Living with a pet is not always a breeze. This is especially true for dog or cat parents who happen to have allergies or asthma that can be triggered by their little one’s shed dander. In some cases, owners may have to resort to rehoming their furry companions if a doctor has found that their or their children’s medical condition is worsened by the presence of a pet. Fortunately, there are still some ways people and pets can cohabitate better despite these issues.
For starters, owners can opt to keep their pets outside instead of having them stay inside 24/7. Doing this would reduce the dander present in one’s home. If this isn’t possible, set certain rooms of the house like the bedroom of the family member with allergies as off-limits to pets.
Limiting their access to areas of the house with wooden flooring would also help as allergens won’t have any carpets to stick to. In connection with this, train pets not to lounge on couches and any other upholstered furniture.
Another preventive measure pet owners can observe is using allergen-resistant bedding in case dander still finds its way to bedrooms. Parents are also recommended to tell their children with asthma or allergies to refrain from touching or petting animals.
The Importance of Cleaning
Aside from keeping pets to certain places in the home, owners should make sure to clean regularly to lessen the amount of allergens floating around.
This can be done by dusting and vacuuming rooms. It’s worth noting though that these might not be effective enough to completely remove all dander, especially from the low levels of rugs.
For more effective cleaning, look for a vacuum equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Just be careful not to do these cleaning activities while the person with allergies or asthma is at home. HEPA filters can also be used for air conditioners and furnaces to limit the amount of dander that circulates inside the home.
Never underestimate the benefits of frequently bathing pets when it comes to the elimination of dander. A 1999 study has found that a simple five-minute bath helped in reducing the levels of allergens found in dog dander.
The results also revealed that the allergen levels tend to bounce back again after three days. Based on these, pet owners are recommended to bathe their pups at least twice a week for the best results. Unfortunately, the same cannot be advised for cats.
While other pets like hamsters, birds, and guinea pigs aren’t as threatening to people with asthma or allergies, owners should still make sure to clean out their cages about once a week.