What is Pet Dander?
Pets with hair or feathers shed dander, a combination of dead skin cells and hair (or feathers) which can trigger allergic reactions in some people. Those who have asthma can also be particularly sensitive to pet dander.
Always check with your doctor first if you think you may be allergic to your pets. They can run some allergy tests to check if you’re specifically allergic to pet dander or other allergens too. They may recommend that you avoid having pets altogether; however, there are several ways you can reduce pet dander in your home and still live a happy life with your pets in tow.
6 Tips on Reducing Pet Dander in Your Home
Just discovered you’re allergic to the newest member of your family? The good news is that a pet allergy doesn’t mean you have to get rid of your furry friends altogether; there are ways to help reduce pet dander in the home, and in turn help you to take control of your allergies. Read on for tips to help you keep hold of your four legged companions!
1) Create a pet-free zone
Designate an area in your home – preferably the allergic person’s bedroom – as a pet-free zone: no pets should enter this room at any time! The allergic person will spend the majority of their time in this room, so if pet dander can be eradicated or at least kept to a minimum in their room, then this will help their allergies.
2) Keep pets off furniture
It’s a good idea to keep your pets outside the majority of the time, if you or a member of your family has a pet allergy. When you do allow them inside, train them to stay off the beds, sofas, and any other upholstered furniture to minimise exposure to pet dander. You should also keep them off the seats in the car and instead put them in a carrier or restrict them to the boot area (if large enough).
In addition to this, wash furniture and cushion covers regularly with a mild laundry detergent like Neutral 0% Liquid Detergent. Its unscented formula is specially designed for people who have skin allergies. By doing your laundry with Neutral 0%, not only will you wash away excess pet dander but you’ll reduce the risk of skin irritations flaring up because of contact with the fabric or cushions, too.
Alternatively, if your furniture fabrics aren’t machine-washable, vacuum them regularly.
3) Don’t neglect the cleaning!
Dusting as often as possible will minimise pet dander in the house, but remember it’s best to dust when the person with allergies is not at home.
Carpets trap pet dander so you may find yourself sneezing even when your pet has left the room. If you need carpets in your home, opt for ones with low pile and steam clean them often. However, it’s best to remove carpets altogether and replace with wood, laminate, or tile flooring to minimise dander in your home. Having floors like these will make cleaning pet dander a much quicker and less regular job.
When you vacuum carpets or any other flooring, use a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter and wear a mask if it’s you yourself who suffers with allergies.
4) Use a HEPA air cleaner
Run a HEPA air cleaner for at least four hours a day. Pet dander can float in the air, so a HEPA air cleaner attached to your central heating or air conditioning may help remove pet allergens from the air.
5) Bathe your pet
Daily brushing and weekly baths can help reduce excess pet dander. Take your pet to a groomers or have someone in your family who does not suffer with asthma or allergies brush and wash your pets.
6) Opt for a non-furry pet
Choosing a pet that doesn’t produce dander is a good compromise when it comes to pet allergies. For example, fish, snakes, reptiles, or turtles can make great household or garden pets for people with pet dander allergies.
Reducing pet dander in the home is key when you or someone in your household has pet allergies and you’re not ready to wave goodbye to your furry friends. Make sure you clean regularly with pet-safe cleaning products and don’t forget to keep your pets clean, too!
Remember to …
Clean, clean, clean! That’s right, cleaning to reduce pet dander is one of the best ways to control pet allergies. Dust as often as possible and clean carpets, curtains, and furniture & cushion covers regularly with gentle, pet-friendly cleaning products.