How to Make Life Easier When You’re Allergic to the Pet You LOVE
All dog owners know your furry best friend can breathe fresh, joyful energy into your life. But, unfortunately, if you’re one of the 30% of people affected by pet allergies, they can also make it hard to...well, breathe.
Thankfully, there are many solutions to allow allergy sufferers to keep their beloved pets while also successfully warding off those sniffles and sneezes. Here are five tips to reduce your allergies as a pet owner.
Tip #1: Get Tested and Consult with an Allergist
Despite what you may have heard, in the case of dogs, the allergy has nothing to do with the animal’s fur. So in fact, a long-haired pup like that gorgeous Yorkie mix up there can actually be allergy-friendly!
Instead of the fur, what exacerbates your dog allergy comes down to an otherwise harmless protein found in a pet’s dander (a.k.a. dead skin), saliva, or urine. Unfortunately, your pet can spread these proteins all over your house when they scratch behind their ears or even when chasing their favorite toy around the room.
So, where does allergy testing come in? Well, you might feel certain that you're allergic to your pet because their fur covers your clothes and furniture, but actually, you could be reacting to a different household allergen, like dust mites or even mold. That’s why it’s so important to know what your body is reacting to before moving forward.
Tip #2: Keeps Pets Out of Your Bedroom & Off Your Furniture
As dog moms and dads, we know how hard it is not to cuddle up with your pup -- but when you’re allergic, the bedroom and your furniture must remain completely off-limits.
If you let your dog on your bed or sofa, you’re increasing your exposure to more than just their dander. Common allergens like pollen and dust can stick your pet’s fur and transfer to your bedding and upholstery. If you can’t bear to not be in the same room as your furry friend and those sad puppy eyes are too much to handle, establish a special spot for your pet on a doggie bed with a removable cover or on special puppy-only blankets that can be washed regularly.
Tip #3: Stick to a Dog Grooming Schedule
While your pup may not love the idea, nothing beats down the allergens in your pet’s fur and skin better than a good bath and brush! If you’re worried about having a bad allergic break out when bathing your buddy, don’t be. Once the fur is wet, the allergens usually settle down (and you can always take an antihistamine after bath time, if that's what your doctor recommends).
That is not the case though when it comes time to brush. A non-allergic party should do this. A good tip is to dampen your pet’s fur with a wet cloth after brushing to keep the dander from flying out. And if you're a solo pet owner, no worries! Consider investing in professional grooming services, or get creative at home -- wear gloves while you brush, take grooming time outdoors so you don't have hair flying in your living room, and hop in the shower as soon as you're done to protect your poor nose.
Tip #4: Clean Carpets, Rugs, and Surfaces Regularly
Carpeting can be an allergy sufferer's worst nightmare. Carpets and rugs can be magnets for pet dander, so if you suffer from pet allergies it’s important to vacuum at least once a week. Using a vacuum with a HEPA filter will be best: these suck up tiny bits of matter, like pet dander, that other devices might miss. (HEPA air purifiers can also reduce allergens floating in air.)
If you have rugs, make sure to launder those once a week too. Pet dander can also stick to hard surfaces like walls and other flooring, so be sure to clean those often as well. Pro tip: An automatic vacuum like a Roomba can get all those hard-to-reach areas where pet fur adds up, like under your couches and coffee tables.
Tip #5: Canine Clothing Has its Benefits
Our Frenchie Hoodies are not only stylish, but can provide a barrier between you and the allergens from your dog's skin. Trapping some of the dander that irritates human allergies, and allowing it to be washed away (instead of spread on floors and furniture) is a good way to reduce the hair flying around your home.
Your pet will be lookin' good -- and you will be feelin' good! Just make sure to keep an eye on your dog's heat level, especially during these hot summer months. It's also important to give your dog a good brushing after a long hoodie sesh, simply because -- in the same way people get hat hair -- your dog's fur can get matted or clotted if she's been running around and getting sweaty for a few hours.
At Frenchie Bulldog, we LOVE to hear about your furry friends – and seeing them in our hoodies, collars, harnesses, and more! Check out all our new arrivals and let us know what you think on Instagram – find us @frenchie_bulldog.