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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 December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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