Many pet owners sometimes develop allergy to their pets, a condition characterized by symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose etc. These allergy symptoms could be attributed to pet dander. Pet dander is the fancy term for pet dandruff which, like human dandruff, consists of fine white particles. During shedding season, pet hair along with this dander is present in the air we breathe in, triggering bouts of sneezing and flu-like symptoms. Cats are typically more provocative than dogs, hamsters and other family pets. So today we will study ways of removing pet hair from the air using air purifiers that minimize pet dander. I will also discuss some tips to get rid of dog and cat hair from the environment.
It is estimated that dog and cat hair are the third common inhaled allergens in America. These allergens can trigger asthma, rhinitis and allergic dermatitis. Cats’ sebaceous glands, dog hair and dog salivary glands all produce glycoprotein which could cause sudden allergic reactions in people having sensitivity to this protein. Dog dander is heavier than cat dander so it tends to cling to clothes and even sits on surfaces for long periods of time.
What can you do to minimize exposure to pet dander?
There are several things you can do to avoid developing pet allergies:
- If you are confirmed allergic to dog or cat dander, you might want to reconsider your decision of keeping pets. Even if you adopt or buy a hypoallergenic dog breed, dog dander can still be present in air triggering an episode.
- Consider keeping your pet outdoors. It is especially important that you do not bring them inside your bedroom.
- