With more than half of all homes in America hosting a dog or a cat as a pet, it shouldn’t be too surprising that many people living in these homes also suffer from pet allergies. Most people assume allergies mean they have to give up their pets but that’s simply not the way it has to be.
Many people living with pets may not even realize they have pet allergies and are therefore left unable to treat them. It is estimated that as many as one in ten people suffer from some form of animal allergy. If you also suffer from Asthma, your odds of having pet allergies sky rocket to 20-30%. Common signs of pet allergies include wheezing, sneezing and itchy or puffy eyes.
While many people think the amount of fur that your pet sheds is directly connected to how large the allergic reaction will be, this is not always the case. It is true that specific pet dander (skin flakes) as well as pet saliva and urine can cause an allergic reaction. However, the more common culprit are the allergens that attach to your pet and live in their fur. These include some of the most common allergen offenders out there; pollen, dust and mold.
If you do have pet allergies you can rest assured that this does not mean you can not keep pets. There are several simple solutions that can help combat the symptoms of pet allergies. In some cases these simple fixes can keep the pet in your home and keep you off medication and comfortable. Popular options include:
-Clean Your House. Take this advice both literally and figuratively. Not only should you clean your home often to keep dander and dust away from your nose, mouth and eyes, but you should also consider getting rid of several household items that can trap dander and allergens. Easy fixes include removing carpet and putting in hardwood floors, keeping pets out of rooms with upholstered furniture, and use HEPA Filters around the house to purify the air. Replacing old mattresses and blankets and working to keep your animals off the new bedding can also help.
-Clean Your Pet. This means doing more than simply bathing your animal. While frequent baths will keep dander washed away, you will need to do more to ensure a healthy experience for you. You should also enlist the help of a professional groomer to brush and trim your pet’s fur coat and make sure to change the dog‘s collar frequently. Also try to avoid padded pet beds.
You can still have a dog without having to endure any of the lifestyle changes listed above. The most simple solution is to choose a dog breed that is hypo allergenic. They do exist, and they are just as cute and lovable and their allergy causing counterparts. A long list of breeds exist that are known to be great fits for households with allergy sufferers. A partial list highlights several popular breeds in a variety of sizes. Examples include:
-Small Dogs. Yorkshire Terrier, Wire Fox Terrier, Shih Tzu, Rat Terrier, Maltese, Italian Greyhound
-Mid Sized Dogs. Basenji, Border Terrier, Labradoodle, Poodle
-Large Dogs. Kerry Blue Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, Giant Schnauzer, Afghan Hound
This is just a partial list of common breeds. A simple internet search can turn up many more breeds that will be easier to have in a home with those suffering from animal allergies. You can compare size and behavioral habits of each breed to find the one that fits best into your family.