Pet Dander Allergy Relief

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Pet Dander Allergy Relief

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Pet Allergies

Pet Dander Allergy ReliefWho wouldn’t relish the opportunity to share their sofa with their dog, or enjoy curling up with a good book and a kitty on their lap?

Someone suffering from pet allergies.

Unfortunately, those suffering from pet dander allergies are faced with a difficult challenge. Pet dander is unavoidable. Even though only 39% of US homes have a dog, and 33% have a cat, according to webmd’s allergy statistic pet dander can be found in every single home in the country. Up to 15% of the population has some form of pet allergy, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

 

What are Pet Allergies?

Most people can play with their dog or cat all day long, without as much as a sniffle. This is not the case for someone with pet allergies. When someone has an allergy to pets, their body has an abnormal reaction to proteins produced by the pet’s body. They are not allergic to the pet’s fur; they are allergic to the pet’s dander, or dead skin cells. They can also be allergic to the pet’s saliva and urine.

Some breeders assert that their dogs are hypoallergenic, that is, they are less likely to cause allergic reactions in people. They often tout that their dogs do not shed as much as other breeds, or have thinner hair. This is a misleading claim. Since there is no way to decrease the amount of skin cells that are shedding at any time, there really is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet.

Pets with long hair can cause a more severe allergic reaction in some people, not because of the length of the hair, but as a result of the increased amount of dander that can become trapped in the hair.

 

Pet Dander Allergy Symptoms

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How do you know if you are allergic to your dog or cat?
The symptoms of pet allergies are similar to the symptoms of hay fever and include:

[checklist icon=”fa-times” iconcolor=”#dd3333″ circle=”no” circlecolor=”” size=”13px” class=”” id=””][li_item icon=””]Coughing[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Sneezing[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Runny, stuffy or itchy nose[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Itchy, red watery eyes[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Postnasal drip[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Facial pain[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Swollen skin under the eyes[/li_item][/checklist][/one_half][one_half last=”yes” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””]

People with more serious allergies or asthma can have symptoms such as:

[separator style_type=”none” top_margin=”13″ bottom_margin=”” sep_color=”” border_size=”” icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” class=”” id=””][checklist icon=”fa-times” iconcolor=”#dd3333″ circle=”no” circlecolor=”” size=”13px” class=”” id=””][li_item icon=””]Wheezing[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Difficulty breathing[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Sleeplessness due to trouble breathing[/li_item][li_item icon=””]Some individuals can develop skin issues such as itchy skin or hives on the face or chest.[/li_item][/checklist][/one_half][one_half last=”no” spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hide_on_mobile=”no” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” background_position=”left top” border_size=”0px” border_color=”” border_style=”” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”” animation_speed=”0.1″ class=”” id=””]

Cat Dander Allergy Symptoms

Some people who are allergic to cats can develop hives when licked or scratched by one.

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Dog Dander Allergy Symptoms

There are some people who become itchy or get hives where they are licked by a dog.

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Am I allergic to my cat or my dog?

Pet Dander Allergy TestingA large variety of environmental factors, food, chemicals and other substances can trigger allergic reactions. If you suspect you are allergic to Kitty or Fido, but are not sure, you should do some investigating so you can be certain you are addressing the right problem.

It would be a great idea to consult an allergist for some quick testing to diagnose the cause of your allergies. This can be done with blood or skin testing. You may have multiple allergy triggers, and reducing all of them should decrease your symptoms significantly in many cases.

 

Pet Dander Allergy Relief

[fontawesome icon=”fa-check-square-o” circle=”no” size=”medium” iconcolor=”#32CD32″ circlecolor=”” circlebordercolor=”” flip=”” rotate=”” spin=”no” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ alignment=”left” class=”” id=””]Avoid contact with the pet

Dog Dander Allergy ReliefUnfortunately, the best advice for those who are allergic to cats or dogs is to avoid getting one in the first place. If you already have one that you can’t bear to lose (and who could easily?), or you live with someone who does, then you will have to take steps to reduce your symptoms. The fact that 33% of Americans that are allergic to cats own one anyway, and only 20% of people advised to get rid of the pet by their physician actually do so, is a testament to the notion that pets are considered to be an indispensable member of the family.

If there is a pet in your home, avoid contact with the pet as much as possible. If you do come into contact with the pet, wash your hands right away, and avoid touching your face until you have done so.

At least make a pet-free zone

If you cannot avoid the pet, you can at least keep your bedroom pet-free. Keep the door closed at all times. This will not totally eliminate pet dander from entering the room, but it should reduce it dramatically. You can also designate other rooms as pet-free zones by keeping the doors closed, or putting up some kind of temporary door or divider.

If you really have to find a new home for your pet, please visit THE HUMANE SOCIETY OF THE UNITED STATES to make sure he or she will be in good hands.

