Welcome to April! Nature is out here playing the biggest April fool’s joke on us here in southeast Michigan. Ann Arbor is waking up to ice, temperatures in the 20s, new snow on the ground, bitter memories of this past winter and a deep longing for the sun to shine for more than one day. But as our Michigan pet owners know, Mama Nature really doesn’t care what we want!
Regardless, the team here at Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies planned on getting some advice and resources out to our audience about spring and springtime and the sun shining and all the changes that can bring. So what happens when the flowers, trees, and leaves start blooming once more? A lot of humans start to feel their allergies reawaken as well. So for this week’s PUPDATE we’ve got 5 ways to relieve dog allergies (for humans) that can be implemented at a moment’s notice.
Regular, frequent bathing and brushing of your dog’s fur can reduce allergens by up to 84%! Frequent baths and brushing sessions remove dead skin flakes, weak hairs, and dirt that gets stuck in your dog’s fur. As Lucky is busy enjoying the sun and rolling around in the brand new grass, they’re tracking millions of particles (seen and unseen) wherever they go.
Keep your dog’s skin and fur healthy and soft by bathing frequently and this will also decrease the likelihood of any hotspots, skin issues, and allergies of their own. For specialized cleaning, your local Wags to Wiskers Pet Supplies stores in Ann Arbor (2425 W. Stadium Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI, 48103) or Chelsea (1192 S. Main St, Chelsea, MI, 48118) each have a great supply of different shampoos, brushes, and other accessories that can help keep your dog’s fur lustrous and shiny all spring and summer! We also have some great sales staff that can help recommend the best pet supplies for your dog specifically, so feel free to bring Lucky in!
Clean Space = Less Allergens
Here are some quick tips to really deep clean your shared pet spaces (the entire house right?!):
Less carpet means less places for allergens to hide. Hard floors make for easier cleaning and easier quality control as well.
When vacuuming, utilize a HEPA filter. HEPA filters are an excellent way to help remove pet hair from the air and furniture of your living space, capable of removing up to 99.97% of all tiny particles. This is due to their unique design that helps them to catch even the smallest of particles. HEPA Filters basically force air through small portions in a screen. These help to quickly remove dander and allergens.
You can find HEPA filters in many products on the market today. Vacuum cleaners often feature these helpful objects in them. You’ll find that a vacuum for pet hair usually has this filter in it and will quickly and thoroughly remove all traces of it.
Make sure that your vacuum is properly sealed, as you wouldn’t want to redistribute the allergens back into the surrounding air!
Wash your pet beds and pet blankets! Seems like a no-brainer, but how often do you really do it? For your sake as well as your pet’s, you should wash your bedding, and your pet’s bedding, once every two weeks or more!
It doesn’t have to be huge, but a portion of a room or a small space in your house that’s off limits for your pet (sorry Bud) can provide you with some instant relief if you feel a sneeze attack coming on. Pets shed their hair everywhere, even if you can’t see it. To help prevent allergies, make special pet-free zones. This can include your bedroom and other places where you might spend a lot of time in.
If you really have issues, it might be a good idea to make the bedroom a pet-free zone as you spend a significant portion of your time just sleeping in there and nobody likes waking up in the middle of the night or in the morning dealing with an stuffy nose and a headache.
Allergy Testing & Therapy
Allergy testing will pinpoint exactly what you’re allergic to and if you decide to go the immunotherapy route (allergy shots). You’ll not only work towards reducing or eliminating your allergy to pets, but also, your allergies to everything else.
The doctor will insert small amounts of allergens into an area on your body—usually your back—to see what you react to and what you don’t. They will then formulate an allergy shot with allergens you react to, which you’ll take in increasing doses over time to reduce your body’s sensitivity.
This can be an expensive treatment and is not guaranteed to work, but it can make a world of difference. An allergy shot might be the last resort for some. However, this shot works quickly at relieving symptoms caused by pet dander.
The alternative route would be taking over-the-counter medication to combat some of your allergies. Though merely masking your symptoms, medication can help you cope. Bulk stores offer the best deals on medications like Zyrtec and Claritin, as well as generic versions.
Decongestants, like the over-the-counter versions mentioned above, and antihistamines are the first step in medication. Usually, your allergy symptoms can be managed with these medications. Depending on how often these medications are taken (as-needed or daily, for instance) this can be an expensive solution.
Hope you got something out of this week’s PUPDATE! We are working to become the best place to buy pet supplies and get pet advice in Ann Arbor and Chelsea, Michigan so feel free to leave us a comment with some thoughts and feedback!