Pets are terrific companions. But you’re probably allergic to them and are always wondering how to get rid of allergies, something I won’t deal with here. And, that’s a good reason to learn how to get rid of pet dander. As a pet lover, you can’t imagine living petless. But most doctors would say to just get rid of your pet if you’re allergic to animal dander, to dog or cat dander.
So, is that an idea you’d consider? Do you really want to give your pup away? No? Worry not. Living petless isn’t the only pet dander elimination strategy. In this post, you’ll learn how to eradicate pet dander without having to quit loving your adorable pooch.
But first things first….
What’s Pet Dander?
According to the American Lung Association, pet dander comprises small, microscopic flecks of skin. Animals with fur or feathers such as dogs, cats, birds, and rodents naturally shed dander.
When dogs or cats lick or scratch their skin, you and your family end up with a problem — pet dander. But why is pet dander a problem? Pet dander is known to trigger allergic reactions in asthmatic people. That’s why.
Pet Dander is a Huge Problem, a National One
Did you know that 67 percent of American households own at least one pet? According to a 2019-2020 survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, nearly 85 million American families own a pet.
Since all pets shed dander, pet dander is a problem of national proportions even though it’s rarely a news item on TV.
But while it’s almost everyone’s problem, pet dander worries asthma and allergy sufferers more than anyone else. These particles come packed with pet allergens, and these allergens can trigger pet allergy.
What’s Pet Dander Allergy?
According to Mayo Clinic, pet allergy is a reaction (not pleasant at all) experienced by some people when exposed to skin cells, urine, or saliva from pets.
Mayo further says that people with allergic reactions to pet allergens may exhibit various recognizable symptoms. Some of the common pet allergy symptoms people see include sneezing, a running nose, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
Cats vs Dogs, Which Pet Causes More Problems Dander-wise?
For every 27 households that own a cat, there are 32 households owning a dog, according to the American Lung Association.
That suggests dog dander allergy should be a bigger problem than cat dander allergy, right? Well, things aren’t always as they seem.
Can you believe that for every person that reports suffering from dog allergy there are two complaining of cat allergy?
Can You See Pet Dander?
No, you can’t see pet dander because these airborne particles are too tiny to be seen with the naked eye. Pet dander particles are microscopic, measuring around 2.5 microns in diameter. Since these airborne particles are way smaller than 40 microns, they’re invisible to the human eye.
But just because you can’t see pet dander doesn’t mean it’s not there, floating in your seemingly clean indoor air.
How Long Does Pet Dander Stay in a House?
So, what would happen if you decided to get rid of your pet because it sheds? You’d still have pet dander on your clothes, carpets, upholstery and other places for up to 6 months, unless you quickly take specific and effective animal dander removal strategies.
By the way, all pets produce pet dander even if the animal in question doesn’t shed at all. That’s because pet dander mainly comes from dry animal skin, and don’t all pets have skin on them?
Other Dog and Cat Allergens
But pet dander isn’t the only problem you have as a pet owner. Urine, saliva, and feces from pets can also lead to allergies. The American Lung Association says that these secretions contain different types of proteins or allergens that can cause allergies. Urine, saliva, and feces from dogs contain proteins such as Can f II and Can f I. Cats’ urine, saliva, and feces contain Fel d I proteins.
Your cat or dog may have dried saliva on its fur especially if it licks. When it scratches, some of the dried saliva gets airborne and worsens your allergy problems. The same goes for dried urine. In addition, allergens from dried feces become airborne along with dust, worsening your home’s air quality.
Well, you likely won’t manage to eliminate 100% of the pet dander swirling in your indoor air. He’s 15 ways to remove a substantial amount of that pesky animal dander, especially pet dander.
15 Ways to Eliminate Pet Dander at Home
Here they are:
1.Keep Floors, Countertops and Tabletops Squeaky Clean
As you know, there are many benefits of keeping your home clean. Bugs don’t like clean environments, and clean floors see much less pet dander than dusty ones. But floors are not the only surfaces that may have pet dander.
Some of the dander from your pet settles on solid surfaces such as your countertops, walls, and tables. You may also find the dander on baseboards, bannisters, and crown molding, and ceilings.
All these surfaces are solidly smooth, and removing pet dander should be pretty easy. All you need is a suitable cleaning solution and a damp cloth. Using a damp cloth removes dander and makes sure it doesn’t escape back into the air. Dusting easily removes pet dander and dust from hard-to-reach nooks and crannies.
