Pet Peeves

Studies show animal companionship can lower stress, lessen depression, and even reduce blood pressure. But furry friends can quickly turn to foes if wheezing and sneezing set in. With 70% of the population housing family pets, allergies are commonplace.

Contrary to popular opinion, their hair isn’t what stuffs up your nose and waters your eyes. Proteins in pet dander (skin flakes), saliva, and even urine are more likely offenders. Know how to minimize allergen contact without giving up your 4-legged buddy:

Keep indoor animals out of rooms with carpet and upholstery, and off the beds… especially those of allergy sufferers.

Bathe and groom your dogs regularly, and yes, even cats (who might be less apprehensive if started when they’re young). When grooming, wear protective gloves and long sleeves.

Wash your hands, arms, and face after contact with your pet. Launder their bedding often in hot water. Encase your mattresses and pillows in allergen-proof covers.

Use HEPA vacuums frequently, and consider installing a central air filtration system or trying air purifiers.

Rinse your nasal passages with saline to help remove allergens you’ve inhaled.

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