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Have Allergies but Love Your Pets? Read on…

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Bo, the adored cat: I know how important pets are to people.  Take me, for example.  My human, Karen, could not last a single day without my wonderful presence.  Pets, especially cats, really do warm one’s heart.  Sadly, many pet lovers are afflicted with allergies to pet dander, making it difficult to own a pet.  I am here to say that, yes! You can own a pet…er, cat….despite those allergies.

First of all, it is important to keep your home clean.  Fortunately, we have a dog named Jessie that tends to all of the domestic chores around here.  I have no time for such frivolity.  You have to be diligent about cleaning all hard servivces, carpeting, and furniture to rid them of dust and allergens.  Use a damp cloth or one of those micro fiber cloths to clean those hard surfaces.  You have to vacuum often. (Aside to the dog:  Hey, Jessie!  Don’t forget to sweep the kitchen floor!)  It is best to use a HEPA vacuum that is completely sealed  (That way the dog cannot escape!) If you use an unsealed vacuum cleaner, the majority of the allergens that escape will be from your pets.

You can conduct a simple test to see if your vacuum is sealed.  (Most notably, if the dog cannot get out, you are safe!)  Seriously, place your vacuum cleaner into a beam of light that shines through a window.  Turn on the vacuum cleaner.  Don’t even push it.  Just notice if you see thousands of particles, including pet allergen, coming from the vacuum cleaner and spreading throughout the air you breath.  If you see all of that, you may want to invest in a quality, sealed vacuum cleaner.

It is also wise to invest in HEPA room air cleaners or HEPA air purifiers in any room in which you spend a good deal of time.  A quality HEPA air clenaer or purifier should be able to clean all pet allergen and other pesky airborne allergens in an area of up to 1,000 square feet.

If you can afford to do so, replace carpeting with tile, linoleum, or hard wood floors.  Be sure to wash your dog or cat once a week to reduce the protein allergens that stick to them.  It may take time, but it will make a difference.  Bathing a cat may seem weird, but, over time, your cat will adjust. (Aside:  Bo!  Draw me my bath right now!  Don’t forget the bubbles! Quickly now!)

You can cover your car seats and any porous fabric furniture with sheets that you can wash.  Be sure to wash your hands after you play with your pet and wash your clothes often.  It is better to keep your dirty pet allergen covered clothes in a hamper in a hallway bathroom as opposed to your bedroom.

I am sure this all may sound tedious, but at the end of the day, when you have the unconditional love and adoration of your pet…er, cat….what could be better?

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