Last Updated on December 17, 2019 by Yuvika Iyer
Struggling to find an effective solution for pet dander allergy? Here’s how you can get best air purifier for pets that can help you and your furry friend breathe easy.
Air Purifier For Pet Dander – Do You Really Need One?
We all adore our pets and love their company, but what if you or any family member develop an allergy to cats or dogs, especially pet dander. Dander is small skin pieces or flakes shed by your furry friend. It may trigger many symptoms to an allergic person ranging from itchy, red eyes, persistent sneezing to hives.
Dander is the main reason for triggering allergic reaction related to pets, and it can happen from all our feathery and furry friends. Most of us are not allergic to pet hair, but the situation can worsen when our immunity system is hit pet dander and other allergens.
One way you can control the effect of pet allergens or dander is to get a home air purifier installed. But the question is, can these air purifiers eliminate pet hair or dander from indoor air.You may wonder among all the options, how to identify the right one to do the job.
Read on to know more on how to select the best air purifier for pet dander.
Your pets unknowingly carry dust and dander on their coats and fur. Dander is released in the indoor air in the form of tiny flakes when your pets experience hair fall or shed their skin.
If you develop an allergy to dander it signifies that you may be allergic to the proteins discharged by oil glands underneath your pet’s skin. The protein covered skin flakes is an integral part of the dander shed by your cute furry friend.
If you observe carefully you may see skin flakes floating in the indoor air or accumulating in some corners of your home. However, some of the dander is not visible to the human eye as these are microscopic particles and usually trapped in mattresses, furniture, and carpets. These allergens can also be discharged into the air and hang in there for an extended period.
Pet hair rarely triggers an allergic reaction in human body until it gets exposed to the dander particles. When pet hair mixes with the surface dust, floats in the indoor air or rests on your furniture, the real problem begins from there. Pet hair can be found in their saliva and urine as well containing toxic allergy-producing proteins.
Many breeders sell certain cat and dog breeds as “hypoallergenic” because their body has less fur, which automatically results in less shedding. While it’s partially true that low or non-shedding of pet hair will cause lesser percentage of airborne pet hair but still they will shed skin flakes. Dogs or other pets having curly hair may cause less allergy compared to their straight-haired counterpart as the former’s coat is better conditioned to trap dander and saliva instead of releasing into the indoor air.
Dust bunnies or balls can easily accumulate pet hair, dander, and saliva, on top of other common household allergens such as mold spores and pollens. Besides, dust mites feed and multiply faster on pet dander and produce more allergens capable of polluting the air – increasing severities for allergy patients.
Pet Accidents and Saliva
Pet saliva is another common allergen triggered by domestic animals like dogs and cats. When your pets lick their skin, the proteins remain in their saliva get stuck on their fur, simply like dander and react severe allergy symptoms on you when you get exposed to it. Pets tend to urinate in unwanted corners if not trained well, and their urine can also spread contaminations through allergy-causing proteins. If you don’t make it a practice to wash your pets regularly then protein residues in their urine can accumulate in their coats as well.
Dog Allergies Vs. Cat Allergies
A recent study conducted by AAFA (Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America) have found that 30% of the population of the United States develops some pet allergy in their lifetime and cat allergies cases are two times more common than dog allergies. The simple reason being that cats clean or lick their skins more than dogs, which naturally produces more saliva.
Also the allergy-causing protein generated by dogs and cats are different, which may make you more allergic to one than the other. Both these pets produce different types of proteins in their saliva, urine, and dander which can trigger various allergic symptoms.
A reputed allergist and comprehensive allergy tests can determine your sensitivity towards these potent allergens.
You should know one crucial characteristic of pet allergens that they get transmitted into the air as microscopic particles and they are capable of floating in the air for long time. Once, you inhale the air, and those tiny particles get inside your respiratory system.
Though dander is small-sized, still it can be arrested by specific types of air filters, and an air purifier can shunt them away from the indoor air.
How Well An Air Purifier Works On Pet Dander?
You should look for an air purifier with strong filtration system to trap microscopic dander and significantly reduce the number of pet allergens in your home. Even if you have taken your pet out for strolling, these tiny flakes released from your pet skin or hair hang in the indoor air for an extended period.
Using a high-end air purifier will help you remove most of the allergens and turn indoor air fresh and breathable.
HEPA filter enables air purifiers are specially designed to eliminate 99.97% particles with a size of 0.3 micrometers. An air purifier with HEPA will reduce relatively larger particles such as dust mites, some components of pet dander and airborne dust from your indoor air. If tufts of pet hair are floating in the air, a HEA filter can trap it right away.
However, some percentage of pet allergens are composed of microscopic particles typically broken off from larger particles of pet dander and dried saliva, which is even beyond HEPA’s reach.
Minuscule particles can easily pierce through HEPA’s defense system and get blown back into the indoor air. If any of those allergy-producing molecules reach your respiratory system, slowly you will develop the symptoms of chronic respiratory diseases.
A HEPA filter is capable of capturing some part of skin flakes or pet hair, but it needs regular changes and to be handled safely, to prevent it from throwing back small particles in the indoor air at the time of replacement. The filter may get occasionally clogged by a large amount of pet hair and dander, so if you have pets you have to replace it more frequently than a house owner without pets.
