Pet Allergies? Try These Methods to Reduce Dander
April 05 2015
Tagged in Air Conditioner Filter
How to Reduce Pet Dander if You Have Allergies
People gain joy from their pets, but they can also aggravate allergies. If your pet has fur and you suffer from allergies this can negatively affect you. Pet dander is actually the shed of skin, and not the pet's fur, as most people tend to imagine. For households with pets, dander can form a good proportion of the dust in your house. The good news is that you can reduce pet dander in your house by taking the simple steps expounded on in this article.
- Change Your Home Air Filters
Home air filters are necessary for cleaning the air in your house. As a pet owner, you can see the hair left on furniture but the air quality of your home can also be negatively impacted. But just filtering the air in your home is not enough, you also need to know when to change home air filters.
When you will need to change your home and furnace filters will depend on the amount of dust in your home. Being a pet owner, you may have a lot more dust in your home compared to the average household which means you will need to change the filter more often.
The type and quality of home air filter that you use will also dictate how frequently you need to change it. There are HEPA filters and pleated, electrostatic filters, which come in a variety of MERV, APR and MPR ratings that will indicate how well the filter will perform.
Another consideration besides your pet is that if there are more people in your house, you will also need to change the filters more frequently since there is bound to be more dust. You should also monitor the quality of air in your home. If you notice that it is not as fresh as it was or hear your furnace filter whistle, then it is time to change your air filters. When filters get too dusty, their efficiency naturally reduces, and the quality of air at home will go down.
It is also good to note that pets shed more dander on hotter days. Because of this, the filters may need to be changed more frequently in the Summer. And, if you have allergies, then it may be best to err on the side of caution and even change them before filters get visibly dirty.
- Do not let your pet sit on the couch, bed or carpet
It might be relaxing to sit down with your pet while you watch TV or read a book but your bed, couch and carpet can be like magnets for pet dander that is not easy to remove. The result is that you will be more exposed to pet dander, and can get allergic reactions as a result.
If possible, you could even remove carpets from your house. Alternatively, you can allow your pet to hang around rooms with a wooden or cemented floor. Remember also to clean your curtains, couch covers and pillowcases frequently if your pets usually come close to them.
- Give your pet regular baths
Bathing your pet helps to reduce the amount of allergens that they carry around. However, this is not a permanent solution since the dander will come back after a short period of time. That is why you need to bathe your pet once every three days, or at least twice a week if this is the only solution you decide to try. Generally, bathing your pet will be more effective on dogs than in cats.
- Clean your pet's house
It is advisable to keep your pet outside, especially if you are allergic to it. However, if you still choose to keep it indoors, you should make sure you clean its house regularly. This is because it will accumulate dust and affect the air in your home, possibly aggravating your allergies.
- Choose a pet breed that sheds little fur
According to experts, there are no hypo allergic pet breeds since all pets shed their skin. That being said, some pet breeds do not shed their fur, or shed very little. Consequently, more of the skin that is shed is held onto the fur of the pet, and not released to the atmosphere. This means that your chances of experiencing an allergic reaction are lowered to a good extent.
Similarly, you can choose to go with a smaller pet. A smaller pet will, obviously, shed less skin.
Something to Remember
Just because you keep pets in your home does not mean your pets cause your allergies. It is possible that you are just generally allergic to dust, and as such should simply do more to clean your home. Similarly, you may be allergic to pollen. You can conclusively find out by going to your doctor and testing for your specific allergies.
If your allergy is serious and life threatening, you could consider giving up your pet. This will do a lot of good to your health. If you are unable to give up your pet, you might still need to maintain some distance with it. That means you won't get to pet it as often, or even hug it.
Grooming your pet is important, regardless of the breed. Dog breeds such as Kerry Blue Terriere and Bichon Frise might tend to shed little fur, and therefore less skin to the atmosphere, but will still need to be groomed. This will help to reduce the incidence of your allergies to the minimum. As said previously, you should do this twice a week. Use shampoo when cleaning your dog in order to get rid of the allergens.
Finally, if all else fails, consult your doctor if you think you may be allergic to your pet. It might turn out to be a serious allergy, and you don't want to find this out after enduring your allergy symptoms for a long period of time. Many pet owners are allergic to their pets and that does not necessarily mean you need to get rid of the pets in your home. You can opt for a pet breed that does not shed as much fur to reduce pet dander for allergy sufferers and manage your allergies by using an air filter, changing your air filter frequently, cleaning your pet and cleaning its house or sleeping areas.