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How to deal with a guest coming over who’s allergic to animals

You want your housewarming party to be remembered for its upsides, not your guests’ allergies. The next time you’re planning on throwing an at-home shindig, find a way to keep your pets at bay. Keeping your party sniffle-free is going to take some work, so roll up your sleeves and dig in.

Getting Started

There are tons of people who are allergic to proteins found in pet saliva, dander, and urine. Luckily, many of those allergy-inducing proteins can be eliminated from your home by deep-cleaning rooms where your guests will be. About a week before the big event, place HEPA-filter air purifiers around the "party" rooms. Remove area rugs, stuffed animals, pillows, throws, and soft, fluffy items that attract pet hair. If you cannot wash those soft items before returning them to their places, toss them in storage until the party is over. Fluffy will understand.

Two Days Ahead of Time

Bathe pets with mild pet shampoo, giving special attention to paws and other areas pets lick frequently. Once pets are spic-and-span, head back to guest rooms, vacuuming carpets with a HEPA-filtered vacuum and mopping hard floors. Wash all those easily-forgotten spaces that collect pet dander: window sills where Frisky perches, closets that host Fido's hideaway naps, and furniture edges that pets have rubbed against. Consider using an allergen-reducing spray throughout your party spaces for extra protection. And for overnight guests, wash all bedding and linens in hot water.

Party Day

Make sure you have over-the-counter allergy medication and plenty of tissues on hand, just in case. Give rooms a final once-over, checking to make sure your pets haven't slipped back into the area and left pet hair in their wake. Set up a comfy, temporary base for your pets in another part of your home, so there are no unexpected encounters with guests.

There's nothing worse than knowing your pets triggered a guest's epic allergy attack. Adding a little extra elbow grease to party preparations prevents those episodes and ensures a party that's remembered for all the right reasons.