Last Updated on August 16th, 2018
It doesn't really matter if your beloved pet is the sweetest, most kind member of your whole family—you still have to deal with their constant shedding. Not only do they release pet hair into the air, with it comes pet dander—which is what triggers your allergies and can affect your respiratory system.
Even though you may feel like getting rid of the furriest member of the family because of all the loose hair and dander—especially if someone has allergies—there’s still hope!
You don’t have to kick your pets out of the house or give them away simply because they are releasing hair in the air and activating allergies.
There are a few essential tricks to reducing the amount of pet hair and the allergy-causing dander that comes along with it.
When you mention pet hair, most people think of the wads of pet hair under their couch or the stubborn hair embedded in the carpets. However, every time your dog shakes itself or runs around the house chasing a ball, it will waft hair and dander in the air. This air is the air you breathe, and if you have ever seen a dog shake itself in direct sunlight you know why you don't want to be breathing that air which is full of hair, dander, and dust released from their coating.
5 Ways to Reduce Pet Hair and Dander in the Air You Breathe
1. Limit Area of Activity
Especially if you have a bigger house, this can be an easy task. Essentially “roping” off certain areas of the house so the dog or cat can’t get into some rooms will help not only reduce the hair and dander around the house, but it will also help out specifically if a person has a pet allergy. Keeping the pets away from bedrooms or children's rooms can have a huge impact on how badly they react to your pets even if the pets are allowed in other areas inside the house.
You can also buy certain pillowcases and mattresses that are specifically designed to prevent the dust, dander, and other pet-littered molecules from getting into your bed, which can help you breathe cleaner and fresher air at night. A dander-free sleeping environment will help deal with the allergies during the day.
2. Regular Cleaning
Just by cleaning the house on a regular basis, you can help reduce the amount of pet hair and dander in the air. Having a powerful pet hair vacuum will help you remove that pet hair even from the most challenging surfaces like thick high-pile carpets and carpeted stairs. When you use an efficient vacuum cleaner with adequate filtration, you can suck up all that hair even before it is wafted into the air.
Wiping down and dusting furniture throughout the room will take care of the resting pet hair, and using a mop to finish off the cleanup should have a big impact on how much pet hair gets lifted into the air.
If you can, switching to hardwood floors is definitely much easier—those thick carpets easily and usually harbor a lot of pet hair that has settled and dug its way deep down.
3. Pet Grooming – Brushing
Not only should you keep your house in check, you should also make sure your pet is clean.
The loose hair that stays on dogs and cats can fall off their bodies at any moment and float into the air. Therefore, brushing will get all that loose on the brush and out of the danger zone of invading the airspace inside your home.
A quick tip, when you are brushing, you should do it outdoors. When you're doing it indoors, you're essentially just brushing that loose hair into the air. If you have to do it while you're inside the house, lay a towel down underneath your dog so it can get the majority of the hair.
4. Pet Grooming – Bathing
This should a must for pet-owners anyway, however, it will definitely help you out if you have a problem with pet dander and hair in the air. Bathing your pet (cat or dog) at least once a month, brush your dog first, and then use dog-shampoo and/or conditioner. It’s also extremely important that you rinse extremely well and brush afterward to get all the extra hair off. After drying your dog off, brush him or her again to remove all excess, loose hair.
You can also have special cleaning and grooming done at the groomers for your dog if you want to invest that way. There are also special, specific shampoos that are specifically tailored to take care of dander loose hair.
5. How an Air Purifier for Pet Dander and Pet Hair Can Help
Ultimately, after you're done cleaning the entire house, vacuuming the floors and furniture, washing and wiping the tables and countertops, bathing your dog, brushing him or her, and doing all that extra work—there is still pet hair and dander in the air!
To remove pet hair from the air you can use a powerful air purifier. These purifiers are designed to circulate indoor air and to pull the invisible particles and microscopic allergens floating around in the air that come from pet dander and hair (and also cigarette smoke and food smells, among other things.)
Especially if you or someone in the house has pet allergies, an air purifier can help them find relief by eliminating the source of the allergies: the dander in the pet hair that is found all around your home.
So, unfortunately, even when you may think you're doing your house a solid and vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning, you can actually be adding to the particles that are released into the air. Instead of being settled on furniture, they are now circulating in the air you breathe in your home.
Eventually, all these microscopic particles will get into your respiratory system—especially if you don't use a purifier.
The Best Features of a Purifier
We’ll keep it simple and give you the most important features that an air purifier has to have to effectively eliminate pet hair (and dander) in the air.
The pre-filter is the first stage in the filter. When eliminating pet hair from the air, this will be your best friend. It’s important to invest in a filter that you can easily clean and wash—because you're going to have to do it quite often. You can choose a pre-filter that you can either wash or vacuum off to clean.
Having a pre-filter to capture all that pet hair will lengthen the time between having to change the HEPA-filter, which saves you money and trouble.
Any effective and high-quality filter has to have a True HEPA-filter. HEPA, standing for “high-efficiency particulate arresting”, is a fancy way of saying that the air that is around the room will then be forced through a few different levels of mesh filters. These layers together will be responsible for trapping 99.97% of those microscopic particles 0.3 microns in size or larger, which make their way into the air.
These types of filters are often found in doctors’ offices and other such places because they have such a high standard of quality and they leave the air extremely clean. When this HEPA-filter is paired with an activated carbon filter, you can eliminate hot only hair and dander, but pet related smells as well.
An Activated Carbon Filter
Especially if pet odor is a problem at your house (along with the hair), the activated carbon filter can target and take control of ousting and eliminating those particles responsible for it. If you were going to invest in an air purifier anyway, you might as well make sure it has activated carbon to kill two birds with one stone.
Make Sure All Regulations Meet Your Needs
Great, you landed an awesome deal on an air purifier—however, you accidentally forgot to check its size requirements—leaving you with an air purifier geared to a small home office space when you wanted to place it in your large, loft apartment.
You need to make sure that besides looking at the design and filtration you take a look at its various features, including coverage, different mode settings, and maintenance indicators. Once all your ducks are in a row, you can make the purchase and invest in cleaner air.
There is not just a one, easy solution to solve your problems with pet hair in the air. However, with these tips, you can get pretty close to achieving optimal breathing air in the environment around you and keep your home as clean as possible, even if your dog has free roam of his castle.
Especially if you or one of your house-mates have pet allergies, it’s extremely important to keep pet hair, dander, and other allergens under control. Going through all of these tips and guidelines can help you keep allergies at bay and help eliminate the possibility, as much as possible, of being affected by your pet (more than just emotionally and financially).
Because at the end of the day, even though they make their presence known in the house in some undesirable ways, they still light up your life, and you wouldn't want your home any other way—but maybe just a bit cleaner!