It's always a good time having friends or family visit when you haven't seen them in ages, but when you're planning for overnight guests who might be allergic to your pets, you're going to need to do more than a light dusting of your guest bedroom.
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According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, three in 10 people in the United States have cat and dog allergies, with reactions to cats being twice as common. As you can imagine, this would make hosting anyone with pet allergies a little more difficult, especially since these pets tend to roam free and leave their mark in every room, with hair making its way to carpets, bedding, and couches. If you don't know where to start, don't panic — we've enlisted the help of Dr. Payel Gupta, board-certified allergist and immunologist, co-host of The Itch Podcast, and chief medical officer and co-founder of the online allergy clinic, Cleared, to help you figure out how to make your home pet allergy-friendly.
Check out seven of the best items for guests with pet allergies, below.
According to Dr. Gupta, vacuum rugs, carpets, and couches the day your guest is supposed to arrive. Aim for at least three hours before and try to find a vacuum with a HEPA filter. "And keep pets out of the area after cleaning, if possible," Dr. Gupta adds.
2. Steam Mop
Get an even deeper clean on your hardwood floors with a steam mop, like the Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off. This model is designed with pets in mind and kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria without chemicals, making it a great option to keep your home clean and you, your pets, and your guests happy.
Our pick: Bissell PowerFresh Lift-Off Pet Steam Mop, $129
3. Pet Dander Remover
According to The Humane Society, bathing your pets often can reduce allergy-causing dander. And for any pets that aren't fans of bathtime, there are brands out there like Allerpet (available for cats and dogs) that only require application with a damp towel to help make your home pet dander-free. However, be sure to check in with your veterinarian for safe bathing and even more product recommendations.
Increase the airflow in your home and keep it well ventilated with a clean, oscillating fan when you have guests with mild pet allergies, according to the Allergy Asthma & Immunology Institute. Opening a few windows can also help (weather permitting), but be cautious of any outdoor dust and pollen allergies that might affect them, too.
5. Air Purifier
Air purifiers are a must when it comes to hosting guests with pet allergies, especially for the main areas and bedrooms. However, when you're looking for air purifiers, you're going to want to make sure the air purifier has the capacity to filter your space. "Air purifiers are like air conditioners — they go by the square footage of the space you are trying to clear," Dr. Gupta tells Hunker.
Our pick: Levoit Core P350 Air Purifier, $129.99
Is new bedding absolutely necessary? Not exactly, but having a pet-free bedding set dedicated to frequent houseguests with allergies is something they will surely thank you for. At the very least, Dr. Gupta suggests you swap out bedding with fresh sheets and do your best to keep the pet out of the guest room.
7. Allergy Medication
This tip is more for your guests than it is for the hosts. According to Dr. Gupta, guests with pet allergies should take medications (especially antihistamines) before entering homes with pets. "If you have asthma, make sure to bring your inhalers with you," Dr. Gupta suggests. "Bring extra medications with you on your trip, so that you don't have to make any last-minute trips to the pharmacy."
Our pick: Claritin (Non-drowsy), $14.99