How Does My Pet Affect the Air Quality Inside My Home?
Having a pet at home undoubtedly improves the quality of your life. After all, having your furry friends provide companionship and bring you an endless amount of happiness. But having them in your living space also means dealing with pet dander, which can have a negative impact on your home's indoor air quality — and even your personal health.
How do pets affect air quality at home?
Allergies to dogs and cats affect 10%–20% of the population worldwide, making it a growing public health concern as the rates increase. In the US alone, as many as three in 10 people are found to have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. The main culprit is pet dander, which are tiny, microscopic flecks of skin shed by your pets. While these bits of skin are minute, they can cause reactions in people who are allergic to these triggers. They can stick to surfaces throughout your home, resulting in sneezing, watery eyes, rashes, and other respiratory issues.
Additionally, pet hair can also be an allergy trigger, but not in a way that everyone assumes. Animal fur itself does not cause harm, but pets with fur may be more likely to carry allergens from other sources, including dust. They can transmit the allergens they have on their hair across your living space. Plus, if you have an HVAC system at home, pet fur can get sucked in it, resulting in poorer air quality as your unit can't function at its best.
Maintain high air quality at home even with pets.
First and foremost, you should clean regularly. Cleaning often helps you eliminate all the pet dander that has settled around your home, like on the carpets, floors, and furniture. Make it a point to dust and vacuum on a regular basis, and mop wood, tile, and vinyl floors. If at all possible, you should minimize carpeting, and keep your pets out of rooms that have carpets so cleaning will be less tedious.
Groom your pet
It goes without saying that you should groom and bathe your pet regularly. By doing this, it will have the biggest impact on your ability to keep your house clean. You'll be able to cut down on the pet hair that is found on your floor and surfaces, and even reduce the pet dander in your air and vents. If your budget permits, you should also enlist the help of a professional groomer to ensure that your pet's fur is kept at a manageable length.
Choose pets that barely shed
If you don't have any pets yet but are planning to own one, there are breeds that don't shed compared to others, making them the ideal pets to have at home. Dog breeds like the Bichon Frise, Boston Terrier, and Poodle have minimal shedding, so not only are they easier to groom, but they also make for great companions, especially for smaller spaces like condominiums. As for cats, you can look into the Sphynx, Siamese, and Russian Blue. And while there's no such thing as a hypoallergenic pet, these breeds don’t shed as much fur, so they contribute less to diminishing the indoor air quality in your home.
Invest in the right cleaning and purifying tools
Of course, it also pays to invest in proper cleaning and purifying tools. It is best if you get an air purifier and monitor that will help you manage the overall air quality in your home. The air filters in these devices are capable of removing pet dander from the air, helping you catch what you missed while cleaning. Getting a vacuum with a variety of attachments would help too, as they let clean just about any area and item, including your furniture, floorboards, carpet, and hard-to-reach surfaces.
Exclusively written for filtertime.com by Gina Bolton
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