Living with pets you're allergic to isn't impossible - it just takes a bit of forethought and a commitment to regular cleaning.
Despite the fact that they sometimes make us cough and sneeze, we still want them around.
Here are 5 tips to help ensure everyone is safe and comfortable at home.
Make your bedroom a pet-free zone to reduce your exposure to allergens.
cozy bed is a snug spot for animal dander to settle in.
To peacefully live with a pet you're
allergic to, you'll need to wash your bed linens at least once a week in
the hottest water safe for your sheets.
Your comforter, blanket, and pillows should be washed at least monthly.
vacuum your blinds regularly - they're a virtual magnet for animal
dander, dust and more.
Dust all the rooms in your home carefully, being sure to hit every nook and corner cranny.
Sweep up pet hair, and
vacuum regularly. It's nothing short of amazing how much fur we can't see settles into carpet fibers.
The most effective weapon in the war against allergens when you're living with a pet you're allergic to is a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA (high-efficiency particle absorbent) filter.
It's expensive, but worth it.
Have a non-allergic friend or family member bathe Fido or Fluffy once
a week in a tub filled with lukewarm water and a pet shampoo or your
own (mild) hair shampoo to remove excess dander.
A daily brushing will help cut down on dander, too.
Train your pet to stay off the furniture. If it's already used to
taking a nap there, cover upholstered chairs and couches with a sheet or
towel that will serve to trap animal dander.
Wash these covers regularly.
Heard the saying "Snug as a bug in a rug"? 'Nuff said.
and creepy critters far from you breathing space by regularly cleaning
(at least once a month) your carpets and rugs.
If possible, remove carpets and rugs altogether and replace with wood, tile or linoleum floors.
Use a HEPA air cleaner. Pet dander can become airborne, but it can
also easily be removed with a HEPA air cleaner attached to central
heating or cooling. Run the filter at least three hours daily.
Choose a Turtle, Fish, or Lizard Instead of a Furry Pet.
You're less likely to be allergic to fish, turtles and lizards than to furry cats or dogs.
Finally, don't get sucked in by those "hypoallergenic" pet claims - there's no such thing as a 100 percent hypoallergenic dog or cat.
Allergen Cleaning: 4 Steps to Breathing Easier
8 Tips for Sniffle-Free Sleep
Cleaning Pet Messes
Preventing Zoonotic Diseases
Easy Pets for Kids
Dogs: A Medium Maintenance Pet for Kids
Exotic Pets for Kids: What You Need to Know
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About the Author
Tara Aronson is a native Californian. Having grown up in San Diego, she studied journalism and Spanish to pursue a career in newspaper writing. Tara, whose three children - Chris, Lyndsay, and Payne - are the light of her life, now lives and writes in Los Angeles. She also regularly appears on television news programs throughout the U.S.