Having a pet in your life can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences as they become a part of your family. Although our fur babies can be the cause of allergy triggers, it’s a small price to pay for the companionship and unconditional love they provide.
With that being said, with some effort and strategies, it is possible to continue loving your four-legged best friends in your home without suffering from allergy symptoms.
What is pet dander?
Pet dander refers to the tiny particles of skin or fur that are shed by cats, dogs, rabbits, and any feathery or furry animal. Reptiles or amphibians do not shed dander, so they have a reduced chance of causing allergy symptoms.
Pet dander is made up of tiny particles of skin that are shed by pets and can measure as small as 2.5 microns in size. Their tiny size makes it hard to see with the naked eye and allows them to become and stay airborne more easily.
Those suffering from asthma can experience asthma attacks if exposed too often.
How pet dander affects indoor air quality?
Since Australians spend 90% or more of their time indoors, poor indoor air quality can result in short and long-term adverse impacts on one’s health, including respiratory issues, eye irritations, sinusitis, bronchitis and even pneumonia.
Apart from pet dander, some common causes of indoor air pollution include tobacco smoke, dust mites, mould spores, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and more.
Pet dander can negatively affect indoor air quality in several ways:
Protein particles from dander can trigger allergic reactions in people, including sneezing, a runny nose, itchy eyes and wheezing. Those suffering from asthma are at a higher risk.
Being between 2.5 to 10 microns in size, pet dander can quickly spread throughout your home and remain airborne for long periods of time.
Difficult to control
Pet dander can attach themselves to pet fur and settle on furniture, flooring, clothing and more. Being tiny and lightweight, they can easily become airborne again once settling on household items, making it very difficult to control.
Living and breathing better with your pets
To maintain good indoor air quality in your home, pet dander needs to be in check. Some efforts and strategies you can employ to ensure better indoor air quality and reduce your exposure to pet dander include:
By grooming your furry friends, you’ll remove loose hair and skin particles before they can spread and settle on surfaces. Grooming your furry friends daily can significantly reduce the amount of pet dander in your home.
Vacuuming and dusting
Regular cleaning of surfaces in your home will help remove pet dander that has settled on surfaces and reduce the chances of them being airborne and ultimately inhaled.
Designate ‘pet-free zones’
By restricting your pets from entering certain rooms, pet dander will be contained and not spread throughout your entire living space. Designating pet-free zones will be helpful to individuals who are sensitive to pet dander and limit their exposure.
Wash bedding regularly
If your fur babies are common guests in your bedroom, pet dander can quickly settle on them and increase the likeliness of exposure. Regular washing of bedding can remove pet dander and other allergens, including dust mites.
Using air purifiers
HEPA air purifiers like the ones from Ionmax can remove 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns from the air, which includes pet dander (2.5-10 microns in size). Purified air will then be released into your living space. Ionmax air purifiers also utilise negative ion technology that helps remove airborne particles and freshen the air.
By following these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy having your pets frolic around your home without worrying about pesky allergy triggers.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.