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Can I Live With a Dog or Cat If I Have Allergies?

Can I Live With a Dog or Cat If I Have Allergies?

Many people believe that for their health and safety they cannot have or be around pets if they are allergic to them. Unless your allergies are life threatening, this definitely is not the case. Allergies to dogs and cats can be severely debilitating but do not have long-term effects on your health. Many people who suffer from allergies live a happy and healthy life with their pets. Read on to find out how. 

What Causes Allergies to Dogs and Cats?

First of all, it is important to determine the precise cause of your allergies. If you have not been tested or diagnosed you may not be allergic to your pet at all but to another allergen you often come into contact with. Allergies manifest themselves differently in every body and you can even react differently to the same allergen depending on where you are exposed to it. If you have consistent allergy symptoms, it is important to consult an allergy specialist to figure out exactly what is causing these reactions. 

Reducing Contact With Your Pet

Once you have determined that you are in fact allergic to the dog or cat in your home, there are essentially two tactics to try. You can either reduce contact with your pet or reduce the number of allergens present. Allergens are allergy-triggering proteins found in saliva and skin that cling to an animal’s dry skin (dander) and fur. As your pet sheds, their fur and dander sticks to clothes, carpet, walls, etc. leaving behind allergens. If you share a home with a pet but are not particularly inclined to spend time with it then reducing contact is probably the best option for you. If you love your pet and want to be as close to it as possible, you may want to focus on reducing the number of allergens (but may want to ask somebody else to do it!) 

Man and dog with no personal space

Related: 3 Tips On How To Keep Your Pets Off The Furniture

Reducing the contact you have with your pet may seem simple enough but there is no point in trying to do this if their allergens are everywhere. This is why it is important to have an “allergy-free” zone in your home. This will most likely be the allergic person’s bedroom and it should also be equipped with a high-efficiency HEPA air cleaner. You may also want to consider investing in hypoallergenic sheets. Additionally, anytime you do come into contact with your pet, make sure you do not touch any part of your body (especially your face!) before thoroughly washing your hands. 

Reducing Pet Allergens In Your Home 

There are many ways to reduce the number of allergens in your home, but a lot of these methods require close contact with the allergens. If possible, have someone who is not allergic to pets take on some of the more hands-on tasks. Here are the best ways to control allergens in your environment and prevent symptoms:

Dog on rug

Related: Spring Cleaning For Pet Owners

Finally, you may want to consider treatments to help manage your day-to-day allergy symptoms. These can range from over-the-counter medications to immunotherapy. Most manage to happily live alongside their furry loved ones using a combination of these different approaches – medication, regular cleaning and a little remodelling. 

Thank you so much for reading! Please feel free to leave a comment about your personal experiences with allergies or any recommendations you may have. If you are planning on coming to see us anytime soon please do not forget to read our COVID-19 Update before visiting. 


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