Pets help your house feel like a home and truly complete your family. But unfortunately, their skin and saliva produce dander that can make coexisting a challenge. While most pet dander is microscopic, these allergens can lead to big problems if not properly handled.
Millions of people suffer from pet allergies, no matter how much they might love animals. Luckily, you have many options for reducing pesky allergens so you can live in harmony with your furry family members. Here are five ways to get the pet dander in your home under control.
1. Properly Ventilate Your Home
Protecting your home’s air quality is essential for caring for your space and family, especially if you have pets. In addition to lessening unwanted allergens, your air conditioning unit is essential for providing comfortable temperatures for humans and animals. Dander can easily make its way into the ductwork, so schedule periodic cleanings to ensure the system isn’t recirculating it.
Also, be diligent about replacing your air filter regularly. You should swap out your filter every one to three months, depending on the type you buy. Owning pets could also mean replacing your filter more often since dander clogs the filter over time. Pet allergens linger in the air longer than others, so be mindful of the effects of this indoor pollutant.
2. Keep Things Clean
Regularly cleaning your home prevents pet dander from accumulating on surfaces, which is a huge allergy trigger. Sweeping and vacuuming are the best ways to remove hair and other pet particles from your floors and furniture. If vacuuming isn’t your favorite household chore, consider investing in a robot vacuum. The machine will take care of the cleaning for you, and most models are controlled right from your phone. Carpeting is a magnet for unwanted pet dander, so consider opting for hardwood floors or tile.
If regular products don’t do the trick, you can purchase specific cleaners aimed at combating dander accumulation. If you’re looking to neutralize odors, baking soda is a fantastic and inexpensive solution you probably already have on hand. Dusting is another task you want to keep at the top of your chore list if you’re a pet owner. You should also be sure to regularly clean pet accessories, such as toys, collars, and leashes.
3. Avoid Certain Animal Breeds
Some breeds generate more dander than others, so be mindful of the type of pet you bring home. For example, Schnauzers typically produce less dander, while Saint Bernards and bulldogs have a reputation for producing excess saliva. Toy breeds like the Maltese could be a good fit for allergy sufferers, while German Shepherds might not make the best companions. The Bichon Frise and Labradoodle are other breeds to consider if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog.
If you’re more of a feline fan, Bengal, Cornish Rex, Russian Blue, Siamese, and Sphynx cats could be an ideal fit. However, cats can be trickier since more people are allergic to them than any other animal. An estimated one in five people suffer from allergy symptoms like coughing, watery eyes, and sneezing when around cats. A common misconception is that the amount of fur contributes to allergies, but that’s been proven false.
4. Make Grooming a Priority
Grooming helps stop unwanted pet dander at the source. Regular bathing and brushing are important ways to control allergens while keeping your pet fresh and clean. Purchase shampoos specifically designed to reduce allergy triggers and keep your animal’s coat healthy. Brushes, particularly ones designed to combat shedding, are a must-have for pet owners.
Bathing and brushing are great to do outdoors if the weather permits. This approach will reduce the mess and keep excess hair from swirling around your home. You may also choose to bring your animal to a professional. A groomer can offer even more effective services, like haircuts and other cleaning methods.
5. Be Mindful of Your Pet’s Diet
Your pet’s food can significantly impact their overall health, especially their skin and coat. A balanced diet promotes healthy skin and helps to prevent excessive dander and shedding. A poor diet can easily lead to obesity and other health problems. In addition, being overweight makes it difficult for pets, particularly cats, to groom themselves adequately. This situation leaves your pet unhappy and the cleanliness of your home less than ideal.
Poor nutrition also causes an animal’s body to take nutrients from its skin and other parts to support vital organs. This process may lead to a dull coat, more shedding, and increased dander. To protect your pet’s health, purchase high-quality food rich in omega-3s and fatty acids. Store the food in an airtight container so it can stay fresh and nutritious for longer.
Say Goodbye to Pet Allergies
Pets are important family members, and it seems impossible to imagine life without them. Yet at the same time, you can have all the love in the world for your pet and still hate their dander. What fun is it to cuddle up with your dog or cat if it induces a sneezing fit every time?
Fortunately, you can make simple changes around your home that will benefit you and your pet. The best part is that some solutions, like cleaning and proper nutrition, are things you should be doing anyhow. The appropriate measures will keep your allergies at bay and, most importantly, keep your pet happy and healthy.