Pillow Talk with your Pet About Allergies

Bedding can be a complicated decision for a pet owner with allergies.  For humans, mattress encasement, higher thread counts in sheets and pillow casing and frequent changing of bed linens is a must, but it’s manageable.  I’m speaking however of bedding for the pets.

Sphynx and other hairless breeds can get pretty gritty. It’s important to keep all pet bedding clean, and this is particularly the case for hairless pets.  The body oil and dirt from them can create a stain that will never come clean (or at the least difficult to remove). Outside of that issue is how their bedding affects both pet and parent.

Several years ago the cats and I spent a winter holiday with a close friend who has fur throw blankets.  I am not overstating the reaction in saying the naked kidz LOVED the throws. They were in absolute bliss.  I was feeling just a little guilty that I hadn’t thought of providing them with such decadence. Despite any objections about the fur trade (both real and faux), I bought them a faux snow leopard throw from Pottery Barn.  The cats enjoyed the rest of their winter in this luxury, and when winter ended, I had the throw dry cleaned and boxed.  When I took the throw out for the next winter, the cats enjoyed the experience just as they did the season before.  However, my allergy symptoms were awful around it.  I confined the fur blanket to another room of the condo but eventually had to rid myself of it.  The reason being there was no effective way to rid it of dust mites or pet dander.  Dry cleaning is a chemical process that uses dry or spot moisture to clean materials.  Only heat kills dust mites, and the agitation with fluids (like water) is more efficient at moving dirt/dander away from cloth. 

Regular commercial industry pet beds do not escape this level of scrutiny. I once bought a $150 cushion pet bed made of thick, pre-washed cotton.  All it took was one hot wash to ruin it.  The company explained the bed should be hand-washed, which is stupid for any pet bet. 
 Eventually, I found a solution that worked well for the naked kidz, my allergies and eased my guilty conscience.  West Paw makes Bumper Beds that not only are washable but also can separate the cover from the internal bedding.  I use the heat and UV light of the sun during summer to combat dust mites for the inside bedding, and a toss into the dryer during the winter.  Covers are thick, organic cotton, prewashed, soft and flexible. Their brushed cotton flat beds are completely machine washable and dryer safe.  You can purchase cheaper in discount department stores, however, given the amount of washing we do, durability is the key, and these products hold up for years and well worth the cost. I have a flat nap mat I bought ten years ago, and it's still good.

Alas, my cats will not have a fur throw to sink in, but they are happy with the $5 fleece throws I get from places like JoAnn’s Crafts and Target.  I bought them one last year that had the feel of Lambswool.  I thnk it reminds Moshe Moshi of Jake and Maus. 

1 comment:

  1. I also can't have fur blankets at home. My allergy symptoms will get much worse. So, no fur for my cat either.


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