Keeping Your Pets Off Your Bed

One of the best ways to keep pet allergies under control is to sleep in a pet-free zone. Eight hours of sleep while breathing dander-free air will go a long way toward lessening your allergy symptoms the following day.

If at all possible, create a “pet-free” bedroom for each allergic member of your family. Basically, that means no pets in the bedroom(s) during the day or night.

If that’s not possible or desirable in your house, the next best thing is to make sure your pets don’t sleep with the allergic family member. Keep your pillow covered during the daytime (so no stray dander floats down on the pillow), be extra diligent about cleaning and vacuuming your bedroom, and, at night, keep your pets off the bed.

Keeping the pets off the bed basically involves training them to sleep elsewhere…often by giving them a better place to sleep! Give your dog a new dog bed and train him with praise and treats to sleep in that bed rather than yours. Work with him during non-bedtime hours to learn a simple command such as “bed”, rewarding him with treats and praise for going to his bed. If you still want your dog to sleep in your room, start with the dog bed near your own then slowly move it away from your bed to improve air quality.

Cats can also be trained to sleep in their own cat bed. Besides simple doughnut-shaped cat beds, check out covered cat beds and elevated cat beds as extra-enticing options. Add a little catnip and some super yummy treats for cats to help emphasize to your cat that this is her special place. You’ll find a wide variety of other products on the market to help make your cat’s bed more enticing than your own including heated pads (far better than your cat sleeping around your head!)

As with most pet behaviors, it’s best if you can start off your pet on the right paw. If you don’t want your pet on your bed, don’t ever start allowing him on the bed. If you’ve allowed your pet access to the bed previously, be patient as you teach him a new behavior…remember, you originally told him that it was OK to sleep on the bed!

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