7 Tips For Helping Visitors With Dog Allergies Feel Welcome

By on January 15, 2019

Our latest guest-contributed post is one we think you’ll find helpful and informational. It’s from Patrick Holmes, an indoor air quality specialist at Home Air Quality Guides, and we hope you enjoy.

Our pets are treasured members of the family. They’re loyal and everybody loves them. Almost. About 10% of people suffer from pet allergies. That makes your favorite, four-legged family members a potential health hazard for some of your friends and family. Arranging get-togethers, parties, or even just hanging out can be difficult, since pet dander, dog fur, and of course, your pets themselves, are all over the house.

You might think it’s impossible to have visits from friends or overnight guests who suffer allergies. But by taking a few simple steps, you can make sure that everyone, even the family pets, don’t feel uncomfortable or put out, even with the concern of pet allergies. To make sure your home is a welcoming place, follow these tips.

  1. Deep Clean


If you know that someone with allergies is planning to stay at your place, now is the time for a deep clean. Hire a steam cleaner company, or steam clean the carpets yourself. Remember that often, dogs have their accidents in the same spots in the house. Treat any trouble spots with a pet friendly cleaners, and sweep and vacuum thoroughly to get rid of any excessive pet hairs that can trigger allergies.

  1. Keep Your Pets Clean


The more often you groom your dog, the less likely he is to shed. Keeping a dog well-groomed is the easiest way to cut down on fluff and dander in the air, and around the house. That makes things a lot easier on your guests, since they won’t be breathing it in. Making sure your pet’s blankets, beds, and even toys, are clean will also help. Your pet’s bed especially picks up a lot of stray fur and odor, but even a favorite tennis ball or tug of war rope can pick up allergies from your dog. Keeping your dog’s belongings in one place goes a long way. Wash your dog’s bedding in the washer, and spray down or soak any toys that might pick up dander. Leave them to dry.

  1. Get an Air Purifier


Air purifiers seem like an expensive, big-ticket item. You might think they’re not the best option for a temporary guest. But overall, they have great benefits for pet owners. If you suffer from milder allergies, an air purifier for pets can help. It can also remove up to 80% of airborne toxins, so it’s healthier and cleaner for the whole family, not just allergy sufferers. Remember to clean out the air filters on a semi-regular basis. If you have a dog, every sixty days or so. For more than one pet, you’ll want to clean your air filters every month.

  1. Set up Pet-Free Zones


If you’ve got a guest who’s allergic to your pets, you may need to do some organizing. Moving a pet bed to another part of your house, or outside if the weather is nice and your dog is comfortable, is a option. Using baby gates or closing doors in your home can help ensure that there are places your house guest can visit the dog can’t reach, and give your dog his own space too, to calm down, or relax around familiar items in your home. If you have upholstered furniture in your guest bedroom, or living room, and an allergic friend or family member comes to stay, consider swapping the furniture for leather or wood. Definitely steam clean cushions and large items, and run a load of covers in the wash.

  1. Keep Your Dog Comfortable And Well-Behaved


Making sure your dog is socialized properly is key here too. The dog should be safe with not jumping up on a visitor, and should be clear which spaces are his, and which are not. It may be a good idea to practice with friends who are not allergic, coming in and out of your home, or visiting for an hour or two, especially if the dog is young. This can help prevent anxiety-driven behaviors that may cause mayhem around your home, lead to excessive shedding, or getting fur on otherwise dog-free furniture. If the dog is too young and unpredictable, you may consider a doggy daycare. If the weather is nice, keeping the windows open improves air circulation, and giving your furry friend a little extra outside time in your yard might be a good option.

  1. Make Plans To Go Out


If you’re planning a short visit, keeping windows and doors open for good air circulation is a great choice to stop it feeling stuffy. Spending time outdoors, on a patio, or yard may also be a way for your guests to get some needed fresh air. Of course, this is less helpful if they also have seasonal allergies. But spending time socializing outside means your guest still feels welcome in your home, and you can appreciate the fresh air together. And who doesn’t love a backyard barbecue in the summer?

  1. Plan for an outbreak


Even with the best behaved dogs, in a sparkling clean house, outbreaks can still happen. Let your friend know in advance that you have a dog, and ask for tips on how to manage the allergy. He or she may have a more mild allergy that might lead to some sniffles, or a more serious type that, could cause rashes or breathing difficulty. Either way both you, and your visitor, should know what to expect. Stock up on allergy medication, and check in with your visitor about the severity of their allergy, so you can react quickly to any outbreak

As much as we love our pets, they’re not great for everyone. Just because friends and family are allergic, doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy your company at home! Whether for an overnight guest, or a few hours at a gathering, there are always ways to protect against pet allergies, even with dogs in the house. Keep a clean home, (and dog) and make sure you know what your guests need to be comfortable, and even friends with allergies will love spending time with you, your family, and your pets!

Patrick Holmes is an indoor air quality specialist at Home Air Quality Guides. His passion is to help people create cleaner, healthier and more comforting environments inside their homes by sharing expert advice that’s easy to follow. He enjoys writing in-depth articles on air purification, household cleaning tips, home maintenance advice and more.​​​​​​​


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