Pet dander (dead skin cells) is literally everywhere! It has been found
on airplanes, on all types of fabric, in malls and other public places
and if you are allergic to it, being around it can make your life
miserable. Some people also react to saliva and urine too. But what if
the thought of giving up your pet is worse than living with your
allergic reactions? Here are some suggestions.
Create a pet-free zone in your home for the person or people who are
allergic; this might be their bedroom. Replace carpeted floors with
either tile or wood. Cover mattresses in plastic. Vacuum and dust often.
Don't allow your pets on the furniture. Bathe and brush your pet once a
week (yes, your cat can get used to being bathed!). Wash your hands
often, especially after coming in contact with your pet's hair. Use
HEPA-filter air cleaners throughout your home. Work with an
understanding allergist who can recommend treatments such as shots,
antihistamines and the like. Consider having your pet live outside.
Other information about allergies to pets: Many children will outgrow
their allergies over time, dogs whose hair grows (like the Poodle or
Bichon Frise) may not completely allergy-free and even some hairless
breeds can cause allergic reactions, and one particular dog or cat may
cause a more severe reaction in an allergic person than another.
Weigh the pros and cons carefully but here's a final thought that might
sway you: most people who have allergies and pets opt to keep their