Friday, 7 April 2017

Are you allergic to fur?

Despite their cute, cuddly appearance having a pet comes with one major downside. If you’re allergic to fur, or to be precise dander, the protein that’s found in pet fur you’ll probably spend a lot of your time coughing, sneezing and wiping your eyes. Not everyone's allergic though! When it comes to families you'll often find that three out of four people aren’t, but for the individual who does find it hard to stroke the dog without feeling ill, pets aren’t all they’re cracked up to be!


Wash both of you

Lots of us tend to think that if we keep our pets squeaky clean we’re helping to reduce the chances of feeling sniffly after a couple of hours. However, bathing them regularly only solves half the problem as often pet dander is transferred onto our hands, skin, and clothes without us even knowing. The best way to limit exposure is to wash your hands and face thoroughly, in hot soapy water after playing with them. 

While we're aware that having your dog curl up on the end of the bed is adorable, it isn’t doing your health much good. Instead of having them in the bedroom, let pets sleep on a cosy blanket or basket. Pet dander is easily spread, so the last thing you need is to get it over your carpet, rugs, and bedclothes. You could also switch to hypoallergenic bedding as even though it’ll be more expensive there’s less chance of pet allergens sticking to it.

Alternatives

Pets don’t necessarily need to be furry! Turtles, lizards, snakes, tarantulas and even fish can make fantastic pets as well as birds whose feathers may not carry that form of dander. Why not put in a pond? Stock up on plenty of pond supplies then buy some tropical fish that your kids can name, feed and take care of without you going anywhere near anything furry or fluffy. 

Alternatively, children can have other pets in their lives by visiting grandparents, taking turns to look after the school hamster or rabbit and going round their friend's houses to play with their animals. Try to vacuum areas where pets have been as much as possible, and if your carpet is getting bobbly you may want to switch to hardwood flooring.


Take allergy medication

Just like hay fever sufferers do when they take Piriton, you’ll feel much better once you’ve taken an over-the-counter antihistamine that’ll relieve itchy eyes and a blocked nose. Severe allergies can cause wheezing, chest tightness and tearing so if it's awful you may want to talk to your pharmacist about prescription medication. 

Just bought a new puppy or kitten? Dogs and cats lives last much longer than hamsters or even rabbits, so you may want to consider getting allergy shots that’ll boost your immune system to the point where you won’t clinically be allergic anymore. The only issues are they can take a whole year to kick in, aren’t cheap and you’ll need weekly injections and then monthly ones which can be difficult when life’s busy enough as it is!

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