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How to handle pet allergies

It’s hard to enjoy your day when you’re sniffling and sneezing. Allergies to pets aren’t a lot of fun. Fortunately there are some tricks that can make coping a little easier. Read on for tips on how to manage allergies to all your furry friends.

Woman with cat

Unlike seasonal allergies, where it can be a little easier to feel angry at the ragweed and pollen clogging up your nose, it’s hard to not be a little saddened at the fact you can’t play with your favourite cat or dog without sneezing or breaking out in hives. Pet allergies are undoubtedly frustrating and disappointing. But there are some strategies that can help.

Find the right medication

We’ve all seen plenty of ads for different allergy medications that are touted as being the answer to your problems. But the fact is everyone is different, and what works for someone else may not work for you. Talk to your doctor about how your allergies present themselves, and see if he or she has any recommendations. If you have serious allergic reactions, a prescription may be necessary. Otherwise, over-the-counter medications such as Reactine for day-to-day use and Benadryl for sudden reactions may do the trick. But your needs may be different and cause you to require a nasal spray or eye drops to feel relief. The important thing is to not give up and seek out more information until you find the strategy that works for you.

Avoid danger zones

If you are visiting a friend or family member with a pet, ask the owner where the cat or dog spends most of the time. If the furry one’s favourite place to sleep is on the living room couch, you’ll want to avoid sitting there. Generally speaking, carpets trap more fur and dander, so you may be better off sticking to rooms with hardwood or ceramic floors.

Keep it clean

If you live in a home where a cat or dog is present, allergies can be overwhelming. Sometimes investing in allergy-resistant bedding and furniture upholstery can help sufferers. Also, having someone in your family bathe the cat or dog regularly can help to minimize problems.

Let others know

It isn’t a bad idea to let your friends and family members know about your allergies. They may be able to put Fido out in the backyard for a little bit so you can feel some relief. Or they may have experience with similar allergies and know of a place in their home that is less affected or a medication that does the trick. Once an allergy attack hits, all the sneezing and sniffling will make it quite clear you’re affected, so seek out assistance from the get-go rather than try to hide your allergies.

Find your own furry friend

If you are a lover of animals, not being able to have a pet of your own can be disappointing. But it doesn’t have to be that way! There are plenty of alternatives to the typical cat or dog that are allergy free. Lizards, turtles and fish can add some love and life to your home without the allergies. If you have always wanted a dog of your own, consider getting a hypo-allergenic puppy. Or if a hypo-allergenic cat is what you’ve always wanted, check out the allerca cats. They’re pricey, but if you know you want a kitten of your own, getting one may be worth it.

more on allergies

The best pets for kids with allergies
How to spot symptoms of pet allergies
Reduce allergies at home

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