strategies is truly worthwhile. I would never trade the love of my cats for fewer sneezes or watery eyes.
At Animal Admiration, our love of pets runs deep. Our cat and dog sitting services are designed to make your travels more convenient and worry-free. Leave the allergy meds to us and enjoy your travels knowing that your pet(s) are in the best hands.
At Animal Admiration, we offer pet sitting and dog walking in Katy, Fulshear, Richmond, Energy Corridor, Memorial, West Houston, and Cypress. To learn more about our team and our services, contact us at email@example.com or (281) 391-1015.