A note about pet allergies
An allergy to pets is caused by the animal’s urine, salvia and dead skin cells which are collectively known as animal dander. As a result, all animals have the potential to bring on an allergic reaction and, regardless of the breed, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet.
1 Limit pet’s access around the house
When animals have free range of the home their dander will spread easily and for allergy sufferers, this is likely to make symptoms more noticeable.
Bedrooms should be a no-go zone for pets as dander easily collects in the fabric of bedding, curtains, rugs and pillows. This can bring on symptoms at night that will easily disrupt sleep so keep pets confined to their own beds to prevent a flare up.
Also, many of us spend a lot of time in our living rooms meaning that any dander in that area is likely to become noticeable. Therefore, if possible, this is another area of the home that should be off limits to pets.
When symptoms are severe pets could be confined to certain areas of the house: a kitchen, for example, or the ground floor of your home.
2 Try a herbal remedy
Whilst antihistamines often provide effective relief from allergy symptoms, they can come with a list of undesirable side effects including drowsiness and headaches. There is, however, a kinder, gentler alternative in the form of herbal remedies such as Pollinosan.
Made to a traditional homeopathic method, each tablet contains seven tropical herbs that together bring relief from the symptoms of a pet allergy.
3 Invest in an air purifier
After contact with a pet, allergens lurk not only in clothing, hair and bedding, but also in the surrounding air. This will cause the likes of sniffing and sneezing during the day and can make for a fitful sleep when night time comes too.
Air purifiers can prove helpful here as they filter air to get rid of allergens like dander, mould spores and pollen. Place the air purifier in an area where you spend a lot of time and this should help to ease discomfort.
4 Get lots of vitamin C
As an avid supporter of the immune system and a natural antihistamine (histamine is produced by the body in response to allergens), vitamin C should feature high in the diet of allergy sufferers.
Citrus fruits like oranges will help you keep your vitamin C intake up but that’s not your only option. Vitamin C is abundant in a host of tasty fruits and vegetables including red peppers, kale, kiwis, broccoli and strawberries. Try our strawberry and pear smoothie for a quick and refreshing hit of vitamin C.
5 Clean regularly
It may not be everyone’s favourite past time but cleaning regularly is necessary if you experience allergy symptoms as a result of pets. This will prevent a build-up of dander to help ease discomfort.
Hoovering is an important task when it comes to clearing up allergens - it is the easiest and most effective way to gather and dispose of them. Wiping surfaces with a damp cloth rather than a dry one is also effective (a dry cloth will only move allergens around whereas a wet one will collect them).
On top of this, wash pet toys and bedding often, but don’t forget to shove your own duvet cover and cushions in the washing machine on a regular basis as well.
Click here for more cleaning tips for allergy sufferers.
6 Groom pets outdoors
Brushing and washing a pet indoors will give allergens ample opportunity to spread so, to avoid this, take the pet shampoo and comb into the back garden. If the weather does not allow for this (neither you nor your pet should get frostbite in an attempt to stem the flow of allergens around the home), then groom your pet in a garden shed or garage if possible. Alternatively, allow the professional groomers to take care of your furry friend’s coat!
7 Use a natural nasal spray
If animal dander brings you out with a runny nose or congestion then a natural nasal spray such as Pollinosan Nasal Spray can be helpful. The problem with traditional nasal sprays is that they can’t always be used over a long period of time and often people are sensitive to the harsh ingredients they contain. Pollinosan, on the other hand, contains a gentle combination of herbs that soothe the nose and rinse it of allergens.
8 Get hard wood flooring
Carpets easily collect animal dander so this is yet another thing that could make allergy symptoms more intense. Hard wood flooring, on the other hand, does not. This type of flooring has the added benefit that it’s quite easy to clean – a sweep with a damp mop will gather up any dander.
This is quite a drastic, not to mention expensive, way to minimise allergy symptoms so I’d recommend you try all the other options on this list before taking this one further.
Swelling, itching and watering – the eyes can suffer after exposure to pet allergies. As the area is already quite sensitive at this time, we don’t want to make matters worse by putting harsh products on top and because of this I’d always go for natural eye drops.
Our Extra Moisturising Eye Drops are a superb option as they contain natural ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and a herb known as eyebright. Together these ingredients act swiftly to ease irritation and moisturise the eyes.
To prevent dander from collecting on your clothing, hair and hands after contact with an animal, it can be helpful to shower, clean your hands or put your clothes in the washing machine as soon as possible. These steps will also help to prevent dander from being distributed throughout your home.
11 Use a little neem cream
Itchy skin and redness is yet another common allergy symptom. This occurs when dander lands on the area, but may also be a result of an over-active immune system. The problem can be made worse by a number of everyday products such as deodorants, shower gel and bubble bath.
Neem is a type of tree that is known to have a number of health benefits. Here at A.Vogel, however, we use it in our Neem Cream as it is very effective in soothing irritated, red or itchy skin.
To make this product we use fresh rather than dried neem extracts as this maintains the active ingredients that make neem so beneficial for our skin.
12 Drink nettle tea
Finally, caffeine is inflammatory meaning it is likely to exacerbate symptoms of an animal allergy such as itchy skin, congestion and swelling around the eyes. This means you should try to avoid breakfast tea and coffee during a flare up.
Nettle makes a good alternative at this time because not only is it tasty and refreshing, it also contains natural anti-inflammatory properties that could counter the pro-inflammatory nature of histamine.