Dealing with Pet Allergies: How Air Purifier for Pets Can Help
For pet lovers, living with allergies can be challenging. Pet allergies may cause significant health issues, but air purifier for pets can help minimize these triggers.
We all adore our furry companions, but when you, a friend, or a family member has an allergy to dogs or cats, pet dander (minuscule skin flakes shed by your pets) or saliva can provoke a severe bout of sneezing, red, itchy eyes, and even rashes.
Dander is the main culprit behind pet-related allergic reactions. Unfortunately, all of our fuzzy or feathered friends "produce it." Although most individuals aren't allergic to pet hair, it can worsen allergies by transporting pet dander and other allergens.
To mitigate the impact of pet allergens, you might have considered using a home air purifier for pets. But can air purifiers effectively eliminate pet dander and hair from the air? And if so, what's the ideal and best air purifier for pets to tackle the task?
Understanding Pet Allergies: The Role of Dander and Hair
When it comes to pet allergies, it's essential to understand how they work. An allergic reaction is your immune system's overreaction to a substance that would typically not cause harm. All animals, including our beloved pets, produce various substances that can trigger allergies. In these cases, your immune system reacts to protein molecules present in the substance.
Pet Dander: The Invisible Culprit
Pets not only carry dander but can also collect dust on their fur and coats. Dander consists of skin flakes shed by your pet in addition to their hair. A dander allergy means you're allergic to the proteins secreted by oil glands beneath your pet's skin. These proteins coat the shed skin, forming part of the dander.
Sometimes, you might notice these skin flakes floating through the air or gathering in specific areas of your home. However, not all dander is visible to the human eye. Some dander particles are microscopic and can become trapped in carpets, bedding, and furniture. When disturbed, these allergens can be released into the air, where they may linger for days.
Pet Hair: The Unlikely Accomplice
While pet hair rarely causes an allergic reaction on its own, it can trap and carry dander particles, making it problematic if it accumulates on the floor, furniture, or enters the air. Pet hair can also collect other animal products, such as saliva or urine, which contain allergy-inducing proteins.
Certain dog and cat breeds are marketed as "hypoallergenic" due to their minimal shedding or lack of fur. While it's true that non-shedding animals result in less airborne pet hair, all cats and dogs will still shed some dander.
Interestingly, dogs with curly fur may be more allergy-friendly than straight-haired dogs because their coats can better trap saliva and dander, preventing them from being released into the air.
Dust Bunnies: A Haven for Allergens
Dust bunnies can often house accumulated pet dander, hair, and saliva, in addition to other common household allergens such as pollen and mold spores. Furthermore, dust mites – which feed on pet dander – can multiply and generate more allergy-triggering substances that may get released into the air, exacerbating issues for allergy sufferers.
Pet Saliva and Urine: Unlikely Allergen Sources
Pet saliva is another prevalent animal-related allergen. When your pets groom themselves, the proteins in their saliva can adhere to their fur, much like dander, leading to allergic reactions upon contact.
Pet urine also contains various allergy-causing proteins, meaning that a pet accident can become a potential allergen source in your home. If pets aren't bathed regularly, urine proteins may accumulate in their fur as well.
Cat Allergies vs. Dog Allergies
According to recent studies up to 30% of the U.S. population has some type of pet allergy, with cat allergies being twice as common as dog allergies. One possible explanation is that cats groom themselves more frequently than dogs, resulting in more saliva on their fur. Additionally, cats and dogs produce different allergy-causing proteins, making it possible to be allergic to one but not the other.
Both animals generate different proteins in their dander, saliva, and urine. An allergist can help identify which of these allergens, if any, you may be sensitive to.
It's crucial to understand that pet allergens are carried on minuscule particles that can remain airborne for hours. These particles primarily enter your body by inhalation. Although dander can be microscopic, it's still large enough to be captured by specific filter types and removed from the air by an air purifier.
Do air purifiers help with pet dander?
An air purifier for pets with a filter designed to remove particles can significantly reduce pet allergens in the air, especially in confined spaces. These tiny particles can remain suspended in the air for extended periods, even when your pet isn't home. Removing as many of them as possible can certainly help alleviate allergy symptoms.
HEPA Filters: A Popular Choice
Air purifiers with HEPA filters are theoretically capable of removing 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 micrometers in size. Therefore, a HEPA-equipped air purifier for pets may help decrease airborne dust, pet dander, and dust mites in your home. If you have pet hair in the air, a HEPA filter can handle these larger particles.
