THE KOBOLD Magazine

Allergic to animals? Read our tips and advice on minimising their effect

Read on to find out more about pet allergies and how to reduce their effect
Health

According to the PFMA (Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association), nearly half of all homes have a pet (40%) so it’s fair to say we’re a nation of animal lovers. But are you sure it’s your pet’s hair that you’re allergic to?

In the UK, pets are the second leading cause of allergies in the home. Many owners face the constant challenge of cleaning up pet hair, thinking this is what causes allergic reactions. While this is partly true, it’s not the source you should be focusing on.

The allergens for dogs and cats are found in their saliva, sweat and urine, and as many pet owners will know, they are constantly grooming themselves, resulting in their hair and skin cells being coated with these allergens. This is then spread throughout our homes as they go about their merry way of lying in the sun, playing with toys, and generally getting up to no good! The problem for us is that, once the saliva dries, it becomes airborne very easily.

Adding to the bad news - these allergens are relentless. Even if you don’t own a pet, there are detectable levels found in homes where no pets have lived for many years, clinging to walls, furniture, clothing and other surfaces. Surprisingly, they can also be found in schools having been brought in by clothing and shoes.

But fear not, now you have a better picture of what is contributing to allergies in your home, we have some tips to help combat these allergens:

  1. Wash your pets regularly - they might not like it, you might fear it, but it’ll certainly help!
  2. Try and remove carpets where the animals are kept - hard floors are easier to deep clean and are less likely to harbour allergens
  3. Wash and change clothes - people who are in contact with animals outside the home should change their clothes and wash when they come in - we’re not saying to do this military style, but if someone in your home has a serious allergy it is worth considering
  4. Vacuum the floors regularly - this will remove pet hair and reduce it from spreading around the house. The Kobold VK200 Vacuum Cleaner is perfect for tackling this problem
  5. Regularly wash bedding where animals have slept – this will also help with lingering smells around the home
  6. Condition your pet’s skin - products are also available to condition the animals' skin and reduce the amount of allergen that is release into the environment.  Check with your local groomer or vet for more information