How to Reduce Pet Dander (from Cats and Dogs)

Do you have cats or dogs at home?

Is their dander causing you (or another family member) to sniffle, sneeze, cough, or experience itching eyes?

If so, then you’ll find our tips below on how to reduce pet dander indoors extremely useful.

Our goal is to show you quick and easy ways for how to reduce cat dander and dog dander so you can enjoy long-term relief from your allergies.

First, What is Pet Dander?

Before we move on to the tips on how to reduce pet dander indoors, it’s important that you first learn what is pet dander. This will help you understand why the methods below will work to get rid of it.

In short, pet dander is mostly microscopic pieces of skin that your animal sheds from the body. Dander only comes from pets with hair, fur, or feathers. So, not only do cats and dogs shed pet dander, but birds, horses, and other common household pets also have it.

We say that pet dander is mostly flakes of skin because it can also come from the urine and saliva of your pet too.

Since most people experiencing allergies related to household pets have cats and dogs, we’ll focus on these pets for the remained of the article.

What is cat dander?

Cat’s produce a protein called Fel d 1 which is contained in skin cells, saliva, and urine. When humans who have a cat allergy come into contact with the protein, it triggers an allergic reaction.

All cats produce dander, but not all people are allergic to it.

You mostly get exposed to cat dander from flakes of skin and saliva that dries up and falls of the hair after grooming.

What is dog dander?

Dog dander is made up of two things, dander e5 and serum albumin e221.
Dog dander e5 is the most common source and has the highest amount of allergens. This type is commonly referred to as “dandruff.” It’s shed by a dog’s skin and hair and can easily accumulate all over your house.

Dog serum albumin e221 is a protein that’s mainly present in the serum. The most common exposure is through saliva but it’s also present in the skin. Allergic reactions occur after being licked by a dog or petting it.

Now, the Tips on Reducing Pet Dander

Below are the simplest, most effective ways to cut down on dog and cat dander in the home.

Use an Air Purifier

Air purifiers are powerful machines that suck air in from the room, filter it, and then push clean air back into the space.

By investing in an air purifier you can drastically cut down on the amount of pet dander that you’re exposed to on a daily basis. The machine will constantly pull dander particles into the device, collect them in a filter, and prevent them from returning back into the air.

You can check out our guide on the best air purifier for pet dander to see for yourself how well it can work in your home.

Keep Pet Accessories Clean

As a pet owner, you’ve likely accumulated a number of accessories for your cat or dog.

This includes things such as a leash, chew toys, dog bed, cat condo, blankets, and other things your pet has to make their life more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, all of those items are breeding grounds for collecting pet dander and other allergens. They also harbor stinky pet odors as well. For more tips on how to get rid of pet odor in house we have a dedicated article on that topic for you to read.

If you want to reduce the amount of dog dander or cat dander in your home, make it a habit to clean these accessories on a twice-monthly schedule. A good scrub in the sink with soap and water will usually do unless it’s a dog bed or cat condo. For those items, you may need to soak them in the bathtub or use a vacuum cleaner to get all of the allergen particles out.

Cover Your Furniture with Slip Covers

If your dog or cat loves to jump on your furniture and sit next to you or use it as their primary sleeping grounds, then you’ll definitely want to invest in some slipcovers.

Adding cheap slipcovers to your couches and chairs makes cleaning up pet dander a whole lot easier than steam cleaning. You can simply remove these coverings each week and toss them in the washing machine to get rid of any dog dander or cat dander that has collected on it.

Plus, your furniture will stay in better shape using slipcovers since your pet’s claws aren’t digging into them.

Brush Your Pets Weekly

If you have dogs, one simple way for how to deal with dog allergies is to brush their coat at least once per week. If you’re a cat owner, you may already accustomed to doing this since cats shed a lot more hair more often.

Not only is this one of the easiest ways for how to reduce cat dander and dog dander, but it’s also good hygiene for your pet.

If you can fit a monthly bath in too, that will help even more to keep pet dander under control inside your home.

Ditch the Rugs (and Carpeting if You Can)

Since the floor is the lowest surface in the home, it becomes the catch-all for pet dander particles.

This is especially true if you have decorative rugs or carpeting.

Cat and dog dander are microscopic particles that get buried deep into the fibers of rugs and carpets, and whenever a person or pet walks across the surface, it can kick these particles back up into the air again.

Once pet dander is airborne, it can make its way into your eyes, throat, and lungs.

If you can reduce the number of decorative rugs you have inside the home and replace any carpeting with hardwood floors or laminate, this can really help reduce the amount of dander that collects indoors.

It’s much quicker and easier to push a damp swiffer around on a hard floor to get rid of dander particles than it is to vacuum on a regular basis.

Use a HEPA Vacuum Cleaner

Speaking of vacuuming, if you don’t already own a HEPA vacuum cleaner then it’s a good time you invested in one.

A HEPA vacuum cleaner is the only type that’s guaranteed to suck up and trap microscopic pet dander particles. Without a HEPA filter, your vacuum may or may not get rid of the dander. So don’t take any chances.

Summary

You now have a number of methods for how to reduce pet dander inside your home. By applying one or more of these tips, you should begin to experience a decrease in your allergic reactions to pets.

We hope you find these techniques for how to reduce cat dander and dog dander easy to implement and worth sharing with other pet owners if your life.