Do you sneeze every time you are around an animal? Do your eyes water and become itchy? It’s still possible to have the warm, fuzzy companionship your pet provides.

People with allergies are rarely allergic to only one thing. If you are allergic to pets, there is a good chance that dust, pollen, grasses, plant molds, smoke, feathers and other air pollutants also create problems.

Unfortunately, a pet is the most obvious target, and many people believe their pet is dispensable. At the SPCA, it’s alarming how many pets we receive because the owners are “allergic” to them.

Rather than giving your four-footed companion away, try the following tips to relieve the allergy:

• Buy an industrial-sized air purifier for your home, and change filters regularly. Try a mechanical purifier rather than an electrostatic-type, which may cause ozone, another irritant.
• Dander can accumulate on carpets and furniture. Vacuum frequently to keep everything as free from dust, hair and animal dander as possible.
• If possible, let someone else vacuum so you aren’t caught in the inevitable dust swirl. If this isn’t practical, open a window and allow dust to escape.
• Groom your pet daily to keep its coat glossy and reduce shedding. Include a supplemental oil in the diet to lessen skin dryness.
• Use low-dust kitty litter and avoid perfumed brands. Pour little slowly into the pan to keep the dust-level low.
• Bathe your cat monthly for 10 minutes in lukewarm, distilled water. This will greatly reduce the production of Fel D1, the major allergen from cats.
• Use a humidifier and air-conditioner during the proper seasons.
• Since stress also can trigger allergies, avoid it where possible. Holding and petting an animal is a great blood-pressure reducer.
• Check with your doctor concerning possible medications to counteract allergies.

Some people eventually develop a resistance to their own pet. Once they’ve made up their mind to keep their dog or cat, they find their allergies decrease as time passes.

Did You Know?

Limiting a dog’s diet to soft foods – canned and table scraps – is unhealthy. Soft foods don’t remove tartar from teeth, and this build-up can cause gum infections and soreness…

Brush excess flea powder from your pet 30 minutes after application. An animal can become ill by licking large amounts of powder…

Heat Alert! Don’t leave your dog in the car during hot, summer days. Even with a window cracked, the temperature will soar into the 100s in a relatively short amount of time, causing brain damage or possible death.

Pet Parade Scheduled

The Third Annual Pet Parade, benefiting the SPCA of Texas and the Dallas Parks and Recreation Department, is scheduled Aug. 22 at Glencoe Park. For more information call the SPCA at 651-9611. The event is sponsored by KDFW-TV and KYNG-Young Country radio.

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