Seasonal allergy sufferers are preparing themselves for the season this time of year. While the rest of us enjoy the great outdoors, they cringe at any open window or outdoor gathering, knowing they will be plagued by their allergies. Most would rather stay inside, away from all the irritants. But did you know your own dog could be sabotaging you?
Even if you are not allergic to dogs, your dog can bring into your home all those seasonal allergies – pollen, grass, dirt, dust, etc. – that you make you suffer. Here are 10 ways you can prevent your dog from making your allergies worse, so your home will be a more comfortable refuge while you wait out the season.
#1 – Brush Them off Outside
Don’t brush all that dirt, grass, pollen, etc., off inside the house. Do it outside and keep the brush out in the garage or storage shed so nothing comes inside. Brush them after every outing.
#2 – Wear a Mask While Grooming
You may feel silly at first, but if you suffer from bad allergies breathing is more important than how you look.
#3 – Weekly Baths
Admit it, most of us probably don’t bath our dog that often. Usually, you wait until you can smell him. But, during allergy season, if you wash him more frequently, you will be removing all those allergens that the brush misses. If you can, take him to a self-dog wash or to a groomer, so you are not doing it in your house.
#4 – Use an Air Purifier
Set up an air purifier in the area(s) your dog is in most, to trap anything he may shake off. I like the new Febreeze FHT190W Tower HEPA-Type Air Purifier – it has several levels and you can add an air freshener packet to make your house smell nice (if you are not allergic to it that is!).
#5 – Avoid Walking in Allergens
If you know exactly what you are allergic to, try your best to avoid walking your dog in areas where those allergens are present. For example, if cottonwood is your enemy, don’t walk your dog in a grove of them. Or, if you are allergic to grass, keep your dog from rolling in it while on walks – this will minimize the amount your dog brings back with her.
#6 – Vacuum Often
Specifically, vacuum with a vacuum made to pick up allergens with a filter. The Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal + Allergy works really well – I love mine. The more you vacuum during allergy season the more comfortable you will be, so do it often.
#7 – Wash Bedding Often
Like everything else, your dog’s bed, blankets, favorite pillow on the couch or your pillow on your bed, will all get allergens on them from your dog. Washing these at least once a week will keep your air cleaner and your nose clearer.
#8 – Use a Soggy Dog Mat
Although the name implies it’s for a wet dog, it also works great on dry paws too. It’s made from millions of textured, ultra-fine strands woven together so the surface area is huge. It will help trap any dirt you may have missed in-between the toes.
#9 – Clean the Air Ducts
It’s amazing how dog hair (with allergens attached!) travels. Get your air ducts cleaned during allergy season to help minimize the amount of junk that gets in them. Close vents that are in rooms you aren’t using, or if there is one in an area your dog likes to rest. This will keep more junk out of them after you have had them cleaned.
#10 – Vent Guard and Filters
Once they are cleaned, buy vent filters and/or guards to keep dog hair (and the allergens!) out of those squeaky clean vents.