2.Put Your Vacuum Cleaner to Some Good Use
One effective way to get rid of pet dander is to remove your rugs and carpeting. However, this solution isn’t for everyone. May be your carpets and rugs are beautiful, high-quality items that cost you an arm and a leg. Or, there may be some sentimental feelings attached to them. It may not always be easy to remove such items even when you know they may harbor loads of pet dander.
If you prefer to keep your rugs and carpets, make sure to vacuum-clean your home regularly. Your couches and pet beds also need the same treatment. Vacuum-cleaning may not remove every trace of pet dander from your home, though. That’s because a vacuum cleaner — no matter how good – won’t reach every nook and cranny of your home.
You’ll also want to wash your kids’ and pet’s toys regularly. Don’t have the time to do it as frequently as you’d like? Don’t worry; turn to your lint roller instead. In between washes, make the most of your lint roller.
3.Leverage the Versatility of Your Lint Roller
Pet dander loves settling on carpets, rugs, upholstered furniture, lampshades, and other soft surfaces. But removing pet dander from these surfaces can be challenging. Especially if you don’t know how to handle it.
Now, a lint roller is one of the most useful items in any home. You can use it to remove bugs from crevices and cracks. Also, you can use the tool to remove lint from your clothes. You can even use it to clean out your drawers and handbags.
But there’s a lot more you can do with a lint roller.
A lint roller can help you remove pet dander from your couches, pet toys, curtains, carpets, and rugs. And with a little creativity, you can easily eliminate dust and pet dander from textured ceilings. Get a paint roller that has an extender. Then, fit a lint roller on each end of the roller. They fit well. With the “improved” roller, removing dirt, grime, and pet dander from your ceiling should be a breeze.
Did you know you could roll a lint roller over your dog’s or cat’s fur and remove ticks or fleas? Yes, you can. But ensure the roller isn’t very sticky. You could also remove loose fur from your pets using this tool. So, make the most of your humble lint roller.
4.Improve Ventilation in Your Home
Throwing your windows open isn’t something you may always do. But if and when the weather allows, let your windows help you eliminate pet dander. Opening windows improves air circulation. Fresh, dander-free air from outside gets in as dander-laden air exits.
5.Well-fed Pets = Less Dander
Proper feeding not only keeps your pet healthy and happy but also reduces the amount of pet dander you have to remove. Proper feeding keeps your pet’s skin healthy. Generally, healthy skin sheds dead skin cells less often than skin that isn’t healthy. You may want to talk your vet concerning how best to feed your pet.
6.Treat Your Pets to Healthy Supplements
Certain supplements can improve the health of your pet’s skin. If your pet is a dog, consider adding supplements to their food. For dogs, supplements containing healthy fatty acids are best. Omega–3 and Omega–6 fatty acids are healthy fatty acids. Choose supplements that contain these fatty acids. That said, you should always consult your vet before introducing your dog to supplements.
2.Parasite-free Pets Shed Less Than Parasites-ful Ones
Fleas, mites, and ticks are common parasites on pets, mostly dogs. These parasites can make life miserable for your pet. Not only do they cause itching but also negatively affect your pet’s skin health. Mites have your dog shaking its head while scratching at the ears.
Ticks don’t always cause itching, but they do. When ticks attack the area around the ears, your pet will usually scratch. Lice are not as common as ticks, but they too can be a problem because they cause itching.
When your dog or cat has fleas, they’ll scratch intensely. The pet may also lick and even chew the skin. All this scratching adds to the amount of pet dander in your home. If you notice scratching, licking, or chewing of the skin, have your vet come and diagnose the problem. A parasite-free pet scratches and licks less than a parasite-infested one. That means less dead skin cells in your home.
8.Reduce Your Exposure to Pet Dander
What about keeping certain areas off limit to pets? Having your lovely pet in your bedroom feels really nice. But it’s probably not a good idea if you are allergic to pet dander. I’m not suggesting to get rid of your pet. I’m just saying you should stop substantially reduce the amount of time your pets spend in this space. If you crave peaceful nights free of nasty coughing and wheezing, stop allowing them in your bedroom.
9.Choose Pet Breeds that Shed Less
Some people believe that some pets are completely hypoallergenic. But you need to know completely hypoallergenic pets simply don’t exist. Whether you have a pet with short fur or one with long fur, you’ll still have pet dander issues to address. If you really want to reduce the amount of pet dander in your home, choose dog breeds that don’t shed very much.
