Getting a furry friend to cuddle and provide comfort during a global health crisis made sense to a lot of Americans. More than 23 million U.S. households—nearly one in five—adopted a pet during the pandemic.1
If you’re one of them, you may be dealing with an unexpected downside to pandemic pet ownership—newfound allergies.
More Time at Home, More Time with Pets
With many workers still working remotely or following a hybrid schedule, pet owners are in their homes and around Fido or Fluffy for more hours than they would if they were working five days a week in an office. Increased exposure time to pets can cause allergies to flare.
Even if you don’t work from home, if you’re experiencing ongoing sniffles, sneezes or watery/itchy eyes, your pet could be the source of a previously undiagnosed allergy to animal dander.
How to Manage Your Pet Allergies
Here are a few key tips to make peacefully coexisting with your furry BFF possible.
- Don’t let your pet in your bedroom—You want to limit breathing in pet dander while sleeping and ensure it doesn’t get on the clothes in your closet.
- Wash your pet twice a week—A regular bath can help reduce the amount of dander on your pet.
- Regularly clean your furniture and bedding—Wipe down hard furniture surfaces and wash bedding, cushion covers and blankets to minimize dander levels.
- Use a portable air purifier with a HEPA filter—Place the purifier close to where you sit to ensure the air around you stays dander-free.
If you’re still struggling with pet allergy symptoms after taking these steps, schedule a consultation with one of our allergy experts about other solutions, such as immunotherapy.
1 Washington Post. (2022). Americans adopted millions of dogs during the pandemic. Now what do we do with them? https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/01/07/covid-dogs-return-to-work/