Susan Baghdasarian | Uxbridge Real Estate, Douglas Real Estate, Whitinsville Real Estate

Everybody who sells their house won't tell you that they once owned one or more pets,indoor animals that spent hours climbing across furniture, sleeping on the floor and shedding hair. Move into one of these houses and you might start sneezing or coughing less than four hours after you move in.

Protect yourself from annoying pet allergies

If you don't spot pet hairs, you might visit the doctor, thinking that you are coming down with a virus or another illness. That's a reasonable reaction, especially considering how thoroughly some previous homeowners clean their houses before they sell them.

Yet, just because a house looks clean doesn't mean that it really is. Pet allergies are just one reason why you should clean a house before you unpack. Treat the house as if pets once lived at the property. This will ensure a top to bottom cleaning.

In addition to giving the house a general cleaning, you can do is to check the house for signs that pets once lived at the residence. Places to check for signs that pets once lived where you're just moving in are:

  • Air vents
  • Filters, including washer and dryer filters
  • Floorboards
  • Ceiling edges
  • Carpets and other flooring
  • Drains

Move into a house that already has appliances in it and you'll need to check those appliances for pet dander too. The same goes for furniture. Put the attic and basement on your cleaning list as well. Wash the garage if it's attached to the house.

Cleaning your house to reduce pet allergies

After you give the house a first cleaning, wait a day. Then, return and clean the house again. Check rags, sponges and water buckets to see if the second cleaning picked up far less pet dander. It should.

Treat flooring, especially carpet, with shampoo that rids carpet fibers of pet hairs.Also, pay attention to how you react to being in the house for several days. Even if it takes you two weeks to clean and treat the house for pet dander, it's worth it.

You  may live at the house for several years. These early cleanings may seem like a lot of work now, but, when you compare them against how much time you could spend living at the house, this cleaning time is a drop in a bucket.

Take the time to clean and treat whether you have pet allergies or your children, spouse or friends do. Pet allergies don't take much dander to trigger. It takes less than a few hours for allergies to gain strength, causing you to sneeze, cough,develop swollen glands and start to water at the eyes. Stay around pet dander long enough and you might develop a rash and start to feel fatigued.

As inconvenient as it is, checking a new house for pet hair pays off. The sooner you learn that the house you just bought was the former home of a pet, the more time you get to treat the house, reducing the chances that you'll trigger a nasty pet allergy.