Pets are often considered as a source of comfort and happiness in our lives. They provide us with companionship, entertainment, and unconditional love. However, for many people, being around pets can be a source of discomfort and even allergic reactions. In this blog post, Orange County allergist Dr. Tyler Basen will discuss some tips for dealing with pet allergies and enjoying the company of your furry friends.
Understanding Pet Allergies
Pet allergies are caused by an overactive immune system that reacts to proteins found in pet dander, saliva, or urine. These proteins are tiny and can easily become airborne, making them difficult to avoid. Common symptoms of pet allergies include sneezing, coughing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.
Tips for Dealing with Pet Allergies
Consult With an Allergist
If you suspect that you have pet allergies, it is essential to consult with an allergist. They can help you identify the specific allergen that triggers your symptoms and recommend the best course of action. They may suggest allergy shots, medication, or lifestyle changes to help manage your symptoms.
Keep Your Home Clean
Regular cleaning can help reduce the amount of pet dander in your home. Use a HEPA filter vacuum to clean your floors, carpets, and furniture. Wash your pet’s bedding, toys, and other items regularly to remove any accumulated dander. Also, consider using an air purifier to filter out allergens from the air.
Create a Pet-Free Zone
Create a designated pet-free zone in your home, such as a bedroom or a study room. This can help reduce your exposure to pet allergens, especially if you spend a significant amount of time in that area. Keep the door closed and use a high-quality air purifier to keep the air clean.
Bathe Your Pet Regularly
Bathing your pet regularly can help reduce the amount of dander they shed. Use a gentle, hypoallergenic shampoo and rinse them thoroughly to remove all soap residue. However, do not over-bathe your pet, as this can dry out their skin and make their dander worse.
Use Allergy-Friendly Pet Products
Many pet products, such as shampoos, conditioners, and even food, can contain allergens that can trigger your symptoms. Look for allergy-friendly options that are free from common allergens like wheat, corn, and soy.
Consider a Hypoallergenic Pet
If you are considering getting a pet, consider getting a hypoallergenic breed. These breeds produce less dander and are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Some examples of hypoallergenic pets include poodles, bichon frises, and sphynx cats.
Pet allergies can be challenging to deal with, but with the right strategies, you can still enjoy the company of your furry friends. Consult with an allergist to identify the specific allergen that triggers your symptoms, keep your home clean, create a pet-free zone, bathe your pet regularly, use allergy-friendly pet products, and consider a hypoallergenic pet. By taking these steps, you can manage your symptoms and continue to enjoy the love and companionship of your pet.
If you have more questions regarding pet allergies, please do not hesitate to contact us. Pacific Allergy & Asthma would be more than happy to assist and answer any questions.