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Top Ways to Live With Your Pet if You Have Allergies

Top Ways to Live With Your Pet if You Have Allergies

America is a country that simply loves its pets!

It is estimated that around 30.5% of all American households have a dog — and another 30% have a least one cat. And anyone who has enjoyed the cuddles, company, or unconditional love of a pet understands just how important animals are to our lives.

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Americans love their pets so much that they keep them even if they have been diagnosed with allergies. Around 1 out of 3 people who are allergic to cats, for instance, still have a cat in the house and when a doctor recommends that a patient find another home for their pet due to allergies, only about 1 in 5 actually take that advice.

If you are a pet owner who has allergies, then, read on to find out ways that you can manage your condition while still holding on to the cat or the dog that you love!

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Call in the Clean Team

If you suffer from allergies but still have a cat or dog around the house, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile in regards to housekeeping. The house needs to be dusted and vacuumed thoroughly at least once a week in order to suck up the dander and hair as well as non-pet-related allergens like dust or mold that settle in the house. If your partner does not have allergies, it is better for them to get this housecleaning done. If you need to do it yourself, consider wearing a mask while doing it to prevent exposure to the allergens.

Consider a Weekly Bath

While there’s no way you could get the average cat anywhere near a bathtub without an epic fight, if you are the proud owner of a dog, then weekly baths should be part of your routine. Like the dusting and vacuuming, this is a lot of extra work, but these weekly grooming sessions can help to safely eliminate excess hair and dander that would otherwise be distributed throughout the house.  This particularly helps with dogs who have a thick undercoat which can be the source of a lot of shed hair, depending on the breed. If you combine the weekly bath with a thorough going-over with a good fur brush, this routine will be especially effective.

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Spend More Time in Your Laundry Room

Like the extra vacuuming and dusting, you will also have to consider doing more laundry than normal if you are trying to reduce your allergy problems while still keeping your pet. Your bedding (including blankets, sheets, pillowcases and pillows) should be washed weekly, as should things like slip covers on sofas or chairs.  If your pet has a pet bed, this, too, should be washed once a week as it is a magnet for hair and dander.

Get Equipped

The good news is that there are many products now on the market that can help you in your fight against allergens. The first and most important is a HEPA filter. This special kind of air filter is able to virtually suck dander, dust mites, pollen, mold and other nasties right out of the air and does so with amazing efficiency. In one study, homes with dogs that used HEPA filters were able to reduce the amounts of dander and hair in the air by around 90%. However, in order to be effective, these filters need to be changed and cleaned on the regular basis (usually monthly).

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After an air filter, other important things to invest in include hypoallergenic covers for your mattress and pillowcases as well as covers for your chairs or sofas that can be laundered regularly in order to keep them as allergen-free as possible.

Change Out Your Décor

If you are trying to reduce pet allergens in the home, consider this a great excuse to redecorate! The idea here is to reduce the number of “allergen magnets” you have around the house. Getting rid of carpets and opting for flooring like wood, tile or linoleum is a great choice for a cleaner home. Also consider replacing your curtains with blinds. Even the materials you choose for chairs and sofas can make a difference: if you opt for leather couches or bare wood chairs, for instance, these are much easier to wipe down and keep clean.

To be honest, all of this is a lot of work — and if you buy a good filter and change out your home décor, it can also be an expensive undertaking (at least to begin with). However, for many people, the extra effort and expense involved are worth being able to keep their beloved pet while still managing their own allergies.

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Brian Wu

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

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Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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