Having a fluffy friend at home is always a delightful experience, but can be equally challenging for people with pet allergies. Whether you’re a pet parent or have entered a living situation with a pet already present, pet dander can be harmful to your health.
Contrary to popular belief, non-fur, hypoallergenic pets can also trigger allergic reactions in humans. Even hairless pets shed pet dander which can be damaging to your health regardless of whether or not you have pet allergies.
Luckily, you can take precautionary measures and do away with pet dander before it contacts your body. Keep reading to find out how to get rid of pet dander around your house.
Table of Contents
- 1 What Is Pet Dander And Why Is It A Problem?
- 2 How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander In House
- 3 How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander Smell
- 4 How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander on Couch Upholstery
- 5 Summary
- 6 FAQ
What Is Pet Dander And Why Is It A Problem?
Pet dander refers to small flakes of dead skin shed by animals along with fur or feathers. Though it is not visible to the naked eye, pet dander carries powerful allergens that cause most of the symptoms associated with pet allergies.
While pet dander is harmful to everyone, people with a pet allergy are more susceptible to an allergic reaction. The proteins present in pet dander can both trigger and aggravate symptoms of pet allergies, including throat problems, watery or irritated eyes, chest tightness, a runny nose or sneezing, coughing fits, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
Eczema and harsh rashes can also occur in severe cases. Symptoms may vary from person to person depending on the level of exposure and their sensitivity to pet dander. People with dust, pollen, and other allergies are more sensitive to the allergens present in dander.
How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander In House
As pets are treated like family members in most households, pet dander can be present anywhere in the house. While you can reduce pet dander in the house, it’s impossible to keep your pet from shedding it.
However, you can maintain a regular cleaning schedule to keep pet dander at bay and be safe from allergies. Here’s how pet owners can get rid of pet dander in the house:
Clean Carpets And Floors Regularly
Because carpets are difficult to clean, experts recommend making most of your home carpet-free if you have a pet. Removing pet dander from vinyl, concrete, or wood floors is easier. You can simply use floor wipes or a damp cloth to clean your floor of pet dander.
Carpeted floors, on the other hand, should be vacuumed regularly. While you can use any vacuum cleaner, HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuums are best for suctioning out micro-sized particles like pet dander.
Moreover, as pets wander all around the house, your cleaning regimen should not exclude any area. In fact, you should do multiple rounds of vacuuming in areas where your pet spends most of its time.
Clean Furniture Regularly
Pet dander can end up anywhere in your house, from your furniture to floors, to kitchen cabinets. While you can use regular cleaning methods, such as damp clothes or furniture polish, for hard surfaces, cleaning dander off upholstery can be a challenging task.
Depending on the material of your upholstery, you can use a variety of methods to remove dander. Fur and pet dander sticks to fabrics because of electrostatic force. Any cleaning method that reduces static electricity on the upholstery can be used to remove dander.
Rubber gloves, for example, can be used to create a static current that causes the dander to stick to it. You can also use an anti-static spray to remove dander from upholstery. However, you should vacuum the upholstery before using any anti-static cleaning tool.
In addition to furniture, dander can also fall on other surfaces, such as kitchen countertops, walls, rugs, and curtains. It’s best to use a pet dander lint roller on soft surfaces before vacuuming them. Conversely, hard surfaces can be cleaned with a damp cloth. Most vacuum cleaners come with attachments for furnishings, such as curtains, throws, and bedding.
Use Air Purifier
Since dander comprises ultrathin particles that can linger in the air for long periods, investing in a portable air purifier is the best thing you can do to get rid of pet dander. If you already have an air filter installed into your HVAC system, you should make sure to regularly clean the air ducts.
You should know that an air filter is not that efficient in removing pet dander. While both air filters and air purifiers trap impurities to improve indoor air quality, an air purifier uses ultraviolet rays to remove airborne contaminants.
Pet dander stays in the air longer than dust particles and is highly spreadable. The longer you stay around dander-filled air, the more severe symptoms you will experience.
It’s important to check the MERV rating of the air purifier you have. If your air purifier has a MERV rating below 10, you should replace it with a HEPA filter air purifier with a MERV rating of 17 or higher.
