pet dander

Pet dander: Can my pet sleep in the bed with me?

Of course, you can sleep with your pet at night. You can do whatever you want, in theory. Even Reader’s Digest says, “at least 50 percent of dog owners have their pets sleep in their beds,” (Roy, 2020). On top of that, “ Approximately 37%-47% of American households have a dog,” (Pichardo, 2020). If you are like a large percentage of Americans who owns a pet, but struggles with allergies year-round and knows for sure pet dander affects you, it’s probably best to leave the pets out of the bedroom. 

Pets in the house mean pets in your living space, where you spend most of your time outside of the bed. Pet dander can get anywhere and everywhere, even if you think your pet doesn’t shed that much.

We’re not saying it’s time to get rid of your pets, but there are a few things you can do to make cohabitation with your pets easy. 

"Dog dander gets everywhere, including places where dogs have never set a paw."

How to prevent pet dander allergies 

These won’t completely get rid of pet dander or prevent you from having a reaction, but they’ve proven to reduce symptoms, allowing for you and your furry friends to enjoy life without feeling sick. 

As a matter of fact, what’s surprising is that, “Dog dander gets everywhere, including places where dogs have never set a paw. According to the National Institutes of Health, detectable levels of pet dander are in every home in the U.S” (Pichardo, 2020). 

pet dander

So it’s everywhere. There’s no preventing that. Here’s how to reduce your reaction to it: 

  1. Vacuum with a HEPA Filter – Using a HEPA filter will capture pet dander and prevent it from going back into the air, whereas regular vacuum filters will refilter it into your environment. 
  2. Heavy cleaning – Mop, sweep, broom, and do whatever else you have to do to reduce pet dander in the home. Remember, pet dander gets everywhere, so any form of cleaning will help. 
  3. Know your HVAC –  WebMD says, “Central heat and air conditioning can push dog dander into every room in your house — even those that the dog isn’t allowed in. A central air cleaner — as well as filters on the vents themselves — can help.” 
  4. Over-the-counter antihistamines – This helps prevent your body’s reaction to pet dander from getting into your system. 
  5. Groom your pet – ENT Institute’s very own Allergy Technician Specialist, Tori Matthews, says “When you take your dogs outside to do their business, they come in contact with the outside pollens and molds and such and bring it right back in with them, even the hypoallergenic breeds.” Regularly washing/brushing your pet (some sources say weekly) will help reduce your body’s reaction all of those allergens. 
  6. Hardwood flooring – This one’s a little pricier, but removing carpet and adding hardwood flooring will make cleaning much easier. 

What causes pet dander allergies? 

No, the answer isn’t pet dander, but it’s probably best for the experts to explain this on a more scientific level. The Mayo Clinic states, “Your immune system produces proteins known as antibodies. These antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause an infection. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify your particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn’t” 

pet dander 2

Going even further, they continue: “When you inhale the allergen or come into contact with it, your immune system responds and produces an inflammatory response in your nasal passages or lungs. Prolonged or regular exposure to the allergen can cause the ongoing (chronic) airway inflammation associated with asthma.

Same-day allergy testing and treatment in Atlanta 

Lastly, but not leastly, it’s important to get an allergy test to ensure that pet dander is something that affects you. If it is, an allergy specialist will go over therapy solutions that are proven to work. 

Here at the Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, we can do a same-day allergy test with quick results. From there, our specialists will discuss options with you, including at-home therapy (yes, you read that right). That means you can take your allergy shots/drops home with you and administer it yourself without having to make weekly trips to one of our clinics. 

Watch the videos below to learn more about allergy testing and allergy therapy: 

To schedule a same-day or Saturday allergy test, call or click the button below:


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