You love your pet. There's nothing that could get between you and your furry friend. But sometimes, compromises are a necessity in life, and for pets one of the top issues is the allergic reaction you or a loved one might have in their presence.
The primary trigger for allergic reactions to indoor animals is a reaction to the proteins that appear in pet dander. For animals that spend even a little time outside, they can also pick up mold, spores, and other irritants in their fur, turning their dander into a potent allergen for certain people.
For some levels of pet allergies, 100% prevention isn't on the table. But many people actually have relatively minor, preventable levels of allergies to animals like dogs and cats that can be mitigated or even prevented almost entirely!
With that in mind, here are three simple methods for limiting the occurrence and spread of pet dander in your home, to help your loved ones fully relax and enjoy their time sharing interior space with your four-legged pal:
Brush Your Pet Regularly With a Fine-Toothed Comb
Pet dander is basically the result of your animal's dead skin cells combining with their natural oils and various external elements gathered up in their daily environment as this dead tissue ages.
This material gathers between their outer layer of fur and their skin, flaking off in varying amounts and contributing to the floating motes and static coatings of dust you might find in any home.
Different types of animals and breeds produce very different types of dander, but the perfect rule of thumb is that regular bathing and brushing will help drastically reduce the amount of dander on their bodies and around your home.
Brushing animals, especially dogs, is the underrated approach here. Many pet owners brush their animals simply to avoid excess shedding. However, the occurrence of dirtier and therefore more allergenic dander increases when this environment between an animal's fur and skin is clogged with shed hairs.
This quickly leads to the natural oils produced by your animal's skin being adulterated by more external substances than they would otherwise. By using a fine-toothed comb designed for brushing domestic animals, you'll remove all of this excess hair, making for less allergenic dander and a lower incidence of dander overall.
Vacuum and Dust Often
As noted above, when you own a pet their dander becomes a major component of the generalized dust that appears around your home. So simply eliminating much of the dangerous dander on your pet won't remove all the allergens in your home.
You'll need to vacuum up the dander-containing dust from any carpets or rugs around your house, of course. It's also a great idea to take a survey of notable places where dust could gather in large amounts that you might not think of intuitively.
Of course, even the best cleaning tools will kick up a fair amount of dust -- and therefore old pet dander -- right into the air even as you get each surface looking perfectly fresh and clean. Which leads us to the next, crucial point:
Replace Your HVAC Air Filter Regularly
Pet dander contributes to dust in much the same way a small percentage of your own dead skin does. Some of it is heavy enough to coat objects, but a fair amount ends up becoming a factor in the quality of the air itself in your home.
The perfect solution for this final frontier for pet dander in your home is to upgrade and regularly replace your home air filters. For many homeowners, this is a pressing issue that tends to be ignored because its results are somewhat invisible; your body experiences the long-term effects of low air quality but your moment-to-moment senses don't always catch on in the short-term sense.
Old filters, or even inefficient replacements, leave large amounts of dust and therefore pet dander in your home's air. With the right filter upgrade, you'll eliminate large amounts of pet dander in your home and make it a far more hospitable environment for your allergy-suffering loved ones.
Curious about more great ways to make your home more welcoming to those suffering from pet allergies or reacting to poor indoor air quality in general? Don't hesitate to contact us today to learn more.