Approximately 15% of the population is allergic to either cats or dogs, yet when faced with giving up a family pet or dealing with the symptoms of allergies, only one in five would give up their furry friend. (source) So, if you or a family member has an allergy to cats or dogs, what can you do to make the co-habitation work?
- Try selecting a breed that typically has a lower dander level and is considered “hypoallergenic”.
- Have a non-allergic family member brush and bathe your pet on a weekly basis. This process alone will greatly reduce the level of pet dander in the home. There are specialty shampoos like Allerpet – For People That Are Allergic to Cats that help to reduce allergy creating dander levels.
- Sweep and vacuum surfaces in the pets’ living area frequently. Using a vacuum that has a HEPA filter will help.
- Use HEPA air cleaners in the areas of the house that the dog or cat spends most of its time. We have an Air Cleaning Tower Fan running in the main living area of the house most of the day. It is easy to clean and really does work well to reduce allergens in the air.
- Wash hands frequently, especially after touching the pet. Additionally, over the counter anti-histamines or even allergy shots may end up giving the most relief – just consult your family doctor first.
For more information on selecting the best breed for your family, check out the Dog Guide – comprehensive dog lovers resource.