An ionizer passes on an electric charge to pet allergens in an attempt to trap them inside the air purifier. These charged particles get stuck to nearby surfaces such as floor, furniture or wall. Ionizers lack fan which restricts the air to pass through them and leave a majority of pet allergens untrapped.
Moreover, the electrically charged dander or allergens can stick to any even surface of your home such as floors or walls, which can get easily transmitted to your body while walking, dusting or sneak into your respiratory system during the use of a vacuum cleaner.
Additionally, ionizers produce ozone, an equally harmful element for human body.
Carbon-based Air Filters
A carbon filter is custom-designed to take away specific noxious gases from indoor air. They are not built to deal with tiny particles like pet dander, and this limitation in feature renders them ineffective in trapping pet hair or any size of pet dander particle.
PECO (Photo Electrochemical Oxidation) technology is your best bet to eliminate both large and microscopic particles of pet dander and hair. A traditional filter cannot arrest these toxic allergens or carry on pet hair or dander, and as a result these particles break off and traverse through the filter unhindered and remain suspended in the indoor air.
PECO is a proprietary technology used to develop the powerful Molekule air purifier that is elementally different from any other purifier. In the 1st stage of filtration PECO stops large particles of pet hair or dander particle from getting through its defense system.
In the second stage of filtration, it destroys the tiniest allergy-triggering proteins carried on pet hair or dander. This potent technology offers ideal solution to combat pet allergens.
What Type Of Air Purifier Is Ideal For Reducing Pet Dander?
DO you own a cat and hoping to reduce asthma symptoms by dealing with pet dander in your house? Are you a dog owner with a close friend who develops an allergic reaction every time he or she visits your home?
Both dogs and cats (to some extent birds as well) produce significant amount of pet dander containing different allergy-producing protein which may impact your health in many ways.
Most air purifiers with powerful filters are capable of reducing dander from the indoor air, irrespective of its type and source. Among other options, you can go for particle filtration technology such as HEPA.
However, the ideal air purifier to eliminate pet dander and substantially reducing its allergic reaction to your pets is the one that is capable of destroying allergy-producing proteins contained in pet saliva or dander or carried by pet hair.
You should buy an air purifier having robust filtration technology, which is capable of trapping larger particles and effectively dealing with smaller components that can’t be arrested by a conventional filter.
Your best choice for this job can be an advanced technology air purifier for pet dander that is capable of eliminating microscopic pet allergens. It does a much better job in trapping pet dander, hair and destroying every other pet-triggered pollutants in the indoor air of your home.
What Are The Natural Ways To Reduce Pet-Related Allergens?
Pet dander is naturally released from the skin of your pets. The shedding of skin flakes increases when your pet shakes its body, is active, scratches its skin with claws or when you cuddles with him.
It’s necessary to brush your pet’s coat to keep it smooth, but it releases a lot of dander in the process so you should ideally do it outside your rooms.
Doing it in balcony or garden can control the release of pet dander inside your home, since brushing releases so much skin flakes restricting it to outdoors will help you mitigate dander from inside of your house.
Regular Bathing Habit
Some pieces of evidence have shown that regular cleaning and bathing your pets (at-least once a week) minimizes the amount of pet dander your pet (mainly dogs) can shed off. Special pet shampoos are available in the market which if used regularly can significantly reduce dander.
Take your pet for a regular health check-up to a certified vet and follow the recommended diet. Make your pet drink plenty of water to get shiny and healthy skin and fur and reduce the amount of flaky and dried skin.
Limit Activity Area of Your Pet
One of the biggest challenges with pet dander is that it can easily get trapped in mattresses, carpets, sofas, and clothes. If any of your family members have developed pet allergy, restrict the pet’s entry to that person’s room to mitigate the chance of any severe condition.
This will give less dander exposure to the allergic person during sleep, which may considerably reduce nighttime allergies. You can also keep your pets away from the furniture in that room.
To strengthen your defense mechanism you can buy select dust-proof mattresses and pillowcases designed to prevent pet dander, dust, and other toxic particles from getting into the bedding or pillow, which can give you an allergy-free, good night’s sleep.
Develop a Regular Cleaning Habit
Are you a stickler for cleanliness? Regular cleaning of your house can automatically reduce the amount of pet dander. Use HEPA-enabled vacuum cleaner to clean your rugs, carpet, and furniture and remove tiny dust particles with a wet rag.
If you keep on doing this activity frequently, it will drastically cut down on pet dander almost in equal capacity of an air filter. Take away carpets from floor if it’s possible, dander and dust cannot stick to the bare floor.
Instead of heavy carpets use washable throw rugs which you can rub and clean in hot water, removing dust mites and pet dander in the process.
Maintenance of HVAC Systems
Regular maintenance of the filters in your home’s cooling and heating system along with frequent servicing can help in removing pet dander from indoor air and keep your HVAC systems free of particles.
You need to replace the filter regularly in the system’s return vent (try negotiating with the brand for an AMC as that will cost lesser) for more efficient filtration.
You can manage the symptoms by taking precautionary measures then you can play with your cute furry friend without inflicting any allergic reaction. It may require a little more maintenance and deep cleaning from your side, but for families with loving pets, the effort will make you smile by cheering you up.