HEPA air purifiers are most effective when it comes to trapping and eliminating pet dander. HEPA filters efficiently catch 99.7% of air particles, such as dander, pollen, dust mites, and smoke, to make the air uncontaminated.
An air purifier is an important thing to keep your home dander-free. No allergens will fall on the furniture, floor, or other surfaces if the air is free of pet dander. As most air purifiers are portable, you can move them into any room.
Keep A Clean Bedroom
Even if you have designated your bedroom as a pet-free zone, pet dander can still end up there. This is because pet dander is airborne and can spread throughout your house.
If dander falls on your clothes when you are with your pet, it can easily land in your bedroom. Vacuuming is one of the most efficient ways to clean the bedding of pet dander.
While many vacuum cleaners come with bedding attachments, a portable vacuum or a standard furnishing attachment should work just fine. In addition to regular vacuuming, you should also use an air purifier in your bedroom to remove allergens from the air.
Regular Pet Bathing
Cleaning your home and purifying the air is not enough to make your home dander-free. Your pet also needs extra cleaning to prevent dander from landing all over your house.
Many people don’t bathe their pets until they start smelling bad. Regular bathing is absolutely necessary to keep allergen-filled dander at bay. It not only cleans your dog of visible dirt but also sanitizes its fur.
The best way to bathe a pet varies from species to species and breed to breed. Dogs, for example, are less sensitive to water than compared to cats and therefore, need a lot more washing.
Similarly, how often you should bathe your pet also depends on various factors, including coat type, lifestyle, and medical needs. For example, hairless or short-haired dogs, such as the American Hairless Terrier, do not need to be bathed as frequently as dogs with long hair and dense fur, such as the Afghan Hound.
When your pet spends time outdoors, you must wipe their fur with a soft cloth before bringing them in. Furthermore, you should first brush your pet before bathing them. Always brush them outside so that dander or fur does not fall onto your floors.
How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander Smell
The odorous problems of your pet may be the hardest to deal with, particularly if you have a dog, as they can be a lot stinkier than cats. While the obvious solution to this may seem bathing, you cannot bathe your pet that often as it can cause skin problems.
One of the best ways to get rid of the pet dander smell is to deep-clean your upholstery by laundering removable covers. In all other pungent areas, spray a mixture of baking soda and vinegar.
Leave the mixture for a few minutes and wipe it with a clean cloth or vacuum it up. Both baking soda and vinegar are fantastic deodorizers and neutralize most smells.
You can also mix a small amount of apple cider vinegar with your laundry detergent while washing linens, blankets, towels, and slipcovers.
Changing the air filters of your home’s HVAC system is another effective way to eliminate the pet dander smell. Dirty air filters decrease airflow which causes the air to become stale and have an unpleasant smell.
How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander on Couch Upholstery
If you let your pet lounge on your couch, it probably has a lot of pet dander all over it. You can use a high-powered vacuum with an upholstery attachment to get rid of the pet dander on the couch.
It’s also a good idea to wash removable cushion covers with a mixture of detergent and fabric softener. While detergent will cleanse them of all dander, fabric softener helps remove animal fur.
Even if you don’t let your pet sit on the couch, you should clean it with a sponge or damp cloth once or twice a week in case some dander fell on it from the air.
As much as you love spending time with your fluffy companions, you can end up with serious health problems if you are not careful. Pet dander can adversely impact your health and cause severe symptoms. By maintaining a regular cleaning regimen, you can keep pet dander in your house to a minimum.
How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander On Dog?
Regular brushing and bathing will help remove dander from your dog. When you brush your pet’s coat or skin, any fur that has already been shed falls out. As pets also shed dander with fur, you should bathe them frequently to get rid of dander from loose pet hair.
How To Get Rid Of Pet Dander on Cats?
By brushing your cat regularly, you can get rid of dander on cats. As cats are sensitive to water, you should not bathe them frequently.
How Long Does Pet Dander Stay In A House?
Pet dander can remain in your house for as long as six months even after the pet leaves. Cat dander is more airborne than dog dander and lingers on longer.
How Do you Get Rid Of Pet Dander In Your Lungs?
Taking over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants can help with the symptoms caused by the inhalation of pet dander. However, you should consult a doctor if you think you have inhaled pet dander.