Having a pet is wonderful, but in many cases, pet allergies can become a problem. Fortunately, there are many useful home remedies for pet allergies, including the use of high-efficiency filters, bathing your pet regularly, eliminating carpets and upholstered furniture, room restrictions, constant hygiene awareness, and the use of Neti Pots, as well as dietary changes like adding quercetin, omega-3s, butterbur, and stinging nettle.
What are Pet Allergies?
Having a pet while growing up (or after you’re grown up) is a wonderful opportunity to connect with a companion and care for another life. Perhaps this is why there are hundreds of millions of domesticated cats and dogs all around the world – having an animal seems like a universally appealing way to live. However, pets are also a major source of allergens, whether it is through saliva, urine, or dead skin cells (dander), or perhaps from the dust, pollen, and other allergens on the hair of cats and dogs. It can be hard to keep an allergen-free home when you have a domesticated animal, and contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a completely hypo-allergenic pet.
If you experience allergic reactions, such as itchy or watery eyes, respiratory distress, sneezing, itchiness, or a rash, then you likely have an overactive immune system that is responding to those allergens in the air or on your skin from the presence of a pet. The range of pet allergies runs from minor irritation to potentially dangerous or life-threatening allergic reactions, and there are many prescription medications or over-the-counter options to treat normal allergy symptoms, under which pet allergies also fall. However, if you truly want to protect yourself from pet allergies, there are a few lifestyle remedies that work wonders (especially if you live with a pet), as well as dietary and herbal remedies that can decrease your allergen sensitivity and prevent the symptoms of pet allergies. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the best home remedies for pet allergies.
Home Remedies for Pet Allergies
Home remedies for pet allergies include:
One of the most effective ways to prevent serious allergic reactions to your pets is to clear the air in your home! Buy purchasing a high-efficiency air filter or two, and placing them in high-traffic pet areas of your home (and in your bedroom, where you sleep), you can reduce the amount of airborne allergens that are causing your sinus issues and mucus membrane inflammation. Cleaning the house, petting your animal, and their basic movements through your home stir up allergens and send them straight for your lungs, so get a high-efficiency filter to extract those allergens from the air!
It might be nice to have your pet with you at all times, but in places like your bedroom or bathroom, it might be a wise choice to restrict access to your pet. It is easier to maintain a no-pet zone for allergy relief than keeping your entire house clean all the time.
Eliminate Carpet and Upholstery
Carpeted areas can easily trap allergens and dust, and is far more difficult to effectively clean than hardwood floors. Upholstered furniture is also excellent at trapping these allergens and then releasing them when someone sits or lays down on them. Keeping your pets limited to hardwood areas and training them to stay off the furniture can quickly cut down on your allergic reactions.
Add Omega-3 Fatty Acids
In terms of dietary alterations that can help with your pet allergies, adding omega-3 fatty acids to your diet can be very helpful, because they are known as general anti-inflammatory substances in the body that can reduce immune sensitivity and promote overall health. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include eggs, peanut butter, salmon, flaxseed, and nuts.
After you give your pet a good scratch, it’s easy to forget about, and ten minutes later, you might wipe your nose or eyes, sending those allergens directly into your most sensitive membranes! Regularly washing your hands and consciously avoiding casual contact with pets is a great way to avoid unexpected allergic attacks. Also, regularly cleaning your home and common areas is important to reduce overall dander and allergen levels.
Regular Bathing of Pets
A large part of the problem for pet allergies is that animals tend to get dirty, particularly is they spend a lot of time outside. This means that these pets are bringing in outside allergens, like pollen and ragweed, in addition to their own dander. By regularly bathing your pet, you can bring their allergen “contamination” down to zero and keep the overall levels in your home low.
One of nature’s antihistamines comes in the form of quercetin, a powerful flavonoid found in many foods, including apples, grapes, onions, and olive oil. This substance naturally strengthens the body’s immune sensitivity and also reduces inflammation of the respiratory tracts and mucus membranes. Thus, it acts like a natural form of Benadryl, and is easy to increase with a slight change in your diet.
This powerful herb has well known antihistaminic properties, because it actually inhibits the production of histamine in the body, which is what causes the allergic reactions that we experience. Stinging nettle can be purchased in capsule or supplement form, but teas and tinctures can also be made with the leaves, and are highly effective at preventing pet allergies.
Similar to stinging nettle, the popular European herb butterbur can quickly reduce allergic symptoms by preventing the release of histamines into the body. In fact, the active ingredient in butterbur is very similar to the primary chemical component in Zyrtec, except butterbur doesn’t have sedative properties, so you can stay allergy-free and alert!
The process of flushing your nasal cavity with saline water can rapidly eliminate the irritants in your mucus membranes and give a complete flush to those respiratory tracts. By washing out the allergens and irritants with a Neti pot, while also soothing the membranes, allergic symptoms can be quickly neutralized with these simple, easy-to-find pots.
Scientifically known as pantothenic acid, Vitamin B5 is a powerful anti-inflammatory, that can prevent things like puffy eyes, redness in the skin, and irritation in the respiratory and nasal tracts. Boosting your vitamin B5 levels is easily done by increasing your intake of corn, avocado, kale, tomatoes, beef, chicken, mushrooms, and cheese.
One of the most effective anti-allergenic substances is vitamin C, as it stimulates the production of antibodies and produces adrenal hormones that directly counter the inflammatory flare-ups caused by histamine in the body. Adding more citrus fruits and vegetables to your diet can keep your vitamin C levels high and your allergen-sensitivity low!