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The Air Quality Blog by Rabbit Air
Using an Air Purifier for Pets and Pet Dander

 If you’re like many Americans, your pets are as much a part of your family as the kids. They love you unconditionally, they think you can do no wrong, and they seldom roll their eyes at you. While their furry little selves can be a comfort to their humans, they can also have quite the impact on the air quality inside your home. Over 60 percent of households today include pets, with many of the animals spending all or at least part of their time indoors. Since our furry friends clearly aren’t going anywhere, the next best bet for an animal lover is the use of an air purifier throughout the home.

Breathing Easy

When people have allergies to animals, it is not the actual hair they are allergic to but the dander from discarded skin cells or fluids secreted by the animal that attaches to the hair. These are the actual allergens causing the reaction, however it is so small that we often assume that the larger particle that we can see, the pet’s hair, is the cause. The dander can adhere to just about any object throughout the house, including furniture, walls, carpets and other flooring. The animal doesn’t need to be in close contact to the area where the allergens land as the small particles can be airborne for quite some time. The fluids are often produced through urine and saliva and can remain on surfaces and in areas where there has been contact. Both the fluids and dander easily attach themselves to a pet’s coat.

Dander and the allergens in fluid are both micro in size and can be difficult to eliminate. A person cannot locate them with the naked eye and so often doesn’t even realize the severity of the issue in their home. It can take reoccurring respiratory ailments or allergy attacks before many realize the source of the issue is in their own living space. Asthma sufferers can be affected greatly by this. About a quarter of those with asthma have allergies to animals or have severe sensitivities, which can result in tightening of the chest and wheezing when they come into contact. Since dander can remain in the air for a while, cleaning surfaces have no effect on removal of many of the allergens. Air purifiers work specifically to remove these small particles from the air, decreasing the occurrence of both respiratory and dermal ailments.

Due to its lightweight size, dander is easily transferred. Even if you do not have pets, there is likely dander in your home, as well as in public spaces that you frequent such as schools, stores, offices and hospitals. Petting, holding or being licked by an animal is a surefire way to become a vehicle for it but even visiting an area where dander has been present can result in the same. The airborne particles can attach to ­hair and clothing, moving into your personal space with you none the wiser.

Removing Odors

Pet odors don’t just come from having dogs and cats. Birds, gerbils, ferrets, guinea pigs, and even fish at times can create strong and unwelcome odors in your home. A quick fix is to use a deodorizer or air freshener that is sprayed throughout the room containing the offensive smell. Unfortunately, that technique simply masks the problem without eliminating the cause. In addition, you are often spraying chemicals and newer – albeit prettier smelling – pollutants into your living space. Using an air purifier can get to the root of the problem, removing the actual odor causing particles. ­­

Traditional Cleaning

While traditional cleaning methods do make an impact on the air quality of your home in relation to pet dander and the allergens that come with it, it may not be the impact you are thinking. When you vacuum or dust, large surface pollutants may be removed but many times allergens that are too small to be visible are sent flying. Disrupting areas in your carpet where dander has settled can actually increase the amount of allergens that become present in the air you and your family then breathe. Coupling traditional cleaning methods with a filtering system assists in removing these disrupted particles from the air quickly before they find their way into your lungs.

How Purifiers Can Affect Your Pets

Having an air purifier in the home can be as advantageous to your pets as to the human residents. It is not uncommon for animals to have allergies themselves and removing allergens from the air can help to reduce their symptoms, such as scratching, biting, or licking their paws and legs. Animals, especially those of the smaller variety, can also be sensitive to chemicals released from cleaning products and synthetic fragrances. Mold particles can also cause detriment to your furry friend. When pollutants are removed from the air, their respiratory system benefits much in the same way yours does.

Having pets in your home should be a positive part of your life without causing worry as to how their dander is affecting your indoor air quality. Making a simple change such as placing an air purifier in your home can help you and your pets breathe easy and maintain a clean and healthy lifestyle.

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