7 Tips for Living With Pet Allergies

5. Shake hands — but don't kiss. Who doesn’t love a big slurp from a happy dog? People with allergies—that’s who. A dog’s saliva contains allergensand can cause skin reactions in some people when they’re licked. To minimize the spread of allergens, teach your dog from puppyhood not to lick you or other people. And remember that cat saliva can cause allergic reactions, too.

6. Treat symptoms with medication. Many people find relief with over-the-counter antihistamine products or steroid sprays available by prescription. Some people who are allergic to cats respond well to allergy shots. Talk with your doctor about options to help manage your allergy symptoms.

7. Ban pets from the bedroom. This one is tough, and not everyone is willing to do it, but if you have allergies, making your bedroom a pet-free zone can help you sleep more comfortably. If you’re not willing to do that, at least keep pets off your bed. When that’s not possible — or if you just don’t want to do it — place a washable throw on the bed for your pet’s use, put dust mite covers on your mattress and pillows, and get used to living with a stuffy nose and puffy eyes. For many people, the companionship is worth the consequences.

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