12 Ways to Reduce Household Allergens from Pets. Americans are crazy about animals, and the number of pets in homes has never been higher. However, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), the incidence of perennial allergies is on the increase, with an estimated 63 percent of allergy sufferers now coping with year-round problems. We’re not talking about a big coincidence here. Still, the AAAAI also notes that people who own pets and have allergies are not about to give up their dogs, cats or ferrets to get relief from the hair and dander that cause their symptoms. A 1999 survey revealed that 44 percent of people allergic to their pets will not give the pet away despite awareness in 70 percent of those surveyed that their pets were a major cause of their allergic problems. What’s more, 77 percent hadn’t even confined their pets to specific areas of the house. Allergy sufferers have tolerance levels that vary from person to person. But once a person exceeds his or her tolerance level, allergic reactions may occur. Here are tips pet owners can use to lower their risk of reaction and reduce allergens in their homes:

  1. Wash hands after touching pets and before touching your eyes or face.
  2. Restrict pets to certain rooms of the home to create allergy-free areas (especially bedrooms).
  3. Use allergen-resistant covers on mattresses and pillows.
  4. Wash sheets weekly in water that is at least 130 degrees.
  5. Where feasible, reduce the amount of carpet in the home, especially in bedrooms and sitting rooms.
  6. Avoid dustand dander-catching furnishings (e.g., cloth curtains and blinds).
  7. If pets have a favorite place on the furniture, cover that spot with removable, washable slipcovers.
  8. Use vacuums with high-efficiency particulate air filters to help clean the air.
  9. Use air purification devices to reduce allergens and eliminate household odors.
  10. Have a non-allergic family member bathe pets weekly.
  11. Have a non-allergic person groom pets regularly — outside the house.
  12. Keep the house well ventilated.