Human Allergies and Dogs Part 4: Allergy Proof Your Home
If you live with a pet, specifically a small breed, you know that they probably get into into everything from your bed to your laundry. In this series of posts on Human Allergies and Dogs, we have been discussing managing your allergies while living with a pet. In part 1, we focused on allergy symptoms. In part 2, we focused on seeking medical attention for your allergies and in part 3, we discussed medication and treatment options. In the final post in this series, we will discuss how to avoid or mitigate certain allergy triggers in your home.
Many people choose not to or cannot afford to seek medical attention. Over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines can be expensive or perhaps you are just seeking a more natural way to manage your allergies without the doctors and drugs Whether you choose to seek medical treatment for your allergies or not, there are things that you should do to allergy proof your home in order to alleviate your symptoms. Here are some suggestions:
Track your triggers
The first thing you need to do is to track your symptoms. Allergy sufferers know very well that warm weather brings, pollens and molds that float in the air. However, just because the weather is cool that doesn’t mean that you are in the clear. Always, check your local pollen forecast in case you need to limit your outdoor time on high-count days.
Clean Floors and Carpets
I know from personal experience that most of the allergens that are found inside my home are tracked in from outside. I happen to live in a carpeted home so I vacuum religiously. You should also clean floors with a damp mop. Keep in mind that, sweeping tends to stir up rather than get rid of allergens. Consider replacing rugs and carpets, which trap and hold allergens, with hardwood, tile, or other flooring materials that are easier to clean. Choose blinds instead of curtains, which is more fabric that can trap pet dander and other allergens.
Clean Heating Ducts and Filters
Dust and dust mites thrive because of your heating system. Professional cleaners can give your ducts a clean bill of health. Change heat system filters at least once a month.
Wash Fido and Fluffy
If pet dander is an issue, bathe your pets every week. I also like to keep a water bottle that I can spritz my little yapper with before she jumps into bed with me at night. I do this on the nights that I don’t feel like giving her a bath.
Consider investing in air purifiers for your home.
These are devices which remove allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander and mold spurs from the air in a room. I keep one in my living area and in my bedroom and I can testify that it makes a big difference.
Protect your bed.
You spend a third to half your life in your bedroom, so make sure allergens like dust mites don’t live there too! If you’ve had your pillow and mattress for several years, replace them. Encase new ones in allergen-proof covers that zip closed.
We want you to be a happy, healthy pet owner and enjoy all of the time you can with your little yapper. If you suffer from allergies don’t let that be a barrier to a loving relationship with your dog.