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How to deal with pet allergies

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As lovely as pets are, having allergies can be a hindrance when it comes to adopting a furry companion. Allergies to pets, particularly cats and dogs, are quite common and can cause a lot of discomfort to those affected. Often, allergy symptoms manifest as rashes, sneezing and itching eyes, and even in severe cases, difficulty in breathing. So, how do you deal with pet allergies in a way that allows you to still enjoy the company of these adorable creatures?

1. Consult with an allergist

Before considering bringing a pet into your home, it’s crucial to get yourself tested and assessed by an allergist to verify what exactly you are allergic to. Often, allergies are not just caused by pet hair, but by their dander, urine, and saliva. An allergist will then recommend the best course of action.

2. Regularly clean your home

Cleaning your home frequently means removing pet dander, dust, and other irritants that may cause you to have allergies. Additionally, consider installing air filters that trap pet allergens. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to decrease the number of allergens in the air. Furthermore, regularly washing your beddings, clothing, and the pet’s beddings can also help in reducing allergens in your home.

3. Keep your pet’s fur groomed

Pets, especially those with longer hair, tend to shed excessively and can trigger allergies. Regular grooming, including brushing their coat, can help remove loose fur, dander, and other allergens. You can also limit the presence of pet hair in your home by keeping your pet off couches and beds.

4. Make your home a pet-free zone

If you can’t bear the thought of limiting time spent with your pet or believe that other methods aren’t effective, consider making certain areas in your home as pet-free zones. You can treat your bedroom or any other designated places as a different pet-free zone to reduce allergens in the air during sleep.

5. Take allergy medications

Over-the-counter antihistamines, decongestants, and other allergy medications can help alleviate symptoms caused by pet allergies. It’s also essential to consult with your doctor or allergist before taking any medication to ensure it’s safe and effective for you.

6. Choose hypoallergenic pets

If you’re set on getting a pet, research breeds that are known for being hypoallergenic. While no pet is entirely hypoallergenic, some pets, such as certain dog breeds, are less likely to trigger allergies. This is due to the fact that their coats do not shed as much, and they do not produce as much dander or saliva.

In conclusion, pet allergies do not have to prevent you from adopting a furry companion. By taking the right precautions, consulting with an allergist, cleaning your home, choosing low-allergen pets, and taking medication, you can enjoy a happy and healthy life with your pets. Remember, having allergies to pets doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy all the joys of pet ownership.

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