Getting a pet is all about adding another family member, and it can be a joyous occasion for everyone in the house. But, just a few days later, you may get tired of all the sneezing, coughing, wheezing and itching. Learning how to get rid of pet dander is essential to eliminating pet allergies. Pet allergies are caused by pet dander.
Pet dander consists of small particles of skin from the body of the pets. This excess skin is licked off of the surface and gathered together along with fur. Once dander hits the air, it can ruin the lives of everyone around. While pet dander can affect anyone, people that suffer from pet allergies will feel the worst of it’s effects.
Just like any other allergen, pet dander settles around your home, residing on carpets, furniture and pretty much anything you have in your house. While pet dander might seem like a huge problem at the moment and might even deter you from getting a pet, there are a few simple techniques that can help to control pet dander. These tips and tricks are a must-read if you don’t want to enjoy life with a cute little creature.
How to get Rid of Pet Dander / How to Reduce Pet Dander – 6 Easy Ways
#1. Air Purifiers for Pet Dander
The reason we’re mentioning air purifies as the first tip is because it’s the most effective one. Similar to a typical allergen, pet dander is airborne. This means that it can be eliminated with an air purification system. These machines are specifically meant for cleaning the air (hence the name ‘purifiers’) and are perfect for pet dander. However, make sure you get a purifier with HEPA technology. Dander can often be smaller than your average allergen. Therefor, they’re too small for most regular purifiers to remove. HEPA Technology can suck up even the tiniest, harmful particles.
A HEPA filter has the ability to remove 99.97% of airborne particles that are at least .3 microns in size. Pet dander ranges from 5 to 10 microns in size. This means that an air purifier will remove 99.97% of airborne pet dander in your home.
Find out about the best air purifiers for pet dander and pet hair here.
One small word of advice, make sure that you change the filters regularly. Changing filters is imperative to sustaining the purification ability in your purifier.
#2. Improving the Pet’s Diet
Most of the things on this list are changes you can make to the environment, which is a direct approach to reducing pet dander. But, there’s also a direct approach that will eliminate dander from the source. What you’re feeding your pet has a great effect on their skin, and if they have high quality skin and fur, they won’t produce dander.
Dr. Sarah Wooten, a vet from Greenly CO, reports that skin needs a lot of nutrients to stay healthy. But, in many cases of nutrient deficiency, the body starts to steal nutrients from the skin as skin isn’t a vital organ. A healthy dose of omega 3 and fatty acids will provide excess nutrients, hence keeping the skin healthy, and dander at a minimum.
Although it is very effective, this can be a slow solution as it will take about 8-10 weeks after a diet switch to improve skin quality. For more information on the best foods to give your pets, go to web MD for pets.
#3. Keeping Pets Off Furniture
Dander typically sticks to furniture. That’s why you should limit the pet’s exposure to furniture. It’s difficult, but if you dedicate some time to it, you’ll be able to train your pet not to go places that you don’t want him/her to. This includes, tables, chairs, couches, beds, counters, shelves, etc.
For beds or shelves, you can use allergen-resistant beddings that will prevent dander from sticking on them. If that doesn’t work, you can completely restrict the pet’s access to places like your bedroom and living room. Keep the door closed at all times and punish them if they do sneak in.
#4. Using HEPA Filter Vacuums
HEPA Technology has been used in air purifiers for quite some time now, but it is also being introduced into the world of vacuums. HEPA filter vacuums will dislodge all the dander that is firmly stuck in your carpet, creating a far cleaner room that would be impossible to achieve with a regular vacuum. Although these vacuums are a bit more expensive, they will get the job done.
#5. Optimize the Ventilation System in Your Home
This is quite the expensive solution, but it’s pretty effective if people in your household do not want to change their lifestyle just because of a single person’s allergies. By optimizing your ventilation system, you can create a custom grid that restricts airflow from one room (where a pet might reside) to another room (where an asthma sufferer might sleep). This reduces the exposure of the allergy sufferer and keeps everyone happy.
#6. Bathing Your Pet
This is another indirect approach and is vital if you want to eliminate the root of the problem. Bathing your pet can significantly reduce the level of allergens and dander. The dander will still be there, but it’ll be nothing more than a tiny ball of wet fur floating around. In 1999, a study noted the amount of allergens before and after a five-minute bath. Researchers found that the amount of dog allergens will reduce by a whopping 85% after a bath. However, the allergen levels returned back to normal in the next few days, indicating that dogs should be bathed every 2-3 days to successfully remove dander.
#7. Cleaning Your Home
In addition to vacuuming, it is important to mop and dust. Pet dander generally resides on furniture, floors, carpets, and table tops. Floors and table tops should be swept, mopped and dusted on a regular basis.
Because pet dander is usually mixed with dust. Using an air purifier for dust mites will also help remove pet dander. Air purifiers for pet dander and dust mites have many similarities. For one, they both use HEPA Filters. One advantage of an air purifier for dust is that it will not only remove pet dander and hair, but it will also kill any airborne dust mites or bacteria.
These purifiers use UV light technology on top of HEPA technology.
Check out the best pet air purifiers.
In the end, if you’re still struggling with pet dander after all of these solutions, you should consider getting a pet that does not produce dander. Most of you are probably accustomed to dogs and cats, so finding a breed that doesn’t have too much fur may be difficult. In dogs, breeds like the Blue Terrier, Poodle and Bergamasco will solve your dander problems.
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Frank is the chief editor and director at Specialty Air, where he oversees testing, research, and editing for all air quality-related articles. Frank is an expert in the air quality space with extensive experience testing, researching, and reviewing air purifiers, air conditioners, air filters, air fresheners, fans, and more. He also has over 4 years of experience with issues surrounding mold remediation, radon mitigation, moisture management, air duct systems, HVAC, and insulation.