Owning a pet can be one of life’s great pleasures. They relieve stress, help us get out and exercise more, and can be a great sounding board. They are always happy to see us and make great companions. But if you suffer from allergies or asthma, they can quickly go from best friend to worst enemy.

That is the case in my house. My wife and I love animals and have always had a pet of some sort around. But my wife suffers from allergies and pet dander can play havoc on her health. In order for us to keep pets we have to take extra steps to keep the pet dander and dust down in our house. Here are some of the things we do to keep our exposure to pet dander to a minimum.

Baby Jean

Keep floors clean. If someone in your house suffers from allergens then you have to step up your floor cleaning. Vacuuming floors regularly is an effective way to reduce the allergens that collect on bare floors, rugs, and carpets. However, vacuuming may kick up allergens into the air. If possible, vacuum when the person suffering from allergies is away. Also use a HEPA filter in your vacuum.   

Deep clean. If you have carpets, get them on a regular basis. This will help remove the allergens that regular vacuuming won’t remove. Also consider steam cleaning your furniture as well. Vacuum couches, chairs, drapes and other fabrics that may collect allergens. Periodically wash throw rugs, pillows, pet beds and blankets. Make sure not to forget cleaning ceiling fans and light fixtures.

Keep litter boxes clean. Litter boxes should be kept clean and moved out of living areas. We keep ours in the garage and the cats can access it through a pet door from the house. If you have cages for birds or rodents or crate your pets make sure to keep these clean. If possible, move these to areas of the house that the allergy sufferer doesn’t frequent. 

Bathe your pet regularly. Frequently washing your pet has been shown to reduce allergens, but this is more effective for dogs than it is for cats. Not only does bathing reduce dander but it also washes off any pollen your pet may have picked up from rolling in the grass or brush. Reduce allergens from your cat

A good diet means less dander. Many mistakenly believe that allergies come from an animal’s hair. However, most allergic reactions result from exposure to dander, which are the dead flaky skin cells on pets. A good well balanced diet will help cut down on dander. Also consider adding fish oil to your pet’s food to keep their skin and coat shiny and healthy.

Control air circulation. If you have allergies, consider and changing them more often than is typically required. Consider closing heat registers in rooms where the person with allergies spends much of their time. Be wary of turning on fans as this may stir up dander and other allergens.

Designate pet free areas. Keep pets off couches, upholstered furniture, and beds. Restricting pets from specific rooms, such as bedrooms, can also help the allergy sufferer. Consider keeping pets out of the vehicle, or at least allowing them only in the far back.

These are many of the steps we take to maintain a balance between our pets and my wife’s allergies. Although keeping up with cleaning this much can be a headache, it pays off in being able to have pets in our house.

 

Sean ArmstrongSean Armstrong is an advocate for clean air and healthy living. He tends to worry about too many things he can’t control, and has recently been following environmental issues and sharing what he learns with others.

 

By Natalie Gomez 4 days ago at 3:30 pm 0 Comments
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For many pet owners, maintaining an environmentally conscious lifestyle can be difficult. Although humans have reached the point where green solutions to common problems are aplenty, there is still a considerable amount of progress to be made in the animal kingdom.

Green Dog

Unfortunately, many pet products lack biodegradability, can be hazardous to the environment and can even degrade the health of your furry friends.  If you’re concerned with the effect that these products have on the environment, never fear, there are green solutions for pet owners everywhere.

Containment

Keeping your pets contained and safe from harm is priority number one. To the dismay of many pet lovers, runaways, thefts and other related deaths are still rampant in the animal world and claim so many lives each year. Fortunately there are ways to extend the lifespan of your pets while still preserving Mother Nature. 

  • A wireless dog fence can save you money, reduce consumption of natural resources and allow for complete control of your pet’s environment. It’s also easy to install, an excellent space saver and entirely humane.
  • Constructing a dog house or scratching post from materials around the house isn’t as difficult as some people make it out to be. It may be a bit of a weekend project, but your pets will love you for it.
  • Dogs and cats are great at entertaining themselves. Whether it’s an empty plastic bottle, or a discarded paper bag, giving them something to play with will keep them happy and loyal.

Waste

If you’re like most people, stepping in dog doo can really ruin your day. As common as it is, what most people don’t realize is its effect on the environment. Even though it’s a dirty job, cleaning up after your pet is not only a service to your community, but also a quick and easy way to upkeep environmental conditions.

  • Using environmentally sound disposable bags to clean up fecal matter reduces overall waste and prevents harmful bacteria from seeping into the Earth.
  • Most kitty litter is made from clay obtained through strip mining. You can combat this by only buying biodegradable litter made from wheat, corn, reclaimed wood or old newspapers.
  • If your pets don’t “make it to the newspaper” in time, use environmentally friendly household cleaners to assess the mess.  

Treats

It should come as no surprise that the foods you consume have a direct effect on your wellbeing. The same is true for your pets, and although it may be easy to buy the same dog food every time, paying attention to ingredients can be beneficial to your pets. You may not be able to get your cat to go vegan, but supplementing her diet with healthier options is highly recommended.

  • Introducing pumpkin into your dog’s diet through homemade treats can soothe stomach pains and ease digestion.
  • Frozen cat treats made from blended sardines and krill are a healthy snack for the hottest of summer days.
  • Before adopting a vegan diet for your dog or cat, be sure you do your research. Dogs have an easier time adjusting, but cats have been known to develop urinary tract issues when not fed adequate amounts of meat. Consult a veterinarian before making any drastic changes to what your pets eat. 

Pupsicles - Gus Sits

Ensuring the health and safety of your pets doesn’t have to be harmful to the environment. In fact, many green solutions prove more advantageous to both the wellbeing of your pets and the ground they walk on. So, next time you’re at the pet store, be conscious of your purchases and reach for a greener alternative. After all, this world is as much theirs as it is ours.

When Adam Holmes isn’t scooping poo, he’s lost in the lines of his notebook, writing about pet care. He’s had dogs and cats all his life and does his best to stay up-to-date on how to keep them healthy.
By Lauren Colman on Aug 07, 2013 at 6:00 am 0 Comments
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There are some awesome shelters and rescues in the San Francisco area helping animals find their forever homes. Take a look at the map below to find a shelter near you. Click on the pins to find out more about the available pets in your area.

Shelters and rescues in the San Francisco area

Find San Francisco Dogs & Puppies

Find San Francisco Cats & Kittens

By Lauren Colman on Aug 06, 2013 at 10:24 am 2 Comments
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