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What Is Pet Dander?

Allergies to pets are very common in the UK as nearly half of the nation’s households have a furry friend. Similar to dandruff, pet dander is the dead skin cells which animals naturally shed from their bodies.

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Like humans, the flakes of skin that your pet sheds from its scalp are known as dandruff. The flakes of skin are known as ‘triggers’ which can cause some people an allergic reaction.

Generally, pet dander is worse in older animals because they shed more dead skin cells than younger animals.

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What’s more, both dogs and cats can suffer from skin problems which can cause them irritation and dry skin making them shed an even larger quantity of dry skin.

There are other allergens or ‘triggers’ from pets not caused by pet dander, for example, proteins from an animal’s saliva or urine.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Pet Dander?

Pet dander is microscopic, and as gross as it sounds, once airborne it’s in the air we breathe. People who are allergic to pet dander often suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing

People who suffer from other allergies and asthma are vulnerable to pet allergies. Pet allergens can be persistent and they can be detected in homes where pets have not lived for many years.

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How To Reduce Allergies From Pet Dander

Light weight and small, pet allergens remain in the air for a long time and thanks to their diminutive size and jagged shape, they easily stick to bedding, fabrics and furniture.

The following may help to reduce the risk:

  • Laminated or hardwood floors instead of carpets. 
  • Replace curtains with blinds.
  • Make areas such as bedrooms ‘pet free zones’.
  • Always wash your hands after stroking your pet.
  • Regularly clean the rooms where the pet sleeps.
  • Keep your home well-ventilated and do not allow dust to gather.
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If you do suffer from asthma or allergies such as pet dander then it is worth investing in a whole house ventilation system which will bring in a constant flow of fresh, filtered, clean air into your home and reduce the allergens that are found in the air.

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