Pet dander is the main cause of pet allergy symptoms and affects between 10% – 15% of the population. When animal lovers are affected by allergies, it can be devastating. While most people who are allergic to their pets will ultimately remove them from the home, there are still people that choose to keep the culprit, finding alternative ways to live with their symptoms. In fact, according to the Humane Society, an estimated 1/3 of people who are allergic to cats (about 2 million people) live with at least one cat in their household anyway.
Pet dander is a combination of dead skin cells and hair that animals shed. This dander is the main cause of pet allergy symptoms. Pet allergies can be caused by the proteins in their hair, saliva, and urine and when any of these come in contact with your skin, they can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms of pet allergies can include:
- Sneezing, congestion, runny nose
- Itching, watery eyes
- Coughing and wheezing
- Eczema or rashes
There are a variety of ways you can reduce the allergy causing pet dander in your home, making for a much better time spent with your dogs and/or cats.
1. Limit their exposure to soft surfaces.
2. Keep your pet outdoors as much as possible.
3. Set up a place for pets to sleep, outside of the bedroom.
4. Use an air purifier.
5. Vacuum frequently.
6. Give pets a bath at least once a week with dander reducing shampoo.
7. Wash hands right after coming into contact with the pet.
8. Dust as often as possible.
9. If possible, replace carpet with wood floors.
10. If you have forced-air heating and air conditioning, keep the registers closed in the rooms where pets spend the most time.
11. Litter boxes should be kept in an area where they are unconnected to the air supply for the rest of the home.
12. Remove clothing after playing with pets.