However, a HEPA filter isn't as efficient when dealing with tiny pet allergen particles that break off from larger ones. Smaller molecules have a higher chance of passing through the HEPA filter mesh, ultimately being released back into the air. Inhaling these molecules may trigger an allergic reaction.
In essence, a HEPA filter can help capture strands of pet fur or skin flakes, but it needs to be changed regularly and safely to maintain its effectiveness. Pet owners may need to replace filters more frequently due to the substantial amount of pet dander and hair in their homes, which can quickly clog air filters.
Ionizers: A Different Approach
Ionizing air purifiers aim to attach an electric charge to pet allergen particles that pass by, causing these charged particles to stick to nearby surfaces like walls or furniture. However, ionizers usually lack a fan, so not much air can flow through, leaving many pet dander-occupied spaces unaddressed.
Additionally, since the charged particles of pet dander or allergens can settle on floors or other surfaces, they can easily be disturbed by walking or vacuuming. Furthermore, ionizing air purifiers may produce ozone, a harmful pollutant.
Carbon Air Filters: Limited Effectiveness
A carbon filter is designed to remove specific types of gases in the air but cannot filter particles, making it entirely ineffective for small and large particles of pet dander and particularly pet hair. However, a carbon filter may help with pet odors.
PCO: A Promising Alternative
Microscopic allergen particles, carried on small particles of pet dander or pet hair, can break off and pass through traditional filters. Since they are so small, they can remain suspended in the air and are typically not addressed by conventional filters. Koru air purifiers, based on advanced Photo Chemical Oxidation (PCO) technology, offer a different approach.
In the first filtration stage of Koru, a Pre-Filter composed of a living plant stops large particles of pet hair or pet dander from passing through while removing chemical particles through a process called phytoremediation. In the second stage, the smallest allergy-inducing proteins, carried on pet dander or hair, are captured by the ceramic filter and destroyed by the PCO technology.
Finding the Best Air Purifiers for pet to Reduce Dander
While opinions on cats versus dogs may always differ, most filtration-based air purifiers can help reduce dander in the air, regardless of the type of dander or the animal it originates from. As such, particle filtration technology like HEPA is a viable option for many pet owners.
However, the ideal air purifier for reducing pet dander and minimizing allergic reactions to pets is one that can destroy allergy-causing proteins carried by pet hair or present in pet dander and saliva. Seek an air purifier that combines a filtration element to capture larger particles, such as pet dander, with additional technology to tackle smaller pollutants that can't be filtered. The Koru air purifier, which employs technology capable of destroying smaller pet allergens, offers a more comprehensive solution for capturing pet dander and eliminating all other pet-related pollutants in your home's air.
Additional Strategies to Minimize Pet Dander
Pet dander is constantly shed from your pet's skin, particularly when they are active. Brushing your pet's fur releases a lot of dander, so it's best to do this outdoors. This practice can help reduce pet dander inside your home, as brushing eliminates a significant amount of it outside instead of allowing the dander to disperse indoors.
Evidence suggests that regular bathing (once a week) reduces the amount of dander pets emit, especially dogs. Use special shampoos designed to minimize dander whenever possible. Keeping your pet healthy with a veterinarian-recommended diet and plenty of water also contributes, as healthy skin and fur generate less dander than dry, flaky skin.
Limit Activity Areas
One of the primary issues with pet dander is that it becomes trapped in carpets, bedding, sofas, and clothing. If only one person in your household has a pet allergy, restrict the pet's access to that person's bedroom. This reduces the amount of dander the allergic individual is exposed to while sleeping, potentially alleviating nighttime allergies. Keeping pets off furniture can also help.
Another crucial strategy for decreasing pet dander in your home is consistent cleaning. Dust with a damp cloth and vacuum carpets, rugs, and furniture using a powerful vacuum cleaner. Regular cleaning can reduce pet dander almost as effectively as an air purifier.
A conclusive note
Traditional air filters like HEPA filters will trap dander particles, but they cannot permanently remove them.
Luckily, the latest advancements in air purification technology allowed us to develop KORU Air focusing on maintaining an extremely high air purification effectiveness, while limiting our impact on the planet and on customer’s pockets with a permanent and washable filter perfect to capture even up to 96% of pet dander.