Have you always dreamed of owning a pet but worry that you might have a pet allergy? If this is the case, do not give up hope! There are wonderful pet options available for allergy sufferers and there are also measures you can take to control the allergens in your home.
Below are five steps to help people with allergies enjoy the benefits of pet ownership.
1) Get tested for pet allergies
Before you embark upon the path to pet ownership, make sure that you visit a trained allergist to confirm whether you are actually allergic to pet dander or other pet-related allergens. In most cases, allergy testing can be conducted in a doctor's office.
With advances in technology, most allergists are able to provide the results of skin tests before you leave your appointment.
2) Do your homework before you adopt
If you are diagnosed with an allergy, talk to your doctor about the types of pets that you could safely adopt. In addition to hypoallergenic dogs and cats, there are other pet options that you consider if you are diagnosed with a pet allergy. Here are a few unique pet options that provide companionship without aggravating your allergies:
3) Update your flooring
"Some types of flooring are harder to clean and trap dirt and dust more than others. You want to stick to a floor that you can clean quickly and won't have cravases where dust can settle. The easier a floor is to clean, the better is for allergy sufferers."
Keeping your floors clean is always more challenging when you introduce a pet to your household. Many pets shed hair and can track dirt and dust through your home.
Because dirt and hair can easily become lodged in carpeting, pet owners with allergies should consider hardwood, tile, or linoleum flooring. In addition to helping you control allergens, these types of flooring are easier to clean than carpeting.
4) Invest in cutting-edge air filters
After you adopt a pet, it is a good idea to invest in high-quality air filters to help ensure that your air is kept free of dust and other allergens. Filters with a multi-layered design that have been independently tested are excellent options.
Air filters with a multi-layered design have been shown to outperform standard pleated filters, making them a superb option for pet owners and allergy sufferers alike.
5) Comply with your allergy treatments
If you are diagnosed with a pet allergy, make sure that you follow your doctor's treatment recommendations. The type of treatment prescribed will depend on the type of allergy you have and the level of severity.
For instance, the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology outlines some of the most common treatments for people with pet allergies:
"Nasal symptoms are often treated with steroid nasal sprays, oral antihistamines or other oral medications. Eye symptoms are often treated with antihistamine eyedrops. Respiratory or asthma symptoms can be treated with inhaled corticosteroids or bronchodilators to either prevent or relieve respiratory symptoms...Allergy shots (immunotherapy) are an effective treatment of allergies by building tolerance over time through gradually injecting increasing doses of an allergen."
- American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology
The Bottom Line About Pets and Allergies
Pets are a wonderful addition to almost every household. Even if you are diagnosed with a pet allergy you can still enjoy the many rewards of pet ownership. By adopting a hypoallergenic dog or cat and taking measures to control allergens in your home, you can have the four-legged friend you have always dreamed about.
We invite you to contact us to learn more about controlling allergens in your home. Our multi-layered air filters are the perfect addition to homes of pet owners and allergy sufferers alike. We look forward to hearing from you!