Sadly when it becomes apparent that your child is allergic to the family pet, you are going to have some tough decisions to make. In this post we will look at ways to best manage pet allergies in children. We will discuss just what makes your kids allergic in the first place, and whether or not it’s necessary to take the awful step of getting rid of your family pet.
We will also give some tips and advice on how you can best negate the effects of pet allergies so that your child is not at risk and you still might be able to keep your beloved pet at home. We will be specifically looking at the most common pets of dogs and cats.
So, i was under the mistaken belief that it was the animals hair? Apparently not though. Let me explain. It is actually the proteins that are found in the animals saliva, urine and pet dander. Dander being the little skin flakes that come off with an animals hair. A little like dandruff in a human.
But of course dogs and cats lick their fur all the time and unfortunately whenever they rub against a surface of your home or against your child then naturally it’s going to leave a residue of this protein. Unfortunately for the affected child, this protein will stay at full strength for quite a bit of time too.
According to the clever scientists at the AAFA (the Asthma Allergy Foundation of America) roughly 30% of people who suffer from allergies will have allergic reactions to cats and dogs.
Now here is the really important note I want to cover right off the bat. Your child’s welfare must take priority over any love you have for your pet. If your child suffers from asthma, and is highly or severely allergic to your cat or dog, then I’m sorry but your pets got to go. I’m speaking from experience on this one. I suffer bad pet allergies to cats and birds. Dogs I’m ok with. But cats just devastate me.
I’m an asthma sufferer and not too badly as I manage it well with my inhalers. But if I visit my sister who has cats, and stay longer than about 5 minutes, i’m screwed. I will start coughing and wheezing, my eyes and nose will run and if it effects my asthma I need to take my inhaler RIGHT AWAY.
And I’m an adult, so how do think your child is going to feel. So if the tips on this post don’t help, then you have to make a sad decision to re-home your pet.
OK, so now that bits been said, let’s look at what we can do to negate your child’s pet allergies as best we can.
The symptoms of pet allergies in kids will be the same as in adults, however they may be more pronounced and severe. They are as follows:
. Itchy watery eyes
. A stuffy or running nose.
. Itchy skin or rashes.
. Wheezing and shortness of breath
. Uncontrollable coughing, especially in asthma sufferers. TAKE THIS ONE SERIOUSLY.
So then what can we do to best negate these effects? First of all if you see any signs that your child has a pet allergy then you should go to your doctor and get them tested. It will give you an indication of how badly allergic your child is and a good idea of what else they may be allergic to as well.
Wherever possible in the home, try to go for hard surfaces as opposed to rugs or carpets. As they are just easier to clean and pet dander sticks to upholstery like furniture, curtains and carpets more easily. If you are going to have carpets in your home, try to keep them low pile, and certainly not in your child’s room.
Speaking of your child’s room, make this area off limits to your cat or dog. If you can I would recommend an air filter or air purifier as this will also help with any other allergies your kids might have too.
I would still cover your child’s bedding with dust mite covers as although you can never truly be rid of all dust mites everywhere, you can at least try to keep them out of your kids pillow and blankets. As dust mites are another big cause of allergies in the home too.
Wash your pets at least once a week as this will help your animals reduce the amount of pet dander they produce. Speak to your vet or pet store clerk for which shampoo to use to aid with this. But be aware however, too much of washing will have the OPPOSITE effect and cause them to shed hair and skin more!
Get your kids in the habit of washing their hands and faces regularly after touching the family pet as this will help keep the protein out of their eyes, mouth and nose. It’s especially important to do this of your child gets a skin rash from their allergy.
Talk to your vet as they might be able to suggest a particular diet that can help reduce the amount of pet dander that your dog or cat is shedding too.
You should absolutely speak to your doctor as there are simple treatments and anti-allergens available, many over the counter that don’t require a prescription, but not all work the same way for all allergies. So ask a doctor or pharmacist which one would work best for your kids and their pet allergies.
I would like to point you in he direction of a site that is dedicated to the keeping and caring of cats and specifically an article about a particular breed of cat that is less likely to cause allergies. Please click here now to be directed to that that site.
Well, that pretty much sums up this post. I hope you found it helpful and if you have a question, comment, or want to leave a like or share, please do so below, and as always I will respond to you promptly.