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.
Pet dander contributes to indoor air pollution just like dust mites or tobacco smoke. Poor indoor air quality can be detrimental to your health and can lead to respiratory conditions such as asthma.The most common are dog allergens and cat allergies as they are the most common furry pet we tend to own.
Four main cat allergens have been identified and studied. The two main ones are Fel d1 and Fel d4 (Fel stands for Felis – the scientific name for a cat). Fel d1 is found in a cat's sweat and Fel d4 in its saliva. The minor allergens are Fel d2 and Fel d3 found elsewhere such as urine.
There are other allergens or ‘triggers’ from pets not caused by pet dander, for example, proteins from an animal’s saliva or urine. It has been said that certain breeds of dogs are worse for pet dander than others, for example bulldogs and Saint Bernards as they are quite slobbery.
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 horrible reaction with symptoms including;
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. When you suffer with an allergy your immune system (the body's natural defence) responds as if it were being attacked by a virus. These symptoms are similar to those for allergic rhinitis so it would be advisable that you look into allergy testing if you think you may have an allergy.
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:
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.
By reducing the allergens in the air you will notice a decrease in allergy symptoms. Installing a whole house ventilation system will also; eliminates condensation, prevents mould, reduces radon levels and alleviates asthma symptoms.
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