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Do Air Purifiers Work For Pet Allergies? (Pet hair, Dander, and Odor)

There are more pet allergies in an American household that an air conditioner. That means you will likely see indoor pets than A/C cooling machine. There's no denying that we do love our cats and dogs but sometimes they bring in diseases that we just can't get out off. With more and more folks are succumbing to sickness and irritation, we will look into the air purifier solution in dealing with pet allergy woe.
Short answer
An air purifier can help with pet allergies.

Do Air Purifier Help With Pet Allergies?

An air purifier can help get rid of pet allergies by removing particles in the air and provide relief for allergy/ asthma sufferers. It will also remove airborne pet dander, germs, and pet odors associated with your cat or dog. With reduced allergens in the air, there is less chance of you from inhaling or expose to the irritants. Allergy reactions like sneezing, swollen eyes, breathing difficulty will be gone with the wind. With an air purifier running in the background, you and your furry friend will both live happily under one roof.

Which Is The Best Air Purifier For Pet Allergies?

An air purifier with HEPA filter works best for pet allergies as it removes tiny irritants that are harmful to our health. H13-H14 True HEPA filters met the standard set by the U.S. Department of Energy in capturing 99.97% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 micrometers. Never settle with an inferior HEPA-type filter that is less dense thus capture 99% of the airborne particles as small as 2 micrometers. You will also need to account for the air purifier capacity such as airflow delivery rate, CADR, and the maximum room size an air cleaner can cover. A small air purifier would do a poor job in covering an entire basement or living room. For instance, if you intend to purify a bedroom with 200 square feet of space, pick a model that can support at least 200 sq. ft. coverage at 2 air changes per hour. The stronger the airflow delivery rate, the faster an air purifier would be able to remove contaminants in a room. Additional filtration like UV-light, ionizer, or carbon filter does play a part in reducing cat and dog allergy symptoms.

There are 8 types of air cleaners in the market and we are pushing on only 1 type: HEPA air purifier. It is the most common type and you have plenty of options to go for. If you are an asthmatic person, hyperallergic to pets, our handpicked best pet air purifier reviews would do a bang-up job.

What Causes Pet Allergies? Cat Or Dog?

People who are allergic to cats or dogs have an overly sensitive immune system. Most pet allergies are triggered by the proteins found in the pet’s saliva, feces, urine, and dander instead of from the hair. The overactive immune system will flares up to protein substances and set off allergy reactions like sneezing, running nose, or cough.

A lot of people think pet dander is all cat or dog hair. It’s so much more than that. Pet dander is flecks of skin shed by rodents, hamsters, guinea pigs, birds, and other warm-blooded animals with fur or feather. Whenever your pet scratches, shakes, and moves, the tiny bits of dead skin will fall off and stay suspended in the air for an extended period of time. The jagged shape, sticky skin flakes will eventually settle on your upholstery, sofa, carpets, curtains, bedding, and spread throughout the home causing a chain allergic reaction.

The protein in cats is called the Fel d I while the proteins in dogs are called Can f I and Can f II. Cat allergies are more common at home but are often triggered by dried saliva than pet hair. For dog allergies, it is usually dandruff from fur that is causing the trouble. There are 2 times more people allergic to cats than dogs, according to the latest studies.

More Ways To Deal With Pet Allergies

63% of American households have at least one pet based on a study from The Humane Society. Yet according to IQAir, 31 million Americans are allergic to pets and 30% of them have asthma. That is 3 out of 10 people have some form of pet allergies. While it is still possible to outgrow your allergies, in this post we are pushing more towards an air purifier solution, there are few ways you can alleviate your cat or dog allergies while keeping your spouse, kids, and yourself happy.

  • Vacuum daily - A clean house is very important to curb pet dander and hair from spreading. Wipe away dust particulates on sofa, table, shelf, and bed to prevent it from being stirred back up. For those that have carpets at home, vacuum back and forth as it is filled with dust mites and germs. Remember to wear a mask and have an air purifier running to capture all fallen allergens when you are performing housecleaning. When possible, opt for mites-resistant hypoallergenic pillows, bed sheets, or upholstery.
  • Limit pet activity space - Especially in the bedroom where we spent most of our time in there. By restricting the area your cat or dog can access with pet gates, you can contain the spread of pet dander and odors in the house. In any case, never take away your pet's freedom by caging them.
  • Groom and bathe your pet - Get good grooming gloves or brush to ease the process. As your cat and dog shed every day, grooming them daily can greatly decrease pet dander and skin flakes from spreading around the house. It can also stimulate the skin, reduce shed hair, and prevent matting. Depending on how dirty is your dog or cat, bathe them routinely to wash away the dead skin. Use lukewarm water, allergenic-free shampoo, conditioner, or moisturizer to keep their hair strong and shining.
  • Get treated with allergy shots (Immunotherapy) - By injecting small doses of allergens. The allergy shots will be injected weekly followed by monthly shots at a later stage. You will be less sensitive to pet allergens as the body's natural defenses improved. Take note that some people might be allergic to shots (ironically) and can be mentally draining going through the process. For quick relief, you can take antihistamines pills to reduce allergic reactions, decongestants reduce swollen tissues to improve breathing, and Leukotriene to prevent an asthma attack.
  • Practice good hygienic - Wash your hand thoroughly with soap after touching your dog or cat. Avoid rubbing your eyes, kissing, and sharing food with your pets. Be more mindful in the homes of family and friends that have pets or public places like shopping malls, workplaces, classrooms, and parks. Every time when you're back from outside, change your clothes and shower straight to minimize the exposure to pet allergens.
  • Stay clean, stay healthy - A healthy lifestyle goes a long way. Improve body immune system by eating vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and healthy fats. Exercise at least 3 times a day to help relieve stress and lower your blood pressure. Make sure you have sufficient sleep to recharge your body immune system. Curb any bad habits such as smoking, high alcohol consumption, or staying up late that can deteriorate your health.
  • Your pets have to go (or at least stay outdoor) - This is the last resort method that we don't recommend. Pets offer us unconditional love and unlimited happiness that we cannot imagine life without them. This is especially true when our furry companion is with the family for years and everyone is attached to it. However, leaving your pets outside or not having one at all means there are no constant irritants aggravating your allergies. If you are still undecided whether to get a pet, try getting a hypoallergenic cat or dog that shed less and produce fewer germs in their saliva. The smaller the breed, the less fur and allergens to deal with, according to the American Lung Association (ALA).

Max Fernandez

A loving father and a dedicated reviewer for airfuji.com with more than 1000 air purifiers under his belt. Max Fernandez is also one of the million patients currently suffering from asthma. Feel free to nudge him if you have any questions.