Living with allergies — and animals

Mon September 23, 2013 10:39pm

Allergies are nothing to sneeze at, especially when you’re allergic to your best friend. Fortunately, there are ways to handle the problem.

Good news for the estimated one in five allergy sufferers who have pets:There are ways you and your pet can live together. The experts at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology suggest you:

• Keep your pet out of the bedroom. You spend as much as a third of your time there. Letting a dog or cat in increases your exposure to dander and the likelihood of allergic reaction.

• Bathe your pet frequently. It’s not the hair shed by the dog or cat that causes you to suffer, it’s the loose flakes of skin he deposits around the house. Bathe your pet at least once a week and dry him as best you can to limit the animal’s shaking and stirring up more dander.

• Replace air filters regularly. With a pet in the house, you should replace the filter in your forced-air heating and cooling system at least once a month. A high-quality pleated filter offers more surface area to capture more dander than a flat-surface filter.

• Clean your house frequently. Doctors recommend frequent vacuuming of both hard-surface and carpeted floors, heavily upholstered furniture and draperies.