Everyone loves a clean dog or cat. Many people have their pets groomed for this reason alone. However, did you know that dog and cat grooming can actually help reduce issues with allergies?
Our furry friends carry a multitude of allergens around with them on a day-to-day basis. In fact, even short-haired and hypoallergenic pets can carry and shed allergens throughout our homes. Most of these allergens come in the form of dried saliva particles that are shed and carried into the air by dander, another common allergen. Additionally, pets have the potential to carry bits of dust and pollen indoors, especially if they have long hair. These things can also trigger allergic reactions.
Obviously, if a person is severely allergic to the allergens carried by dogs or cats, they probably should not keep such pets. However, a great many individuals suffer from very mild allergic reactions which can be controlled by taking a few precautions and extra measures.
So how can you reduce the number of allergens brought into your home by pets? Below we have compiled a list of our top tips for diminishing the number of allergens on your pet, in your home, and on your person.
Giving your dog or cat regular baths with a shampoo made specifically for pets can help rid their bodies of allergens. However, it is important to choose a soap that promotes healthy skin, because dry or irritated skin could lead to excessive shedding of dander.
If you are unsure which product to use, aren’t confident in your pet-bathing skills, or just don’t have time for such things, simply make an appointment with a local groomer. A professional bath will definitely do the trick, and you’ll never have to come near the allergens spread throughout the bath.
Brushing daily will help release any allergens trapped beneath the fur, making your pet less likely to spread them throughout the house. This should be done outside and by a non-allergic person. If an allergic person must do the brushing, be sure they wear a mask to protect themselves.
Dogs and cats with long hair can easily trap dander, saliva, dust, and pollen under their thick coats. This is gathered in larger quantities than it might usually be, making it especially harmful when it is released into the air. For this reason, it is important to schedule haircuts on a regular basis.
Switching to a pet food that contains oils for skin health, as well as the right balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, will promote healthy skin in your pet. Healthy skin means less dander-shed and fewer allergens in the air around you.
Use an Air Purifier
A high-quality air purifier can help remove dander and dust from the air, making your home a much cleaner and healthier place to be.
Designate “Pet-Free” Zones
By designating a few “pet-free” rooms in various places around the house and keeping pets off of the furniture, you can drastically reduce a person’s exposure to pet allergens. It also gives those who do suffer from allergies a place to escape should an allergy attack start.
Tile, wood, and linoleum can all be wiped clean, freeing them from any allergens that may be present. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of carpet. Therefore, carpeting—especially-wall to-wall carpeting—should be avoided in pet-friendly homes.
Mop and Dust Often
If you want your home to be free of dust, pollen, and dander, it is pretty plain to see that regular cleaning is going to be required. That said, dry dusting and sweeping are definitely not the route to take in this case. These methods are likely to stir allergens up into the air. Instead, use a wet mop and a spray dusting solution.
Wash Hands and Clothes
After playing with a pet, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly. It also helps to have clothing that is dedicated to pet play. These clothes should be removed as soon as a play session ends and washed in an allergen-neutralizing detergent.
When it does come time to play with your pet, take it outside. Petting, wrestling, and running with your pet all release trapped allergens into the air, something you definitely want to avoid while indoors.
If you are suffering from allergies caused by pets, we encourage you to contact us at Awesome Doggies. We would be happy to swing by and give your pet a good cleaning and even a haircut. This will leave your pet feeling refreshed, and your sinuses will thank you for it.