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How to Deal with Pet Allergies


on August 25, 2020

Good news! Shelter-in-place orders have sparked an unprecedented number of pet adoptions. In some cities, shelters are actually empty due to the 70 percent increase in adoptions! If you’re one of many people who welcomed a pet into your home for the first time, you know that the transition comes with a few hiccups of course (the chewed up coffee table, the scratches on your couch, the accident on your floor) … but you are ready to put up with all of that because your new family member is The Cutest. However, there is one hiccup that takes more than training to overcome: realizing that you are allergic to your pet. Do you want to avoid feeling miserable and want to give back your furry friend at all costs? Here’s what to do next.

  • Find out if you are actually allergic to your pet. The symptoms of animal allergies – sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes – are similar to those of seasonal allergies. So, see an allergist to see what exactly is triggering your reaction.
  • Make your bedroom a pet-free zone. Your bedding provides a nice cozy place for allergens to hide and that is the last thing you need! Special anti-allergy beds can help, but it’s best to keep your pet out of your bedroom.
  • Keep a pristine home. This is a great excuse to actually vacuum once a week, just like you always tell your mom. Everything from washing a wall that your pet has touched to washing your carpets can make a difference!
  • Invest in an allergy filter. Note that vacuuming will only be effective if you are using a HEPA filter or double bag.
  • Stick to regular grooming sessions. Regular brushing can reduce allergen counts and keep shedding to a minimum – plus, it’s a great opportunity for you and your pet to bond!
  • Consider allergy shots. This is not a quick fix. Allergy shots are a commitment and it can take up to 5 years before you stop using medication and have symptoms. However, it can be worth it knowing you will spend your life with pets.

Most importantly, don’t lose hope! Doctors aren’t sure why, but people have been known to outgrow animal allergies over time. If you have children, introducing pets at a young age has been shown to protect them from developing allergies later in life.


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Robert Dunfee