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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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