How Long Does Pet Dander Stay In a House?

If you move into a place with a history of indoor dogs or cats and wonder how long pet dander stays in the house, you're not alone. Exposure to pet dander can be a serious problem for an allergic person. It will lead to a sneezing frenzy, chronic cough, breathing difficulty, and other respiratory issues. Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this. Here's what you need to do.


An estimated 5-10 percent of Americans are allergic to pet dander. Pet dander is excessive skin flakes shed from animal fur or feathers (bird). Hidden inside shed hair, the tiny skin cells vary between 5 to 2.5 microns in size. In a household, cat dander is the biggest culprit to allergies, followed by dog dander. When a person is experiencing a headache, skin rash, or a sneezing frenzy, the proteins in the pet dander aggravate the allergic reactions. Our immune system mistakes the protein for harmful allergens and produces Immunoglobulin E antibodies to counter the incoming substances.

How Long Does Pet Dander Stay In a House?

How Long Do Pet Dander Stay In a House?

Pet dander will typically stay in a house for 4–6 months or 20 to 30 weeks, according to different researchers and allergists. The allergens will remain active for a long time, meaning you could still experience an allergic reaction even after the pet is no longer present. The microscopic flecks of skin cells will cling to hair, bag, clothes, sofa, carpets, beds, floors, and walls. As humans are the known transporter, pet dander can also be found in malls, offices, schools, nursery rooms, or restaurants that do not allow pets. 

Generally, cat dander is more adhesive than dog dander as it is easily airborne. We highly recommend home buyers with hyperallergic avoid purchasing a unit that has housed a pet for the past 6 months.

6 Common Pet Dander Allergy Symptoms

  • Constant sneezing, Nasal congestion
  • Postnasal drip cough, Wheezing
  • Swollen eyes, Red eyes
  • Rashness, Eczema
  • Difficulty breathing, Shortness of breath
  • Chest tightness
Burts Bees Dander Reducing Spray

How Do I Remove Pet Dander From My Home?

It is highly unlikely that you will part ways with your cat or dog even though it is the source of the problem. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get rid of pet dander in your home. Some are very straightforward, while others require regular cleaning for them to work.

  • Vacuum, mop, and wipe thoroughly – As pet dander is very sticky to smooth surfaces, vacuuming and mopping the floor every 1-2 days is a must. For pet dander that is adhered to the wall, shelf, or upholstery, use a wet rag and scrub out as much hair as you can. An endless cleaning task that would be your top priority.
  • Get a HEPA air purifier – As pet dander is lightweight, it can stays suspend in the air for a long time before settling on any surface. Having a pet air purifier with a HEPA filter by your side will come in handy. It will pull the airborne pet dander down and trap it in its filter, therefore reducing the risk of you breathing into the allergens.
  • Refloor before moving in – Costly but a must for a home with pets previously. Old carpets are filled with piles of pet dander and dead skin flakes. The only way to completely remove the irritants is to refloor the entire carpet floor. If possible, switch to tiles as it is non-porous, so there is no way allergens can sneak inside.
  • Get yourself checked – Ask your allergist to test the allergies against the cat, dog, bird, or rodent dander. There are prescribed medications to alleviate your upper and lower respiratory symptoms.
  • Groom And Bathe Your Pet – Doing so will remove a good chunk of pet dander. Get a soft bristle brush and groom them daily, especially if they are the types that shed a lot. Also, bathe them every 1-2 weeks, depending on the breed size.
  • Dander Removal Spray – Just a few quick sprays and settled dander will be killed off instantaneously. There are tons of dander removal sprays you can purchase, look for those fragrance-free and without parabens and phthalates.

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.
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