What To Do If A Future Houseguest Is Allergic To Your Pet

Tom Gaffey
by Tom Gaffey
Credit: Shutterstock / New Africa

Pets are excellent companions, with some pets even being labeled as “man’s best friend.” There is some truth to this, as the bond between a pet and its owner is a special and strong one, but most people also have human best friends. In some cases, your best friend might be allergic to your pet, which can make things difficult when you host this friend in your pet-friendly home. When a houseguest is allergic to your pet, there are certain ways you can prepare to ensure the visit will be a comfortable one.

If a future houseguest is allergic to your pet, then make sure your guest room is a pet-free zone well before your guest arrives. Vacuum, mop, and sweep your floors, and make sure your air filters (ideally a HEPA filter) are working properly. Open windows and circulate fresh air into the home, deep clean your furniture, and stock up on allergy medicine just in case.

Entertaining a house guest who is allergic to your pet has its challenges. It is particularly tough when you don’t understand how a pet allergy works. While there is no perfect way to make your pet-friendly home an allergy-free one, there are many ways you can make your houseguest more comfortable and less reactive. Below is a list of ways you can reduce the likelihood of an allergic reaction when you have a houseguest who is allergic to the beloved animal in your home.

How To Prepare For A Guest Who Is Allergic To Your Pet

1. Make The Guest Room Pet-Free Leading Up To The Arrival

If your home has a guest room, then there is a good chance your houseguest will spend the majority of time in this room. Therefore, the bulk of your energy should be focused on making this a pet-hair and dander-free area.

Make sure you change all the sheets and pillowcases, as well as wipe all the surfaces. If you have throw rugs, give them a good shake outdoors and vacuum them. Most importantly, keep your pet out of this room for as long as possible before your friend’s arrival.

This will ensure the allergens stay out of the room and it allows you time to train your pet to stay out of the room when the guest arrives.

2. Get Your Outdoor Areas Ready For Entertaining

When it comes to most pet allergies the best place to keep an allergy sufferer is outdoors. The fresh air and breeze are usually much better for those who react poorly to pet dander or animals nearby. This means sprucing up that outdoor space.

If you have an outdoor fire pit, make sure it is ready for use, and place some furniture around it. Get your patio furniture cleaned up and ready for entertaining, and maybe think about having a night or two when you grill outside.

3. Bathe And Clean Your Pet Before The Guest Arrives

People are allergic to all sorts of animals, and there are many different triggers, from hair to dander, to saliva, and even urine. One of the most common causes of allergies, however, is pet dander and falling hair that has dander on it.

One way to mitigate this allergy-inducing substance is to thoroughly clean your pet. Brush your animal, bathe it, send it to the groomer, or all of the above. This will help your pet look its best and also make it less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

4. Stock Up On Allergy Medication

No matter how careful and clean you are, there is still a good chance your guest will have some type of reaction. This is especially true if he or she is very allergic to certain types of animals. The best way to deal with this is to prepare by purchasing allergy medication.

There is a good chance your houseguest will bring medication, but it is always a good idea to have some on hand just in case. You can inquire with him or her as to the preferred brand, or just choose a reliable generic brand. As a pet owner, it’s always good to have allergy medication, as you never know who will visit you.

5. Vacuum, Mop, And Sweep

Animal hair and dander might float around, but they always end up on the floor. As you prepare for a houseguest who suffers from dog, cat, or other pet allergies, pay particular attention to your floor. Give the entire floor a thorough cleaning.

This means starting with a detailed sweeping. Next, give the hard floors a mopping. Give your rugs and carpeting a thorough vacuuming using its most deep-cleaning setting.

6. Create A Pet-Friendly Zone In Your Bedroom

Remember that while it is important to cater to your houseguest, you also need to consider your pet. As you prepare for your houseguest, you should also try to make an enjoyable sanctuary for your pet.

Your bedroom, or another area of the house that a houseguest is unlikely to venture into, is the best place. Several days before, bring any toys and beds your pet has into this space. Try to make it an enjoyable area so your animal doesn't try to escape when the company arrives.

7. Circulate Fresh Air Into The Home

Fresh air is a great way to minimize allergic reactions. If the weather permits, try and keep your windows open before your guest arrives, and throughout the visit. You must make sure your friend doesn't also have outdoor allergies, as this could be harmful. But a good ceiling fan and open windows can work wonders for those with pet allergies.

8. Get HEPA Air Filters, Ensure Air Filters Are Fully Functional

One of the best ways to remove pet allergens from the home is with high-quality air filters like a HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air (filter), and has been proven to be highly effective at removing particles like dander and others that cause allergic reactions.

If you have an air filtration or HVAC system, make sure you change the filters before your houseguest arrives. Also, confirm that these filters are functioning properly, and ensure there is nothing blocking your return vent or negatively affecting your air circulation system.

9. Use The Visit As An Excuse To Deep Clean Furniture

Deep cleaning furniture is rarely on the top of the list of “favorite chores.” It can be tedious and difficult to deep clean certain types of furniture, especially large couches with lots of fabric. Still, it is a task that must be done from time to time, so why not use the excuse of a houseguest with pet allergies to complete this task?

If you don’t have time or the tools to perform a deep clean, consider using furniture covers as a quick fix. If you have one already, then wash the couch cover before your guest arrives.

10. Leave Your Pet With A Loved One For A Few Days

Lastly, if your houseguest has severe allergies and you are worried nothing on this list will be enough to make your home comfortable, then see if someone can take your pet for a few days. If you deep clean your home and follow the steps above, then your home should be free of most allergy triggers. If you also remove the pet, then your houseguest should have an allergy-free stay (especially if you have medicine just in case).

Last Notes On Preparing For A Guest Who Is Allergic To Your Pet

It is important to remember that just because you love cuddling up with your pet all day and night doesn't mean everyone does. Some people can’t even be near your pets due to allergies. If you have a houseguest arriving soon who is allergic to your pet, make sure you prepare your home by deep cleaning furniture, sweeping and mopping floors, and changing out your air filters. Fresh air and outdoor activities are ideal. Try to make your bedroom a pet-friendly zone, and make your guest bedroom a pet-free zone well in advance of your guest’s arrival.

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Tom Gaffey
Tom Gaffey

Tom Gaffey is an expert writer who currently resides in Washington D.C. Tom has a passion for real estate and home improvement writing, as well as travel and lifestyle writing. He lived the last twelve years in Hawaii where he worked closely with luxury resorts and event planners, mastering his knowledge of aesthetics and luxury products. This is where he found his passion for home improvement and a keen interest in DIY projects. Currently, Tom resides in Washington D.C, and also working on his debut fiction novel.

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