For many households, furry (or feathered) friends are members of the family. Pets are companions for people at any age, and about 85 million U.S. families own a pet. Unfortunately, pet dander is one of the most common allergens and can make contact with your household pet an uncomfortable experience.
With some preparation and awareness of a pet dander allergy, it’s possible to limit pet dander in your home and improve allergy symptoms. Here, we’ll offer you effective strategies to cut down on dander so that you can enjoy your pet’s company allergy-free.
Pet Dander Allergy Symptoms
Dander is made up of tiny pieces of skin that has been shed and proteins from pet urine and saliva. Pets that have fur or feathers produce dander. Since cats and dogs are the most popular pets in American households, they’re the main cause of pet dander allergies. Cats are more likely to trigger dander allergies than dogs.
The symptoms of a pet dander allergy are similar to other allergic reactions and include:
- Runny and/or itchy nose
- Nasal congestion
- Red, itchy, watery eyes
- Itchy throat and/or roof of the mouth
- Trouble sleeping
- Pressure and/or pain in the face
How To Reduce Pet Dander in the Home
Specify a Pet-Dander Free Room.
If a member of your household is allergic to pet dander, one of the best ways to reduce allergy symptoms is to designate a room to be pet dander-free. In the case that one household member experiences pet dander allergy symptoms, the dander-free room should be their bedroom. The pet will need to be fully blocked off from this room, and everyone in the household will need to be aware of the space that’s allergy-free.
Limit the Pet’s Space To Roam.
You can largely reduce pet dander in your home by prohibiting your pet from spending time on carpeting, beds, and upholstered furniture. Pet dander clings more stubbornly to carpeting and upholstery than to wood floors and non-upholstered furniture (which can also be more easily cleaned).
Dust and Vacuum Frequently.
Dusting and vacuuming your living spaces as often as possible will help keep pet dander to a minimum. Use a vacuum with a high-efficiency particle air (HEPA) filter for the best results. Note that dusting and vacuuming can kick up pet dander, so it’s ideal to complete these chores while the person allergic to pet dander is away.
Bathe Your Pet Every Week.
Bathing your pet each week will wash away much of the old skin cells that make up allergy-inducing pet dander. Dogs are usually easier to bathe than cats. However, cats can become accustomed to bathing over time. Just make sure to use a shampoo that’s designed for your type of pet.
To learn more about pet dander allergies, contact us today.