This is the time of year when people are dropping by and a stream of guests are at your house. But what if your houseguests are allergic to pets. You want to be a hospitable and accommodating host. so what should you do?
Although you can’t completely eradicate your pet’s dander and hair (which gets into carpets and furniture) there are a few steps you can take to make your allergic visitors a little more comfortable this holiday season.
Alert your guests - If you're inviting guests to a party, ask well ahead of time if they have any pet allergies. If they are staying overnight, let them know there is a pet in the house and that you will do your best to provide them with accommodations that are free of pet hair, but even a thorough cleaning may not stop an allergic reaction.
Give your pet a bath - Although allergies aren’t caused by shedding hair but rather dander (your pet’s skin) along with saliva and urine, bathing your pet can help reduce dander.However, if you plan to wash your pet more frequently, be sure to use a gentle shampoo that won’t dry out their skin and cause them to scratch.
Get a small air purifier - These HEPA units are great for eliminating allergens and dust. They typically start at around $100 and have replaceable filters. You can place one in the room where guests will be staying and run if for a few days prior to your guest’s visit.
Do a thorough cleaning - Plan to thoroughly clean your house a day or two before guests arrive. Wash guests' bed linens in hot water, mop hard floors,wipe down all surfaces, and use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. For wall-to-wall carpeting, try to schedule a thorough shampooing a few days before you welcome guests.
Create a pet-free area - Because pet allergens can persist for months, a short-term cleaning will not comolet get rid of them, but you can give your guests some peace of mind by cleaning a guest room and keeping your pet out for the length of their stay. If you have guests that stay often, you might want to make that room completely off limits to your pets.
Provide allergy meds - It’s not possible to completely remove pet allergens from your house. Dinner guests who take preventive measures, like taking allergy medication before they arrive, will probably be comfortable. Overnight guests who have allergies, however, will likely experience an allergic reaction, so keep over-the-counter allergy medication on hand should someone show signs of watery eyes and the sniffles.