You adore your new pet. The allergens it brings? Not so much. Before you make a drastic decision, take these 4 steps to reduce pet allergens in your home:
1. Put your HVAC system to work for you
Your HVAC system doesn’t just keep you warm or cool. It also determines if your home is a welcome habitat for allergens. The Mayo Clinic suggests that you, “maintain the temperature between 68 F (20 C) and 72 F (22 C) and keep relative humidity no higher than 50 percent.” Homeowners with allergen concerns should also invest in small-particle filters and change them monthly. Take a look at this article by Consumer Reports, reviewing some of the most popular allergen-reducing filters. If you want to put your HVAC system to work for you in this area, let us help. We can check the humidity in your home, service your unit for max efficiency and change out your filters to just the ones your home needs. Get in touch here and we will get started.
2. Rethink your furnishings
Take a look around your home. Take note of where pet hair is easy to clean up (i.e. wood floors) and where it is more difficult (i.e. upholstery, thick rugs). If pet allergens are a big issue for your family, it might be time to rethink your furnishings. Maybe you can swap out your upholstered sofa for a leather one and replace the curtains with wooden blinds. The most important room to consider in this process is the bedroom of the person with pet allergies. If possible, avoid carpet and rugs. Cover the pillows and mattress in impermeable covers and add an air filter to the room. And, sadly, this room needs to be off-limits to your pets.
Once you’ve changed out as many allergen-attracting furnishings as possible, it’s time to establish a thorough cleaning routine. The Humane Society recommends that you, “Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as couch covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.” The Daily Paws suggests that a typical vacuum routine might not be enough:
Dusting as often as possible will keep dander (as well as dust mites and other allergens) to a minimum. Vacumming, however, may not get all the allergens from the lower levels of a rug and may stir up a bit of dander as you clean. It may help to use vacuums equipped with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter or double bags. However, it’s still a good idea to dust or vacuum when the person with allergies or asthma is not at home.
For a room-by-room guide to reduce allergens, we suggest this article by Mayo Clinic.
3. Keep your pets clean
We know it’s a pain, but you must wash your dogs (and maybe your cats) at least once a week. Your veterinarian can suggest the proper shampoos and methods for your particular breed. Frequent bathing of your pets will go a long way in reducing allergens and shedding in your home. Not crazy about the idea of washing your dog that often? This article by Hounds Lounge has some great tips to make this chore a bit easier.
4. Train your pet
The best way to keep pet hair and dander at bay is to avoid sitting and laying in the same place as your pet. Just as you wouldn’t go snuggle up in the dog’s bed, it’s best if the dog doesn’t sit and sleep in your bed, on your couch, or in your car. Train your pets to stay off those surfaces in order to keep further distance between you and the allergens they emit.
We love pets too and we want you to be able to live easily with yours. If we can help reduce allergens in your home, please contact us for an appointment.