It is estimated that at least 10% of the population has a pet allergy and cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies (sorry cat people!). So with that being said, the odds are we all have at least one family member or friend who suffers from one of these allergies. For people who suffer from pet allergies, this can mean dealing with runny noses, headaches, sneezing, wheezing, trouble breathing and more depending on the person. Doesn't sound too fun now, does it?
Basic Tips to Make Your Guest Feel Welcome
When the holidays roll around, I like to host at least one event in our home and with Easter Sunday being just around the corner this has definitely been on my mind. For people with pet allergies, this shouldn't mean that they should be deprived of the opportunity to join in on this precious time with family and friends because of their allergy to pets. The truth is there are a few basic things you can do to make the experience better and more comfortable for those with pet allergies and asthma. Here are a basic few tips on how to host a guest with allergies in your home and in turn make them feel welcome and want to come back again when the next holiday or cookout rolls around. Obviously, these tips won't work for everyone so be sure to consult your doctor before making any decisions or any lifestyle changes.
Time for Spring Cleaning
That's right, it's time to get down and dirty and clean your house if you are having guests over and this is especially important if they suffer from pet allergies and you have pets living in the house. Regularly cleaning your house will help eliminate the hair and dander that causes their symptoms to start in the first place. Be sure to vacuum and dust vigorously around the entire home to ensure you are getting up as much hair and dander as possible. If you have carpet or rugs in your home, it is especially important to deep clean these as this is where pet dander often lies. If your pet sits or lays on the couches or chairs in your home as mine often do, then you want to wash and vacuum these areas too before your guest comes over. Lastly, if your guest is staying the night in your home you should most definitely wash and change out all of the bedding and pillows they will use.
- Spring Cleaning Tip: Electrostatic charged dusting cloths are best for capturing dander when cleaning as opposed to a regular cloth or feather duster.
Change Your Air Filters Frequently
We recommend that you change your air filters at the bare minimum every 3 months, or once every season, but if you have pets you might want to think about doing so even more often. If you are a person with multiple pets or both cats and dogs living in your home, it is also smart to change your air filters more often than this. Here at FilterTime, we have four different MERV rating filter qualities in stock, three of which are fantastic for pet owners. The one we usually recommend for those with pets is the Allergen Supreme which has a MERV rating of 13. The Allergen Supreme filter is great for all types of different allergies and as a bonus, it is also great for those suffering from asthma. Get more information on our air filters for pet owners here.
Stock Up on Over-the-Counter Allergy Medicine & Supplies
Obviously, depending on your guest's age, health and the overall severity of the allergy itself, this may not work for everyone but it is wise to have on hand a few generic over-the-counter allergy medicines for those it could be helpful for. Some folks may not even realize they have an allergy until stepping into your home so having some Clariton, Benadryl or other generic allergy medicine may just do the trick for those with milder cases. Don't forget to also stock up on the other basics too like eyedrops, tissues and over-the-counter nasal sprays.
Keep Your Pet Separated From Your Guest
I know it's not fun for you or your pet but it is only considerate of your guest with allergies to put your pet away while they are visiting in your home. Dog owners, consider letting your dog outside to play or if you have a cat you can put them in an enclosed area in the home like a bedroom or bonus room with all of the necessities it needs. Doing this will not only help to reduce the symptoms caused by the allergies for your guest but will also show them that you understand their needs and are willing to help make them comfortable. Lastly, it's important to remember that just because someone has a pet allergy, does not mean they automatically dislike your pet or animals in general. It's best to let them call the shots if they decide they want to interact with your pet. After all, they are the ones who know the severity and limitations of their own allergy.
Regularly Bathe and Brush Your Pet
I recommend you visit your veterinarian to find a shampoo that is safe for your pet but is also high quality enough to truly deep clean them. Studies show that regularly bathing your pet will reduce dander, dust, and bacteria in your home which will ultimately help keep your home clean and well ventilated. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recommends that you bathe your pet weekly for the reduction of airborne allergens however this won't completely eliminate the symptoms for those suffering from pet allergies. In addition to regular bathing of your pet, it is also important to regularly brush them to reduce the amount of hair and dander present in your home. By doing so, this will also help with dander, bacteria and make your home cleaner in general - a win-win situation in our opinion.
- Tip for brushing/bathing your pet: Set aside a time each day or week to do so and reward them with treats before and after for good behavior.
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