If you only suffer from mild dog allergies and have an allergy-safe dog, it can be tempting to put up and shut up, simply because you can’t imagine not living with a dog.
If you are one of these people, we’re here to help.
Whilst we haven’t got a magic wand to totally eradicate your allergies, we have got some top tips that can help keep breakouts at bay.
1. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter!
To keep allergens at bay, you should be vacuuming at least 2-3 times a week with a pet dander remover, if not daily.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air.
Its design traps microscopic particles keeping them from being thrown back into the environment.
Most pet vacuums have an inbuilt HEPA filter, but it’s worth checking the label if you’re in the market for a new one!
2. And an air purifier!
It may be worthwhile investing in an air purifier in your home. Again, these are built with HEPA filters that trap dust and dirt. They can be a helpful addition to your home if you are struggling with your symptoms.
3. Pay attention to your bedding!
If your dog sleeps with you, first decide whether this is great for your symptoms.
If it doesn’t affect you too severely, ensure you wash your bedding at least weekly.
Place blankets, pillows, or throws on your bed so you can wash them even more regularly. Encase pillows and mattresses with dust-proof covers as this helps keep particles from getting inside!
Vacuum your mattress regularly.
4. Keep rugs to a minimum!
Whilst they look great, rugs are great places for dust, dander, and hair to settle.
If you are regularly vacuuming them, they aren’t so much of an issue, but it can be more beneficial to stick with hard flooring with easy to wash mats in high traffic areas.
Hard flooring is easy to sweep/vacuum and mop regularly. Easy-to-wash mats can simply be popped in the washing machine.
Be mindful of the curtains you are hanging in your home.
Whilst you can get some beautiful fabrics, some are dry clean only. Not ideal if you need to be washing them regularly – it’ll cost a fortune! Cotton curtains can often just be washed in the washing machine and hung to dry.
6. Be mindful of other health issues!
For some who suffer from pet allergies, they can be more prone to other reactions or allergy-induced asthma:
- If you are using chemicals to clean with, use a face mask to prevent any compounds from being inhaled.
- Keep your home mold and mildew free – this can exacerbate breathing issues.
- Use fans in bathrooms to keep moisture at bay and always get rid of moldy shower curtains!
- If you suffer from hay fever, keep windows closed during peak season and invest in an air con unit.
- When cooking, use an extractor fan to keep the air clean from pollutants.
7. Find a new love for cleaning!
Whilst it can often be the last thing you want to do at the end of a long day, getting into a habit of regularly whipping around your home will keep allergens in the environment at bay!
If you don’t want to tackle the whole house as soon as you get in, create a to-do list at the beginning of the week.
You may tackle your kitchen on Monday, your hall on Tuesday, your bedroom on Wednesday and so on. Rather than a dusting, use a damp cloth or use the dusting attachment on your vacuum. You want to remove the allergens, not just move them around or throw them back into the air that you are breathing.
Set a timer on your phone or clock, spend 25 minutes a day cleaning. That’s 1.74% of your day. Achievable?
If you only suffer mild allergy symptoms around your dog, there are ways you can keep your environment a little more tolerable. Getting into the habit of regularly cleaning and vacuuming will help reduce the allergens in the environment. It also helps to consider how other things in your environment can contribute to your already irritated respiratory system. However, if you are struggling with your symptoms, it is essential to visit your health care provider for advice.