Disclosure: This shop, Tips to Cope with Pet Allergies, has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #ForgetAllergies #CollectiveBias
When we brought our little doberman, Reagan, home last year, I was so proud of all the preparation we had done ahead of time. (You can read all about it here.) The to-do lists, the products and planning: I was convinced that we had thought of it all. And for the most part we did. Except one crucial thing – what if Joe or I was allergic? We both had light allergies in the past, so a pet allergy was definitely a possibility. Yet, in all the excitement of bringing home Reagan, we brushed passed the idea that our adorable little puppy could cause some serious allergies.
We needed something to combat those allergies. Not all allergy medicine is created equal. Like it’s name implies, Xyzal® Allergy 24HR provides relief of sneezing, runny nose, itchy watery eyes, nose and throat for 24 hours! (It’s as effective at hour 24 as hour one and is full prescription strength.) I love that it is available over the counter at CVS and that it starts working in 60 minutes. I take one before I go to bed at night to give me all night, all day allergy relief. Taking one each night creates better continuous symptom relief….. ideal for those with a pet allergy.
We absolutely fell in love with Reagan from the first day we brought her home. Since I work from home, I got acquainted with her VERY quickly as we spent a LOT of time together. After about 3 weeks, I could tell I was starting to develop allergies. Oh boy! I was so worried what this meant for our newest member of the family. Worst case scenarios of having to bring Reagan back to the breeder crossed my mind daily.
My initial panic faded quickly as I started looking for solutions. Through suggestions from friends, discussions with our vet and a couple internet searches, I came up with a solid plan of attack. Here’s what worked for me:
1 Reagan gets a good brushing each and every day …. but not from me. Joe takes her outside to brush her each morning to remove the dander without bringing it into the house.
2 I noticed from the first day we brought Reagan home, the house now got a little dirtier faster than before. Dirt and pet hair would pile up on the rugs much quicker than I expected. This was motivation enough for me to increase my vacuuming frequency.
3 Regular use of over the counter allergy medication is key for me! Each night before I go to bed, I take Xyzal, that gets me through the next day!
4 Just like during cold & flu season, I wash my hands more often than usual. I’m also more diligent about keeping my hands away from my face (specifically my eyes).
5 We learned quickly that Reagan didn’t appreciate a spa day as much as I do. Most dogs probably do not need to be washed weekly, but our vet recommended a weekly bath using either hypoallergenic or oatmeal based dog shampoo. It was nice to have a clean puppy and also helped remove a lot of the dander from her skin. This is another task that Joe handles for me.
6 We didn’t have intentions of allowing Reagan to roam free throughout our entire townhouse, but planned to evaluate as she got older (and better behaved). Once my allergies occurred, we designated the master bedroom and office as dog free zones. The last thing I needed was to be laying in bed with dog dander surrounding me!
7 HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters have been popular for many years. Since we were in the market for a new vacuum, we purchased one with a built in HEPA filtration system. It helps pick up more of the dander from the floors. We also got a small HEPA room air purifier that I periodically move from room to room.
8 Last but not least ….. CLEANING. I like to keep a clean home so I’m naturally pretty motivated to clean. Knowing that there was dog dander all around gave me any extra motivation I needed to dust and clean a little bit more regularly. It’s not the cleaning motivation I would wish on to others, but it incentivizes me to keep our house clean. I sometimes wear a white safety mask when I do deep cleaning.
I stocked up on a few key supplies to get me through the allergies:
- Dog shampoo
- Cleaning supplies
- HEPA filters
- Xyzal® Allergy 24HR is available over the counter at CVS (in the allergy & sinus section). I grabbed the 10 count, but these also come in 35, 55 and 80 counts. Remember to read and follow product labeling before using a new medicine.