Today marks National Dog Day, the world’s first official pet holiday to celebrate our loveable furry friends. But what do you do if you bring home a pet dog only to find yourself allergic?
According to Allergy UK, 40% of children with asthma are also allergic to dogs. Cats, rabbits and other domestic animals can also be sources of allergy symptoms. Pet allergy can vary in seriousness; some people only experience minor irritating symptoms as a result of coming into contact with their pet, while others will be so badly allergic that they cannot face living with the pet at all.
Rather than the hair itself, a protein allergen present in the dog’s sweat and saliva (Can f1) is what triggers allergy symptoms. Small and lightweight, it tends to stay airborne for hours. As the dog gets older, it produces more and more of these allergens.
Symptoms of dog allergy include the following:
- Wheezing and breathing difficulties
- Streaming, puffy eyes
- Hives and skin irritation (such as eczema)
- Worsened asthma
What to do if you find yourself allergic to your dog
As long as your allergy symptoms are mild and not life-threatening, there are a few measures that can be taken which can dramatically help to improve your symptoms:
1. Keep the dog out of the bedroom. A natural dog allergy treatment like PetalCleanse can be applied topically weekly to reduce the allergens on its coat.
2. Clean rigorously! Use a high efficiency vacuum cleaner (preferably with a HEPA filter) and damp dust throughout the home regularly. Remember to wear a mask when cleaning (or cotton gloves in the case of eczema) so that your allergy symptoms do not flare up.
3. Use the HomeCare range. Wash pet bedding with FabriCleanse to gently remove allergens and spray HomeCleanse and AirCleanse on soft furnishings and in the air. These cost effective sprays are actually quite powerful – they can reduce allergen exposure by up to 90% by denaturing the allergens.
4. Carpets can trap multiple allergens, so consider switching to wooden or laminate floors that are easier to keep clean.
5. Keep your home well ventilated and use an air purifier or air steriliser to physically remove the offending allergens from the air. Some air purifiers such as the Fellowes PT65 also have carbon filters to remove pet odour.
Read more about pet allergy here.
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