Are you an allergy sufferer? Does the sight of green grass and beautiful flowers make you want to run screaming for the box of tissues? If you live with pets, allergy season can be especially tough. Pet lifestyle expert Sandy Robins has put together her tips for a successful and pet-safe cleaning season. Happy cleaning!
Grooming is the most essential method in helping to control pet dander and allergies. Dander is the cause of most pet-related allergies for people, and depending on breed and coat type, some dogs will have more than others. The frequency of grooming depends greatly on these factors so it’s always best to speak with a professional groomer before starting any at-home grooming routine. In most cases, the average dog should be groomed every four to eight weeks. And, grooming your pet at home is a great way to bond with them.
Bathing pets will also help to eliminate dirt, debris and dander from a pet’s coat. Choose a fragrance-free, exfoliating shampoo to remove dead skin from the coat and allow more moisture to stay locked in. After washing, dry dogs effortlessly with a microfiber towel. “The wet pet smell can be overpowering. The unique microfiber technology draws water away from a dog’s coat for a quick dry and cut back on that dreaded smell,” says Robins. In addition, she suggests using a water bottle to mist down a pet’s coat, especially in the dryer months. “This will help keep the skin hydrated and cut down on dander.”
In between baths use a shed control conditioning spray to keep dogs smelling good and tangle free. This will moisturize, sooth and leave a dog’s coat and skin soft, shiny, healthy and shed-free.
Another key component to fighting pet dander and ultimately reducing allergies is nutrition. What a dog or cat is fed is reflected in the condition of its skin and coat. “Premium or natural dog food is ideal for a healthy coat and many food brands offer a sensitive skin or allergy line,” advises Robins. Also, there are many supplements available with Omega 3’s, that can help control dry skin.
Refresh Old Products
Hair and dander can live on pet throws and beds no matter how clean a pet is. Robins says, “as part of a spring cleaning routine, it is especially important to change out these products and refresh them with a newer counterpart.” Pets need fresh beds and blankets because sleeping in a pet parent’s bed or bedroom is a not recommended for those with allergies. “We all like to curl up in bed with our pets, but people who are allergic may not be doing themselves any favors,” says Robins. “Your airways are more susceptible to irritants at night, partly because when you’re lying down, you’re closer to the ground where particles settle. Instead teach pets to sleep in a separate room nearby with their nice, new, comfy bed.”
Keep a Clean House
It’s very important to clean up any excess hair or dander left by furry friends. Vacuum floors, dust counters and wash carpets in order to reduce the amount of allergens.
When spring-cleaning, it’s important to use a pet-safe cleaner. Much like children, dogs will put their mouth on things or even lick the floor so using a cleaning product that is safe and effective is extra important. In addition, cats walk on these surfaces and then lick their paws. “I recommend using a line of cleaning and grooming products that are pet safe, baby safe, and earth safe,” says Robins. “For those who are extra cautious, leave Fluffy or Fido tucked away in a separate room with an enticing toy while you clean to keep them super safe from toxins.
Have any old family cleaning secrets you’d like to share with the TAILS community? We’d love to hear them!