How Pet Allergies Affect You

Posted by Lisa Pixley

Pet-related allergies are fairly common, but there are ways to keep them under control. We don’t want you to get rid of Fluffy or Fido, but we do think homeowners with allergies should know how exposure affects them, and what they should do to keep the problem to a minimum.

Where Pet Allergies Come From

Your cat, dog, rodent, or bird allergy is likely caused by their skin, flakes of which come off and float around in the air. You might also be allergic to a protein the saliva or urine. Dried saliva on the animal’s fur can become airborne as they shed.

Pet allergens are very lightweight, so they can float around in the air with ease and remain suspended for a long period of time. When they settle, the allergens stick around on furniture and clothing—things you come in contact with every day.

How You Are Affected

How pet allergies affect you depends on your individual respiratory system. For some people, very large concentrations of a protein are required before a reaction occurs. For others, just a small amount of dander or saliva can cause a reaction.

Symptoms may include watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or trouble breathing and chest tightness. In some cases, the lungs may slowly lose their ability to work properly.

What You Can Do

In severe cases, removing the pet becomes necessary, but of course, we recommend taking whatever steps necessary to control the situation in other ways. Only take medicine if it’s recommended or administered by a doctor and/or pharmacist. Here are some other things that you and your family members can do.

  • Clean often. Vacuum the carpets and upholstered furniture weekly. Dust and mop hard surfaces.
  • Make rules. Make the bedrooms of anyone with allergies or asthma off limits to pets. Train pets to keep off upholstered furniture.
  • Do some deep cleaning. Even if you don’t have any pets, dander from pets who lived there years ago may linger on surfaces, like the inside of the ducts. Clean your home thoroughly if allergies are troubling you, and schedule professional duct cleaning to get dander out of an area you cannot reach.

Call Alpha Air Corporation for professional air duct cleaning in Minneapolis, MN.

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