What is the best treatment for a pet or animal allergy?

The best treatment is simply to remove yourself from the animal you are allergic to. If it is animals you can find in the park or at zoos, you might want to consider not visiting areas where they are common. If it is a pet, consider selling it to someone else. This of course can be difficult, especially if you or other members of your household are quite attached to the pet.

If you have pets and are unwilling or unable to remove them, there are a few ways you can lessen your symptoms simply by modifying your own lifestyle and the lifestyle of your pet.

It is important that you do not let your pet into your room, or play or sleep in any of your clothes. Fabrics can trap allergens very well, and allergens in your bed and clothing can cause you symptoms even when you are not around your pet. Carpets can also trap allergens well – you might want to consider switching to wood floors. Clean carpets and any sheets and curtains and clothing often. You might also want to prevent your pet from playing or sleeping on any other furniture, like sofas or chairs which you sit on for the same reasons. Make sure you wash and clean all surfaces regularly. You can buy special formulas for cleaning sofas and carpets, and you should vacuum-clean sofas and carpets regularly.

Make sure you wash your hands after touching your pet, and it is a good idea to get someone else to wash your pet and your pet's bedding regularly too. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth or nose after playing with your pet unless you have washed your hands with soap and water. Your pet's bedding and fur can also trap allergens – it is important to wash them all away. If your pet doesn't like being bathed in water, there are other ways they can be cleaned. You could try wiping them down in hypoallergenic baby wipes. Some rodents will bathe in sand.

It might be a good idea to use an air filter to remove animal allergens from the air. This can also reduce numbers of other allergens in the air, such as pollen, house dust mite faeces, or mould or fungal spores, as well as removing any other dusts and pollutants. Air pollution can often make symptoms worse, so cleaning the air might be able to help reduce symptoms.

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