It is not pet hair, but rather the dander your cats, dogs, and other mammals produce that becomes airborne and causes allergic symptoms.
Pet Dander and allergy symptoms
Pet dander is made up of small, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. Not all of us are affected by dander, but it can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers. In addition to dander, pet-related allergy triggers or allergens come from sources other than the animal’s skin.
You can be allergic to pets, or have asthma triggered by pet allergens. If so, breathing animal allergens can make your respiratory symptoms worse and lead to reduced lung function. The concentration of allergen needed to cause a reaction varies greatly from person to person. Suffering from pet allergies may result in upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms including congestion, sneezing, runny nose, chest tightness and wheezing, in addition to itching, watery eyes, eczema or rashes.
Causes of pet allergies
Certain proteins found in saliva, urine and feces from cats, dogs and other pets can cause allergic reactions as well. The most common allergies by far are caused by the Fel d 1 protein from cats and the Can f 1 and Can f 2 proteins from dogs. It’s possible for dried saliva containing allergens to flake off from an animal’s fur and become airborne, allowing these allergens to be inhaled by an individual. In addition, dust from dried feces can become airborne in a similar way.
Pet dander in the home
Lightweight and small, pet allergens remain suspended in the air for a long time, much longer than allergens from cockroaches or dust mites. Due to their microscopic size and uneven shape, pet allergens can easily cling to furniture, bedding, fabrics and the things you bring in and out of your home. Easily spread through the home and out to public places like schools and hospitals, pet dander can be found even in spaces without pets.
Removing pet dander with a Bios Life Air purifier
If you or someone you love is sensitive to pet allergens, the primary way to protect your indoor air quality is to not have a pet in your home. Pet allergens may stay in the home for months after the pet is gone since allergens remain in house dust. If going petless isn’t an option, try to keep it out of the bedroom of anyone who has asthma or allergies. It’s also a good idea not to allow your pet on furniture, especially upholstery, and keep the pet away from carpet.
Pet allergens are generally mid- to large-sized particles, meaning they can fall as much as 3 ft in 10 minutes. That means they are quick to settle on your furniture, bed and pillow. Vacuuming is an effective way to remove the amount of dander, but make sure you have a good vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Air purifier for pet dander
Between vacuuming, to effectively reduce the amount of both airborne allergens and allergens that have settled on surrounding surfaces, you need to continuously clean the air at a high rate. Go with an air purifier with the highest airflow possible. For pet dander, filtration efficiency for ultrafine particles is not as critical as it is for other triggers.