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Pets and allergies don't have to go hand in paw
September 20 2010
(ARA) - Pet owners are often torn between their love of Fido and Fluffy and the discomfort of stuffy noses and watery eyes. In fact, 15 percent of Americans are allergic to animals, and a whopping 11 million are allergic to cats alone, according to WebMD. Although those who suffer from severe allergies may not be able to own pets, mild allergy sufferers can take advantage of these tips and products at home to enjoy sneeze-free time with their furry friends.

'Pets and allergens don't have to go together. Mild allergies shouldn't have to stop pet lovers from enjoying their animals,' says Jackie Cooper, senior director of marketing and communications for Eureka. 'Following some simple tips and investing in pet-specific products can leave you breathing easier in no time.'

Not on the bed: Avoid allowing your dog or cat to sleep with you at night. Pet dander and fur can get absorbed into bedding, heightening allergy symptoms while you sleep. Instead, offer your pet a cozy bed of its own outside your bedroom. This can be as simple as placing a couple towels or an old throw pillow on the floor. Also, consider using allergen-resistant covers on mattresses and pillows.

Accessorize: Consider your allergies when buying toys, litter and other products for your pet. For example, cat owners should opt for natural litter instead of a brand that adds chemicals or scents, while those who are allergic to dogs should avoid toys that may retain saliva.

Sweep it up: Many pet owners would agree that pet hair is the number one problem that comes with owning an animal, and it's even worse for allergy sufferers. For relief, turn to a vacuum that not only offers superior cleaning, but also specializes in picking up pet hair. For example, the Eureka Pet Pal vacuum offers a Hair Raiser for Pets tool that can be used independently from the vacuum by rubbing the soft rubber tool on surfaces to grab embedded hair and gently lift it away from fabric. In addition to Hair Raiser for Pets, the vacuum also offers a PET Power Paw tool, which features small plastic teeth and a rubber strip to gently grab and clean pet hair from hard-to-reach areas, such as stairs.

Take it outside: Groom your pet at least once a week or more often if you have a long-haired breed or a breed prone to shedding. When grooming, make sure to take your pet outside to avoid excess hair and dander floating around the home. And, of course, wash your hands thoroughly after handling your pet.

Travel smart: When making road trips with your pet in tow, use washable seat covers that can be rinsed off at rest stops. And when en route, keep your pet the furthest safe distance from allergic passengers.

With these tips, pet owners can take some simple steps to stop sneezing and start enjoying quality time with their furry friends.
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