Dander can be left not just by a pet walking around and shedding skin and hair. Especially for people allergic to pets, the molecules in saliva, and pet pee and poo can trigger reactions too. If poo isn’t properly picked up or cleaned, or if pee or saliva dries on a surface, the allergens can live on. These then become air particles when it eventually breaks off from the surface. When it is airborne, it can be breathed in, and this is when people can begin to experience problems and allergic reactions.
Do all Pets Leave Dander?
Our research shows that cats are more likely to cause allergic reactions than dogs (and particularly male cats, for an unknown reason, source: lung.org), and cats and dogs make up the majority of pet ownership in the United States.
Some common sense can be applied in thinking that shedding animals will naturally leave dander. Humans may leave “dander” but humans aren’t allergic to each other (although some have strong distaste for others). Furry pets are also more likely to carry dander and other pollutants in their fur, which can be come suspended in the air when they run around and their fur moves. Fur itself, however, has typically been found to be low risk from an allergy perspective. So counter-intuitively, short-haired or bald pets can unfortunately be as effective as longer haired animals in spreading allergens and dander.
How Does Dander Affect My Breathing?
Those allergic to pets, or who suffer from asthma brought on by pet dander will be most affected. Respiratory symptoms react to the allergens and become “stressed”, which is to say overworked in reaction to sharing an environment with the allergen. This becomes worse over time and lung functionality will decline, though not necessarily in everyone, as people have different levels of allergic tolerance.
But there are many symptoms of allergic reactions that you will know to be quite common. These include congestion, chest tightness, breathing trouble and wheezing, itchiness, teary eyes, and skin reactions.
Controlling Pet Allergens
The most effective way to control problems brought about by pet dander is to distance oneself from the pet. Sadly, this can often mean finding another home for a beloved family pet. Worse, dander is small and can linger long after is removed, in furniture and in the air. It may take time for symptoms to improve.
As always, it is best to keep the home tidy and clean, and especially if you keep a pet. One method that many find helpful in reducing symptoms is to run an air purifier until the symptoms have eased.
Which Air Purifier?
We recommend several and provide a lot of information on this website to address this specific issue among others. Please have a look around and feel free to contact us with any questions.