Child Guide Magazine Telephone: 301-665-2817

Tips for Creating an Animal-Friendly Environment for Allergy Sufferers

Pet allergies can raise a good deal of potential problems for people who are trying to become pet parents. However, by following the advice of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals, comprised of in-home pet care professionals, you can avoid being hampered by your allergies, and live in harmony with your furry friends.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, there are several ways for potential pet parents to prepare themselves for life with a furry new roommate. If you are considering becoming a pet parent, don’t let allergies stand in your way; NAPPS urges you to follow these tips for creating an animal-friendly environment:

1. Create an "allergy free" zone in your home—preferably the allergic person's bedroom—and strictly prohibit the pet's access to it. Use a high-efficiency air cleaner and consider using impermeable covers for the mattress and pillows. Contact your veterinarian regarding products available that can help decrease shedding and reduce pet dander.

2. Frequently bathing your pet can reduce the level of allergy-causing dander (shed old skin cells). Cats can get used to being bathed, but it's critical to only use products labeled for them; kittens may need a shampoo safe for kittens. Check with your veterinarian's staff or a good book on pet care for directions about safe bathing, It's a good idea to use a shampoo recommended by your veterinarian or other animal care professional.

3. Get allergy answers from your doctor; ask to be specifically tested for allergies related to pet dander. Many allergy sufferers are sensitive to more than one allergen; understanding your sensitivities will help you cope with your allergies. To help reduce the overall allergen level in your environment, clean couch covers, pillows, curtains and other items frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander.

4. Dust off and try again if one solution isn’t successful; a combination of approaches—medical treatment, good housecleaning methods, and immunotherapy—is most likely the key to living in harmony with your furry friend—and your allergies.
Whether you’re looking for a dog or cat companion, consider a breed that produces a minimal amount of dander and shedding. A short-haired furball is less likely to cause unwanted allergy flare-ups for pet parents.

NAPPS is the only national non-profit trade association dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals. The Association aims to help the pet owning public, those interested in pet sitting, and professionals engaged in the in-home pet care industry by fulfilling its vision statement, serving as “the most respected authority in professional pet sitting.” It does so by providing the tools and support to foster the success of its members. Additionally, pet parents can benefit from NAPPS’ free resources including a disaster preparedness guide, tips on how to select a pet sitter, nationwide referral service, and quarterly teleconferences aimed to educate the pet owning public. To find a pet sitter in your area, check out NAPPS’ nationwide “Pet Sitter Locator” at  For more information on NAPPS, please follow @TheNAPPS on Twitter or join us on Facebook at