 

[fontawesome icon=”fa-check-square-o” circle=”no” size=”medium” iconcolor=”#32CD32″ circlecolor=”” circlebordercolor=”” flip=”” rotate=”” spin=”no” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ alignment=”left” class=”” id=””]Keep the pet groomed

Pet GroomingIf it is possible, have another person in the home bathe the pet at least once a week to help remove dander from the hair coat. There are special shampoos available that are made specifically for this purpose. You may check out Amazon’s Best Sellers in Dog Shampoos and Cat Shampoos. They also make dander-reducing spray (for dogs and for cats) to use in between baths. Alternatively, you could bring the pet to a groomer, although this may be a bit expensive. Keeping the hair short may help reduce the amount of dander that becomes trapped in the fur.

Aside from bathing, you can ask another family member to brush the pet often to remove as much dead skin as possible. If you can, have them do this outside.

 

[fontawesome icon=”fa-check-square-o” circle=”no” size=”medium” iconcolor=”#32CD32″ circlecolor=”” circlebordercolor=”” flip=”” rotate=”” spin=”no” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ alignment=”left” class=”” id=””]Get rid of objects that attract dustGet rid of objects that attract dust

If you have heavy drapes, curtains, tapestries, blinds, extra pillows, stuffed animals and large comforters, remove them completely, or replace them with something that is not made of cloth. If you cannot get rid of all cloth, be sure to wash these items frequently, as much as once or twice per week, to remove any accumulated allergens. If you have shelves full of decorative items, move these dust-gathering knick-knacks to another room of the house. If you are able to remove the carpeting from your room, this would be ideal.

 

[fontawesome icon=”fa-check-square-o” circle=”no” size=”medium” iconcolor=”#32CD32″ circlecolor=”” circlebordercolor=”” flip=”” rotate=”” spin=”no” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ alignment=”left” class=”” id=””]Get allergy-reducing mattress and pillow covers

You can purchase mattress covers, box spring covers, and pillow covers that can prevent pet dander and dust mites from getting into the fibers of your bed items. This will reduce the allergens surrounding you during your sleep. (I’ve inserted links to Amazon’s best sellers to make it easy for you.)

 

[fontawesome icon=”fa-check-square-o” circle=”no” size=”medium” iconcolor=”#32CD32″ circlecolor=”” circlebordercolor=”” flip=”” rotate=”” spin=”no” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ alignment=”left” class=”” id=””]Clean regularly

You will need to sweep, mop, vacuum, and dust pretty frequently to get rid of the relentless pet dander. It is best to do this as early as possible in the day, so any left-over dust has time to settle before you go to bed. Secure a vacuum with a HEPA filter and go for the best model you can afford. More details in our Robot Vacuum Cleaner 101. This will help to filter out the pet dander and other allergens during your cleaning routine. I highly recommend buying a real pet vacuum cleaner. We have tested many products and product combinations, our daughter has allergies, and we’ve put together the products in this post: Best Vacuum with Allergies

 

[fontawesome icon=”fa-check-square-o” circle=”no” size=”medium” iconcolor=”#32CD32″ circlecolor=”” circlebordercolor=”” flip=”” rotate=”” spin=”no” animation_type=”0″ animation_direction=”down” animation_speed=”0.1″ alignment=”left” class=”” id=””]Use HEPA Air Filtersrobot vacuum - air filter

HEPA filters are not just for vacuums. You can purchase a standalone air filter, we use a HONEYWELL True HEPA Allergen Remover, that can significantly improve the air quality in your most-used rooms. You can also have one installed on your home ventilation system. If you use window air conditioners, get one with a HEPA filter if possible. Be sure to clean or replace the filters on all your appliances according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

 

Medications

Most doctors would agree that taking steps to avoid the use of medication is the best technique for allergy-sufferers. If you have tried all the tips here, and are still having allergy symptoms, you should consult an allergist for the best recommendations.Consult an allergist

 

There is a large selection of over-the-counter and prescription medication available. These consist mostly of antihistamines and other medications, which block the body’s ability to produce histamine and other chemical responses to allergens. They are available as pills, oral liquids, or nasal sprays. Many of these medications cause drowsiness, and can have side-effects if used heavily or by people with certain medical conditions.

When antihistamines do not work, allergy shots, or immunotherapy, may be an effective alternative. This involves a blood sample and skin testing to determine what exactly your allergy triggers are. Using the results of the tests, a special serum is made for you. This is then given as a series of injections under your skin over a long period of time. The goal of immunotherapy is to reduce the body’s reaction to the allergen.

 

Bottom-line

Pet dander allergies are a frustrating problem for many people. Keeping your home as clean as possible is the best method for avoiding contact with allergens. Using high-quality air filters and vacuums and consulting an allergist are also effective strategies for avoiding this growing problem. Knowing how to reduce your exposure to the allergens can considerably reduce your symptoms, and eliminate the need to get rid of your beloved pet.

Our daughter has pet and dust allergies and I put together what we’ve found out in this post: Best Vacuum with Allergies, which includes links to the vacuums and air filter we found most helpful.

 

We’d be more than happy if you shared your experiences with us below the post. You will help other readers to improve their health and us to improve our website. Thanks and take care.

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2015-07-23T11:25:24+00:00

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