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.