How to Keep Your Pet Out of Your Bed

If your four-legged friend sleeps with you at night, he could certainly be to blame for making you itch and sneeze.

The Facts About Pet Allergies

You might be surprised to know that it's usually not your pet's actual hair that sets your immune system into overdrive. Instead, it's the proteins contained in pet dander, saliva, and urine that cause an array of symptoms such as sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, and red, itchy eyes. Further complicating the problem is that allergens such as pollen, mold, and dust may be trapped in your animal's hair.

The Research

Even though your dog or cat can set off uncomfortable and sometimes unbearable symptoms, you don't have to get rid of your pet. You'll just need to banish her from your bedroom. Studies have found that many people with pet allergies experience relief by using allergy control medications and/or immunotherapy along with keeping the animal away from where they sleep. It's also believed that very young children in your home may benefit from early exposure to pets, reducing their likelihood of them getting allergies later in life, so having a pet can actually have some health benefits.

Stop Pet Allergies

Here are steps that pet experts suggest to help you transition your pet out of your bedroom:

  1. Invest in a crate that will provide a safe haven for your pet.
  2. Place the crate in a corner of your bedroom for a few days.
  3. Use food to entice your pet to go into the crate at bedtime.
  4. Close her in the crate for short periods of time and quickly build up to keeping her in there all night.
  5. Offer a special chew toy or other treat that you provide for use only in the crate. This will help create a positive association in the space.
  6. Put a towel or t-shirt with your scent inside the crate to make it feel more familiar to him.
  7. Keep in mind that dogs may be particularly resistant to this change, so be prepared to ignore any whining or fussing (unless you really believe she needs to relieve herself). This is important so that you can avoid reinforcing negative behavior.
  8. Use a firm voice to quiet your pet if he barks and whines for a long period of time.
  9. When you feel your pet has adjusted to her new space, relocate the crate and your pet to the living room, kitchen, or some other part of your house at bedtime.
  10. Be prepared to be persistent, since your pet may fuss for a while when he can't see you, but before long he should get used to his new space.

Other Steps to Control Pet Allergies

You might expect your allergies to disappear as soon as you relocate your animal, but in fact, pet allergens can linger in your furniture, bedding, and in the air for months after your pet has been removed. Therefore, you'll want to continue to use your allergy treatments to manage the symptoms until the allergens go away on their own.


"Allergies to Pets." Paw Rescue, 6 Dec. 2004. Web, 13 Feb. 2011.

"Pet Allergies." Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. AAFA Editorial Board, 2005. Web, 13 Feb. 2011.

"Pet Allergy: Lifestyle and Home Remedies." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER), 17 Nov. 2010. Web, 13 Feb. 2011.