Honestly, though, every breed sheds. However, you may able to find breeds that shed much less fur than others. Airedale Terrier, Belgian Malinois, and Irish Water Spaniel are among dog breeds that don’t shed much. But you want to be sure you’re ok with every other trait the dog might possess, OK?
10.Male Cats Generally Shed Less Than Females Ones
If you’re looking to own a cat, you may want to pick a male instead of a female. Why? Researchers know that female cats produce more Fel d I (a protein/allergen) than male cats. Researchers don’t know why male cats produce less allergen, but they do. For that reason, you should probably choose a male cat over a female. If you prefer a female cat, that’s ok. But you’ll have to content with more pet dander.
11.Use True HEPA Air Purifiers Filters
Most people choose True HEPA air filters and purifiers for many good reasons. Such air purifiers trap tons of allergens including PM2.5 (ultrafine particles such as mold spores, dust particles, dust mite feces, and pollen at home. Well, some studies and experts dispute that air purifiers effectively remove cat allergens.
But one study carried out in 1998 revealed that using a True HEPA portable air cleaner delivers some benefits. The study aimed to determine whether these air purifiers were effective in reducing allergen levels in homes. The home owners selected were cat-allergic and owned at least one cat.
The researchers noted significantly reduced Fel d 1 levels in the bedrooms of participants who had used an active air cleaner as directed. We said elsewhere that Fel d 1 are proteins produced by cats. These proteins are allergens that often cause allergies.
Evidently, you should consider buying one or more of the best True HEPA air purifiers your budget will allow. And it’s a great idea to read a few detailed air purifier reviews.
Good air purifiers for removing pet dander? Most Levoit air purifiers, for example, are
Frankly, though, an air purifier won’t remove all the pet dander you may have in your home. For that reason, you should use this approach alongside other effective measures. So, run your air purifier, but make sure your home stays clean and well ventilated as well.
12.Keep Your Air Ducts Clean
Homeowners often find pieces of pet food, construction debris, dust, and a lot more in their air ducts. But that’s what their eyes can see. Don’t you think there must lots of other things like that in there? There’s a ton of air pollutants there, and that should worry you.
Turning your heater or air con on blows these contaminants back out into your home. That’s why you want to have professional cleaners thoroughly clean your ducts, removing all these contaminants. But how often should you clean your ducts? Most cleaning experts recommend once every 2 – 4 years. That doesn’t seem like too frequent, does it?
13.Replace Your Air Filters Periodically
Your HVAC system comes in handy when it comes to fighting allergen triggers. Fit your HVAC system with high-quality air filers and you instantly have a whole-house air filtration system.
It’s best to choose MERV-rated filters with a value of 10 or higher. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Why MERV filters with a MERV rating of 10 or higher? Because such filters easily prevent larger pet debris particulates from reaching your ducts.
Filters protect your duct system from dust, pet dander, and other airborne particles. They also ensure your ducts stay clean, which means fewer pollutants blown back into your house.
14.Make Sure to Brush Your Pet Regularly
You should be able to get the right grooming resources from pretty much any pet store. But how does brushing help? It offers two benefits. First, it spreads healthy oils on your pet’s fur and skin to the rest of the pet’s body.
As a result, your pet’s skin and fur stay healthy, and your pet sheds less, which means less dander. But you shouldn’t brush your dog inside the home. Do it outside as that reduces the amount of dander inside the home.
15.Bathe Your Pet, but Don’t Overdo it
Bathing your cat or dog is one of the best ways to get rid of pet dander. Your pet may not always enjoy it, but you should it periodically. Don’t want to use any of those products motivated marketers keep touting as being the best all the time? Don’t worry.
Your dishwashing soap or even your baby’s shampoo will work just as well. However, you shouldn’t bathe your dog more often than you really need to as that might be counterproductive.
Final Thoughts on Tackling Pet Dander
You’ve gleaned a couple ideas on how to eliminate pet dander. What remains is to try the tips suggested and see what works. You can do most of the things I’ve recommended now, and you won’t need to spend a small fortune either. Dander reduction strategies such as washing and brushing your pet, dusting your floor, and choosing the right pet cost nothing. That said, you need to spare sufficient time to perform those activities.
Buying a great air purifier such as the Dyson Pure Cool, TP04