Don't let pet allergies get in the way of your relationships

If you or a loved one suffer from pet allergies, here are 5 things you can do right now to let the love flow -- and not your nose.

Video Transcript

TANIA ELLIOTT: Hi. I'm Dr. Tania Elliott. Don't let pet allergies get in the way of your relationships, whether this is a friend, a family member, a loved one, a romantic relationship. Here are some key tips, whether you have an allergy or you know someone that's close to you who does have an allergy.

Number 1-- if you do have an allergy, you want to make sure that you take your medicines 30 minutes to one hour before you're going into a home that has a pet that you're allergic to. That's because it's a lot easier to prevent an allergic reaction from occurring as opposed to treating it once you're already having an allergy attack.

Number 2-- if you're on the other side of this and you're expecting a visitor and they have a pet allergy, you want to make sure that you prepare your space. So a key thing is to remove the pet from the room where the person is going to be. Number two is make sure you have an air filter going. And that's important because even if the pet is not in the room or not even in the home, pet allergens can stay suspended in the air for weeks and even months at a time. So you want to make sure that you have an air filter that's the appropriate size of the room. Also, you want to make sure that there's good ventilation in the home. So now's the time to keep the windows open and make sure that air is flowing.

Number 3-- what if your family is deciding to get a pet and there's somebody in your home that might be allergic? Well, make sure you get tested ahead of time and see whether or not you're truly allergic to the pet. But then also remember that there is an option for you. It's something called allergy immunotherapy, which comes in the form of an injection or drops underneath the tongue. And this can actually cure you of your pet allergies. You need to be on the medicine for one time a week for the first six or so months. And then it's a monthly commitment. But studies have shown that 70% of people can be completely cured of your pet allergy.

Now, remember, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet. So you want to make sure you take people with pet allergies seriously and plan accordingly.