We're in the midst of high pollen season, and here at Sugar HQ, we're trading tips on allergy relief almost as much as monthly must haves . As temperatures rise, flowers and trees aren't the only ones shedding sneeze-causing particles: your pet is busy sloughing off fur and dander which can increase the intensity of itchy eyes and runny noses. Of course, you could research the best hypoallergenic pet breed  for your home, but if you've already made a dog or cat a member of your family, here are a few tips on keeping the sneezes at bay!
Source: Flickr User Katie@! 
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands after touching your pet is a good practice to follow: not only will it rid your palms of dander and hair, it will also expunge them of pollen that's followed your pet indoors. All of those are best to keep out of your eyes if you're allergy-prone!
Source: Flickr User SCA Svenska Cellulosa Aktiebolaget 
Wash Your Pet
Bathing your pet will rinse out some of the dander, pollen, and fur that's loose within her coat. Some resources advise that bathing may cause your cat to lick herself, creating more dander particles, so you may want to consider alternatives to baths, like . . .
Source: Flickr User wsilver 
Give Them a Good Wipe-Down
If your pet has sensitive skin or just can't stand bath time, grab a damp microfiber cloth  and wipe them down from head to toe. The cloth will pick up excess hair, pollen, and dander. For best results, do this after brushing your pet to grab any remaining loose fur.
Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum!
Invest in a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter  to suck up tiny dander particles once or twice a week. Don't forget to vacuum upholstered furniture and drapes, too!
Invest in Low-Dust Cat Litter
Many of today's greener kitty litter options  contain little to no dust, making them great alternatives for folks with allergies. Yesterday's News  is made from recycled paper and 99.7% dust-free.
Plug In a HEPA Air Purifier
While installing HEPA filters in your home's ventilation system is probably the most effective, buying a portable air purifier  is a lower-cost, turn-key option. The filters will grab some of the airborne dander particles, keeping them out of your nose!
Try a Different Solution
Speak to your vet about trying an anti-allergen solution for your pet's coat. Allerpet  can be applied two to three times a week to remove dander and pollen from her fur.
Keep Pets Off the Bed
Snuggling up to your dog or cat means a night full of dander inhalation. While it might be hard to part with your bedtime companion, keeping pets off the bed is the best way to keep your sanctuary as particle-free as possible. If your allergies are really bad, consider making your entire bedroom a no-pet zone.
Source: Flickr User azza-bazoo 
Talk to Your Vet and Your Physician
In the end, what's most important is you and your pet's health. Before you try any new treatments, medications, or remedies, discuss your situation with your physician and your pet's vet.