Pets and humans make for great companions. But it can be a disaster when your four-legged friend makes your partner cry, sneeze and break out from an allergic reaction. An estimated 10 percent of Americans suffer from pet allergies, meaning your darling's allergies could come between you and your cat or dog. These seven tips can help ease tensions in the home and keep the love triangle between your pet and significant other happy and sneeze-free:
1. Find the source of the problem
Have your partner consult a doctor to find out what triggers their allergies before pointing fingers at the pet. Sometimes allergies are caused by external influences, such as pollen, dust, mold or seasonal allergens. A doctor can properly diagnose your partner's symptoms.
2. Declare your bedroom "pet-free"
Mark your bedroom, or any other targeted area of your house, a pet-free zone. This will ensure your partner will have someplace to go that is not littered in pet dander. Compromise is essential in balancing a relationship with your two loved ones.
Train your pet to not enter certain areas of your home early on to keep them from resisting directions.
3. Bathe your pet weekly
Bathing your pet weekly can help cut down on some of the allergens stuck to its fur. Regular baths can reduce allergens on your pet up to 85 percent, according to The Asthma Center. Fewer allergens on your pet mean less dander left around the house.
4. Invest in an air purifier
An air purifier with a HEPA filter can drastically change the environment in your house. An air purifier can filter up to 99.97 percent of common allergens like dust, animal dander and pollen. Keeping one in an area of your home where both your pet and partner like to go can help remove allergens and make the interaction between the two easier.
5. Clean, clean, clean
Vacuum carpets, rugs and fabric sofas and dust diligently to remove any traces of pet dander. Routine cleaning is key to providing an allergy-free environment for your significant other and your pet as well.
Be sure to do the laundry often to remove remnants of pet dander from clothing and shower or bathe frequently to wash allergens from your body.
6. Groom your pet
Reduce your pet's shedding by consistent grooming. The Animal Humane Society recommends brushing pets every few days. Continuous brushing removes dead skin cells and gives your pet a healthier coat that sheds less.
7. Try medical treatment
For a more permanent solution, ask your partner if they are willing to seek medical treatment. "Allergy shots, or immunotherapy, have been shown to eradicate pet allergies entirely in as much as 80% of patients who take the full course", says allergist and immunologist James Sublett, president-elect of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
Allergy shots can be effective but costly. A year's supply of allergy shots can range from $800-1,000, according to AngiesList.com. If you want to avoid the cost, consider practicing the other six tips for a more affordable solution.