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Managing Pet Allergies

Achoo! If you’re always sneezing after snuggling with your pet, you are among the approximately 20% of people who have pet allergies. There are many steps you can take to improve your pet- allergy symptoms while increasing the time you spend giving love to your pet.


What You Need to Know About Pet Allergens

Pet allergies are commonly triggered by exposure to the dander (dead skin cells) a pet sheds, or by being in areas where they relieve themselves. Even saliva from your sweet pet’s smooch can cause your allergies to flare.

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Pet Allergens Are Everywhere

Many people are allergic to pet dander, which can be suspended in the air like pollen . They are called aeroallergens. Dander collects on surfaces like carpets, upholstered furniture, curtains and mattresses. Because it travels easily through the air, these allergens may also cling to your clothes and hair and are easily transferred in public settings where animals aren’t present, like schools and offices. If you suddenly start sneezing at work, one of the causes may be your new cat-loving co-worker.

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Are There Hypoallergenic Pets?

Even though your cat may be hairless or you have a supposed “ allergy -friendly” breed of dog, your pet is not actually hypoallergenic . You may be more or less allergic to individual animals, but any furry or feathered friend produces proteins that can trigger allergies.

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Which Pets Cause the Most Allergy Symptoms?

More people are allergic to cats than dogs because cats groom themselves with their tongues, depositing saliva on top of dander. You can also be allergic to rabbits, birds, ferrets and other animals you may keep as a pet.


How to Help Reduce Pet Dander Exposure

Just because you’re allergic to your pets, it doesn’t mean you always have to avoid them. Here are some tips to help reduce your exposure to pet allergens in your home.

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Don’t Sleep Next to Your Pet

Teach your pet to sit and stay – separate from where you sleep. The warmth from your cat or dog couldn’t be cozier, especially in colder seasons, but keeping your bedroom as a pet-free zone may help decrease your nighttime allergy symptoms and increase your shut-eye.

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Vacuum Often

Make it a clean sweep. Removing pet allergens in your home by vacuuming up dust and fur from carpets and furniture can help reduce your allergies. Invest in a vacuum that has a HEPA filter and double-thickness bags. Vacuuming may stir up dust and dander, so delegate the task to a family member or wear a dust mask.

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Clean Cages and Bedding

Even small pets can cause a big reaction. Small rodents like gerbils, mice and guinea pigs spread allergens too. Because their cages are filled with bedding, large amounts of allergens can be found there. Clean cages and tanks regularly and supply clean, fresh bedding.

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Purify the Air

Breathe a little easier. Placing HEPA air filters in rooms where you and your pets hang out together. may improve air quality in those rooms. If you have a forced-air heating and air conditioning system, change the filter often and choose high-quality filters.

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Information provided by Pollen.com