Living With Pet Allergies

snoopyOh pets. Whether they’re big or small, fluffy or hairless, they tend to fill our hearts with love and make life feel a little less emptier. Kevin and I love dogs. So much so, we have accumulated two within one year! We have a super sweet pitbull and a super hyper toy maltese (the picture).

While it’s great to have a happy face and wagging tail to greet you at the door, they come with more responsibility and stress than I had bargained for. They were (still are) puppies when we got them so potty training is something we’re still working on, along with not chewing the furniture or mom’s new shoes. (Grrrrr.) Oh, and did I mention…I’M ALLERGIC.

That’s right. I am HIGHLY allergic to our pitbull, Lady. We did not know how bad my allergies were until we adopted her. Shortly after we brought her home I began to breakout in hives, I couldn’t breathe through my nose, my eyes itched something horrible, and the dreaded wheeziness set it. It was enough to make me want to kick her out of the house.

Although we contemplated the idea of getting rid of her, I just couldn’t let that happen. Since she was rescued from an abusive home, she was terrified of everything. She had just gotten to the point where she was beginning to like us and I couldn’t bear the thought of putting her in the pound. With the media hype telling stories of how terrible pitbulls are, I knew nobody would want her, and I was positive the pound would put her down. So that left us with the only option: Keep her. And that left me desperately searching for ways to live with my allergies.

We’ve had Lady for a year now and I have come long way in terms of living with my sneezy, wheezy self.


Living With Pet Allergies:

  • Even though I do things around the house to help with allergies, I unfortunately still have to have medication around just in case I have an allergy attack. Because I get wheezy when I’m around pet dander, I had to see an allergist. I cannot bypass having an inhaler. Although it is an expense we would love to live without, I have to have it. We tried an air purifier and while it does help, it’s not an instant satisfaction like I sometimes need. Even with all the cleaning I occasionally have to use allergy eye drops, nasal spray, and/or Benadryl.  
  • Lady sheds, like a hairy beast. Thankfully our whole house is filled with only tile and hardwood. (Carpets would make this process a lot harder.) I mop every two days, and sweep every day. You’d be surprised with how much hair I find after just two days. 
  • I wash their bedding and toys at least once a week and the pups themselves get bathed every two weeks. 
  • Since our couch is a felt material, every two weeks I sprinkle a little bit of Arm & Hammer Pet Fresh on the sofa, let it sit for an hour, then vacuum it up. Although I’m not too sure it helps with the allergies, it definitely keeps our couch smelling great.
  • Use an air filter that is designed to help with dander and pet hair. I know it can be a little more expensive but it definitely helps. Also, remember how I mentioned we tried an air purifier? Well we kept it and that helps too! Depending on which one you want, it can be a small investment, but it’s a life saver. We keep one in the living room and I have a mini one sitting on my night stand pointed at my face so I can breathe easy at night. 
  • To avoid hives or itchy eyes, I wash my hands immediately after petting her and try to keep the cuddles to a minimum.

Trust me, allergies are not fun and can be a pain in the butt to deal with, but for the right pet, I’m sure you’d do anything for them as well. I like to think of it this way: The daily dusting, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, and cleaning not only keeps the allergens in check, but it leaves our house smelling great and looking sparkly! SCORE!

Every time we’ve had company I always get asked, “How do you have two dogs in a tiny condo and not have that “dog smell?” Well ladies and gentlemen, you know my secret, live as if you have allergies and your home can smell good too. 

Have any allergy tips for me? Comment down below!

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