Despite the pet allergy symptoms they sometimes give us - like coughing and sneezing - we still want our pets around.
We can healthily cohabitate - with a few basic ground rules in place - and a commitment to regular preventative cleaning around the house.
These 6 tips for minimizing pet allergies can help ensure everyone is more comfortable at home.
Keeping pets out of the bedroom - the room you spend the most time in - will go a long way toward reducing exposure to pet allergens.
After all, your cozy bed is a snug spot for animal dander to settle in, too.
To peacefully coexist, 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.
Damp-wipe or vacuum your blinds regularly - they're a virtual magnet for animal dander, dust and more.
In fact, dust all the rooms in your home carefully, being sure to hit every nook and corner cranny.
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 of your cat or dog will help cut down on dander in your home, too.
Train your pet to stay off the furniture. If your cat or dog is 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.
Keep pet dander far from your breathing space by regularly cleaning (at least once a month) your carpets and rugs. This alone will dramatically reduce pet allergy symptoms. If possible, remove carpets and rugs altogether and replace with wood, tile or linoleum floors.
Choose a turtle, fish, or lizard instead of a furry pet if you're looking for a new pet and have pet allergies.
You're less likely to be allergic to fish, turtles and lizards than to 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.