Our pets are like our family. For those of us with four-legged fur friends, we’ve come to accept all the lovable pitfalls that can come with being human companions: constant shedding , the occasional accident, and the fun things they can track in, like dirt, mud, leaves or (and this is for you cat lovers) the occasional dead lizard.
But what do you do if you’re having guests over…and they’re – gasp! – allergic to your adorable pet friend? The good news is, you don’t have to board Fido or Fifi for the weekend, and you don’t have to send your guest packing to the nearest hotel, either. Thankfully, due to some ingenuity and new technology, there’s a way for everyone to live in harmony!
Bathe + brush your pet
Chances are, dogs will take to this idea much better than your average feline, and regular baths can reduce allergens on your pets’ fur by up to 84%. Bathing them the day before company arrives – and using anti-dander and anti-shedding topical solutions – can help. Also, regular brushing can help remove loose dander and pet hair that can hold allergens from the environment such as pollen, mold, or even dust.
Keep your pet in its own room
This will probably be a solution better suited for cats, who never seem to mind a little solitude. If you have an extra guest room, home office, or laundry room where they wouldn’t mind staying for a night or two (provided they have their creature comforts), this can help keep them away from your allergy-prone house guests.
Use an air purifier
Pet dander particles are actually smaller than dust particles: 5 microns as opposed to 20 microns. Their small size makes dander particles especially tricky to catch, even if you’re using a conventional air purifier. Look for purifiers that can destroy up to 99% of contaminants in the air and on surfaces, as well as stale (wet dog!) odors.
Keep some antihistamines well stocked
Unless your guest is a total bore, offer ones that are non-drowsy. These can go a long way in helping a guest stave off pet-related allergy symptoms, making everyone more comfortable.
Rethink the sprays
A new crop of “anti-allergen” sprays have come onto the market, but the chemicals found in these sprays can wreak havoc if you or your guest has breathing sensitivities. It can even be bad for your pet – they don’t like breathing in artificial chemicals or fragrances any more than humans do. In fact, the National Institutes of Health reported that “topical treatments haven’t been proven to significantly reduce the health effects of cat exposure.”