Getting a new pet is exciting for all involved, but after having a new dog or cat in your home for a few weeks, you may find a member, or members, of your family start to feel sick. Itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing, running nose and more can all be related to an allergy to your new furry friend.
Some may experience symptoms for the first time, even after being around pets in the past, due to having near constant exposure with a pet living in the home. But don’t panic, there are a few things you can do to avoid symptoms and having to rehome your new family member.
There are many measures someone can take to reduce symptoms, but to do that, you must know where the symptoms are coming from. It’s not your pet’s fur that causes sniffling and sneezing, but the tiny, flaky skin called dander, and the saliva of the pet.
Knowing that, consider these measures that may help reduce symptoms:
- Have someone without a pet allergy brush the pet outside to remove dander and to clean the litter box or kennel.
- Bathe your pet on a regular basis.
- Keep the pet outside of the bedroom of the allergic individual, or limit spaces where the pet can roam freely.
- Vacuum carpet and wash rugs frequently.
- Change your clothes after prolonged animal exposure.
- Add a HEPA filter to central heating and air conditioning to help remove pet allergens from the air. You can also use an air cleaner at least four hours per day.
These measures may help reduce symptoms but will likely never get rid of them entirely, even if it is believed that the pet was hypoallergenic (hint – that’s not really possible).
Temporary symptom relievers
Like with other environmental allergies, consistently taking antihistamines and any allergy medications a provider has recommended is the best way to avoid symptoms temporarily.
Allergy sufferers can treat local reactions, too, by using antihistamine eye drops for itchy eyes, nasal sprays for congestion, and antihistamine or anti-itch cream for skin reactions. These symptom-relieving measures will have to be used continuously to keep annoying symptoms at bay.
Treat the cause
Immunotherapy is the only treatment that changes the cause of your pet allergy by slowly training the body to not react to problematic allergens. Allergychoices advocates for allergy drop immunotherapy following The La Crosse Method™ Protocol, which is a personalized allergy drop treatment you take daily wherever you need to be — at home or on the go.
Whether you use allergy drop immunotherapy or allergy shots, it takes three to five years to build tolerance, so using preventive measures and symptom relievers can be beneficial until you build tolerance.
For those already on allergy drop immunotherapy following The La Crosse Method and are still feeling symptoms, ask your provider about high potency dander dosing. This additional “booster” can help make living with pets more bearable until your body builds tolerance with standard allergy drops.
Looking for providers near you to start treatment? Fill out this form.