At First Aid Brisbane, we love animals almost more than we love people—the two monsters living at home certainly are in charge. Interesting enough though, I’m allergic to the cats and dogs, though not as bad around cats as I used to be.
A lot of mild reactions are sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes that itch, hives or swollen skin, a cough, and a stuffy nose to name a few. It starts to get really severe when you can’t breathe. What I didn’t know for a long time is that allergies also can trigger eczema.
Easiest way to deal with allergies is not to go near whatever triggers it. But if you’re like me with only mild reactions, there are a few things you can do. The first is allergy medication. My cousins used to give me Zyrtec and other over the counter medicines that would dull the reaction to their dogs. They take a while to work, so you’ll have to suffer a bit or remember to take them pre-emptively.
Step two is a lot of cleaning: clean the carpet, clean the air, and clean the pet. Vacuum up what you can, get an air purifier, and bathe your cat or dog often, no matter how much he hates it. You’re trying to remove as much of the dander and fur as you can.
My final suggestion is for those who don’t have pets already. I recommend that you consider your allergies when looking for a pet. If you’re allergic to dogs, get a cat or vice versa. And I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone being allergic to reptiles, though I’m sure they exist. If your allergic to hay, don’t get a rodent as most of them like hay in their living environment. There are dog breeds that claim to be hypoallergenic, but there is no true hypoallergenic breed out there. My parent’s golden-doodle (goofiest mutt I’ve ever seen) gives me hives every time I hug him. But they say that dogs who don’t shed, or shed far less, tend to be easier to deal with for people with allergies.
I know we love our animals, but you do have to consider your health when adopting a pet. Severe allergic reactions can become urgent hospital visits and nobody wants that.