How Should I Deal with Pet Allergies?

It is not uncommon for pet owners to develop allergies after years of having an animal around the house. When this happens, you have already developed a relationship with your pet and it is painful to think about having to give them up to spare your plagued sinuses which could also provoke the pet's aggressive animal behavior again as well. By the same token you cannot be living on antihistamines in order to spend any time in your own home. You will need to develop coping strategies that are effective with your personal immune system so you and your pet can live together without issue.

Before you start having a discussion about whether or not you will need to get rid of your pet because of allergies, see a doctor and have the allergy confirmed with a test. You may discover that the new flowerbed your neighbors planted is actually the source of your discomfort, not the dog you have had for years. This test will also give you a better idea of whether you are reacting to pet saliva, dander or urine and how serious the allergy is to give you a better idea of what coping strategies will be appropriate to get relief.

Coping with Allergies

If you are reacting to a dander allergy like most allergy sufferers, keeping the home as clean and dander-free as possible will do a great deal to bring relief. Do not allow the pet into your bedroom so you have an area where you can go to get relief. It may be necessary to ban pets from sitting on the furniture or spending a great deal of time in the house if the allergy is severe enough. Avoid handling the pet often and wash your hands or change clothing when you do to avoid a reaction.

Cleaning dander out of a home will have to be a continuous chore in order to prevent discomfort. You may need to vacuum or dust every day if you have a pet that sheds often or tends to have dry skin. Running an air purifier for a few hours each day will also help filter away the dander that floats around with airborne dust. Wash and brush your pets often, at least once a week, to help prevent excess hair from building up. Excess hair dries out their scalp, creating more dander that makes allergy sufferers miserable.

If you are allergic to urine or saliva you will need to avoid performing some pet care chores. Have someone else change the litter box or brush your pet's teeth. Teach your pet that it is not acceptable to lick members of the family that have allergies. Place the litter box in an area of the house that can easily be avoided by the person with allergy trouble and restrict your dog to a limited area when they use the bathroom outdoors. You should also avoid handling items such as toys or food dishes that might be covered in saliva.

There are many allergy medications available intended for those who are dealing with pet allergies, but some are not intended for long-term or everyday use. Before starting on an allergy medication, speak to your doctor about what options are available. Be very clear about what your symptoms are and what you have already done to combat the issue so your doctor has a better idea of what type of medication might help. Once you start taking medication, make sure you understand the risks and what other medications or substances such as alcohol that are unsafe when mixed with antihistamines.

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