First thing to know about pet allergies is that it’s not the pet hair that gives you the allergic symptoms, but the dander your dog/cat or other pet produces, becoming airborne and leading to the allergy symptoms.
- What’s the ling between pat dander and allergy symptoms?
Made up of small (even microscopic) flakes of skin shed by your dog/cat/birds/any other animal with fur or feathers, pet dander doesn’t affect all of use, but it sure does lead to reaction in people with allergies to this kind of triggers. But it’s not only dander that triggers your allergies, but other allergens too.
If you suffer from asthma, the pet allergens may trigger a reaction as well. Breathing animal allergens can cause some respiratory symptoms that may even reduce your lung function.
You know you have a pet allergy if you’re experiencing lower and upper respiratory tract symptoms such as runny nose, congestion, chest tightness, sneezing, wheezing. You may also develop eczema, itching, watery eyes and even rashes.
- What causes pet allergies anyway?
It’s the proteins in the saliva, urine and feces of the cats/dogs/various pets that lead to allergic reactions. The Fel d 1 protein of cats and Can f1 and Can f2 proteins of dogs are the most common allergens.
Dried saliva may also contain allergens that become airborne. You inhale it and…you can pick up the picture from that. Let’s not forget dust from dried feces that may become airborne, leading to an allergic reaction.
- The HEPA filter and pet dander
The best way to protect you from pet allergens is not to keep a pet in your home. The pet allergens may remain in a house for several months after the pet is gone so getting rid of the pet allergens is no easy job.
If you don’t want to give your pet away, you should at least keep it away from your bedroom, furniture (upholstery more than anything else) and all carpeted areas in your house.
Vacuuming your carpets and furniture with HEPA filter vacuum is going to help you eliminate an impressive amount of dander.
- Using the air purifier
Using a HEPA filter vacuum is going to help, but you should also start using an air purifier for cleaning the air as much as you can. Go with an air purifier with the highest airflow that you may find. Filtration efficiency for the very fine particles isn’t very critical, but it’s more important for other triggers.
The best air purifier for reducing pet dander and putting your allergic reactions under control is one that includes several methods to control the pet allergies. Look for an air purifier that comes with a filtration element for capturing the large particles (pet dander is a large particle) and an additional way to control the smaller pollutants and bacteria. You want to remove not only the pet dander, but also the pet-related pollutants in the air.