Air Filters And Pet Dander
Spring is finally here! It has been a chilly one and it hasn’t stopped my allergies from knocking me off my feet!! I’m glad Jake and Maggie have such thick healthy coats to protect them but I’ve noticed as spring moves forward, they are shedding a bit more. The dogs are not immune to allergies either. I can take some Allegra and feel somewhat better but the dogs rely on me to help them and I want to do everything possible to help them if they are feeling off or uncomfortable. If you have a pet who is suffering skin ailments, allergies, and if you are dealing with excessive shedding, here are a few things you can do to help your pet as well as yourself.
Contrary to what people think, allergens are not present in the fur; instead it is in an animal’s body secretions. With dogs and cats, secretions come through the skin, and in cats, it is in saliva. Either way, when the secretions dry, they become part of the dead skin (or dander) that is present in any animal, humans included. The dander is often part of the air you breathe and present on nearly any surface of the home. Luckily, there are a few ways to stop dog shedding (and cat shedding), or at least mitigate the effects of it.
Our living room gets the most pet dander...
…wonder why? LOL
How to stop a dog or cat stop shedding during peak season:
Brush and Bathe Pets Regularly – If possible, take your pet outside and brush him or her regularly. If you get rid of loose fur and dead skin in this environment, it won’t enter your home. With dogs especially, regular bathing can make a big difference too. We take Jake and Maggie once a month for grooming. If we can’t make it to the groomer, we have a portable tub on legs that we use to bath them in the garage.
Choose the Right Cat and Dog Shedding Supplements – Omega-3 fatty acids, found in flaxseed and olive oil, are crucial to a smooth coat and the reduction of dry skin particles. Ask your vet what types of supplements contain this nutrient and work to enhance your pup’s coat. I give Jake and Maggie one vitamin in the AM and one vitamin in the PM from Smarty Paws and it has helped them immensely.
Upgrade your Dog’s Diet – It is important that the food is rich in these Omega-3 fatty acids in order to prevent the dry skin that results in dander allergens in the air. Research what foods are best for your dog’s breed and lifestyle, or ask next time you are at the vet. I have both dogs on Stella and Chewy’s kibble.
We all know that no matter how much you brush your pet, you won’t stop the shedding. We have to go the extra mile for our pets and by checking our air filters and by cleaning more can really help everyone in the family!
So tired from Sunday Funday!
We have a GEO Thermal System which allows us to take the filter out and hose it off which really helps with the pet dander. Our thermostat registers when it is time to clean it and lets us know but I can always tell by how the dander accumulates where the dogs spend the most time in the house.
Clean Cloth Furnishings Regularly – Dander (and other allergens) will attach themselves to soft surfaces. Now is the time to vacuum on a regular basis. Consider putting curtains, bedding, and other furnishings in the washer often or send them for dry cleaning. It can make a big difference in keeping your allergies at bay.
Types of Filters to consider:
If your home does not already have a filter system, you don’t need to become an expert on the types of filters available because our knowledgeable professionals will be happy to consult with you on the best options for your home and particular situation. It’s a good idea to be somewhat familiar with your options, though. A consultation with your doctor about the most appropriate system for your allergies would be good idea if you have not done so already.
For mild cases, you can start with using disposable filters, typically available at home improvement and hardware stores. Usually you will change them out once per month, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Some of the most powerful type of air filter systems are known as High Efficiency Particulate Air filters, also referred to as HEPA filters. They are designed to get rid of essentially all particles in the air that are 0.3 micrometers or larger in diameter and are a good choice when you or any of your family members suffers from pet allergies.
You can use an electronic air cleaner. This type of filter cleanses the air of particles as small as 0.1 micrometers and it will tend to cost a bit more than a HEPA filter. One thing to keep in mind is that electronic air filters will tend to make little popping or crackling sounds when they have a piece of hair get caught in them.
Air filters are ranked by their MERV rating or minimum efficiency reporting value), which indicates how easily it can filter airborne contaminants. The higher the rating, the more successfully it will catch allergens. Higher MERV rated filters may make your HVAC system work a bit harder, so it’s a good idea to consult with air conditioning and heating professionals to determine the best unit to use in your home.
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