Tips from guest blogger Colleen Paige, an animal advocate and premier family and pet lifestyle expert.
A common issue pet owners face at holiday-time is expecting house guests that suffer from allergies to pets. You can’t banish poor Fido and Fluffy to the world outside just because Aunt Mary will sneeze the entire time she’s visiting. What you can do is follow these tips in preparation of their arrival, to minimize discomfort for both guests and pets.
1. If you can afford it, take your pets to the groomer a day before guests arrive. This will wash and groom away much of the excess fur and dander your pets have been carrying around. Just because pets generally shed less in the winter due to the growth of their winter coat, they are pushing out remaining fur left over from summer shedding and thus, the dander with it. Dander is bits of dry skin and proteins from saliva. Even pets that have little to no shedding that are called “hypo-allergenic” – still shed dander, the biggest cause of pet allergies.
2. Perform a deep clean on your home. Perhaps this would be the time, again, if you can afford it, to hire a professional house cleaning team to make sure things like upholstered furniture, baseboards and the tops of tall cabinets are fur and dander free. Also, steam cleaning your carpet would help to remove a lot of dander your pets shed while roaming around your home.
3. Purchase a good quality air filter machine for the living room and especially the guest bedroom if you will have guests staying with you overnight. Make sure to protect your guest’s bed with products from Protect-A Bed to keep them safe from dust mites and pet dander, all year round.
4. Change out the filter in your central heating/cooling unit. Make sure it is rated for allergies. You can also purchase additional filters to place inside of all vents in the home.
5. Keep guest rooms closed when rooms are unoccupied so that your pets do not wander in, leaving dander and fur behind.
6. Even if your pets have been groomed prior to guests arriving, brush your pets every day, outside if possible, during guest visits to minimize even more shedding.
7. Last, but not least, rather than putting your dog or cat in a crate while guests are visiting, to reduce emotional upset and separation anxiety, use baby gates in your home to keep pets away from guest areas and give them toys and treats to keep them occupied. A good thing to remember, especially for dogs…”a tired dog, is a good dog.” Ramp up play dates and any kind of aerobic activity for your dog to keep him calm and happy during those times when you can’t give him as much attention.
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