Do you or someone in your family have allergies? Your pet isn’t necessarily to blame. Animal dander (skin dandruff that flakes naturally) is just one of many irritants that can cause allergies but, unfortunately, the pet is often the easiest to blame. You don’t have to live without your pets, however. Many people who were told to give up their pets have found other solutions and are living comfortably, right along with their cats, dogs and iguanas.
Try these tips before surrendering to your allergies:
- Go to a reputable allergist. Insist on thorough testing. Some doctors give only a “scratch test.” This is not conclusive. More informative tests are available.
- Don’t give up your animal right away. Even if the doctor says your pet is part of your allergy problem, remember: You’re allergic to the dander, excess fur and other non-pet-related irritants. Try these alternatives:
- Invest in a good air purifier
- Desensitize your home. Keep everything as clean and free of dust, hair and animal dander as possible
- Live with as many washable surfaces as possible — the fewer carpets and upholstered pieces, the better
- Put washable covers on mattresses, box springs and pillows