June 12, 2018

Let's Talk About Pet Allergies

During graduate school, I lived alone for the first time. To keep me company, I adopted a kitten and named him Hemingway. Hemingway lived with me for 4 years before my (now) husband, Jason, started coming around. When Jason would visit, his eyes would itch like crazy, turn red, and swell. It got to the point that Jason asked me to get rid of sweet Hemingway. I told him that Hemingway had been with me for a lot longer than he had, and Hemingway wasn’t going anywhere. To this day, Jason carries a bottle of eye drops around in his pocket. And just this year, I finally convinced him to get an allergy test. What do you know…a severe cat allergy! Jason is now on allergy drops.

Some ways to stop your pet from stuffing up your nose:

  • Keep pets out of your bed and bedroom. It can be tough to tell your pup to not cuddle in your bed to sleep, but it's essential if pet allergies are getting in the way of your health. Find them a nice dog bed with their favorite toy, and they'll be happy sleeping there in no time.
  • Wipe their paws before they enter your home. Just like our shoes, pets drag in all kinds of dirt and pollen on their paws when they come inside.
  • Brush and rinse them. You can also find dander reducing wipes at local pet supply stores. Pet fur and dander is the leading contributor to pet allergies and keeping it in control is important in keeping your allergies in control.
  • Ditch the carpet or at least vacuum regularly. We all know how dirt and hair can get stuck in carpet, so if getting rid of it isn't an option you need to be vacuuming often.
  • Buy a HEPA filter to eliminate allergens. These will eliminate a huge amount of the allergens in your living space.
  • Wash your hands after playing with your pet. Everyone underestimates how much we touch our face. Wash off those allergens after playing with your pet.

What if you’re already doing these things and still experience symptoms?

For temporary relief you can use antihistamines, like Zyrtec, to relieve your symptoms. The only drawback from this is that these medications won’t make you any less allergic to your pet. Allergy treatment through allergy drops will actually treat what makes you allergic to your pet, and over time, you’ll build a long-lasting resistance to these allergens.

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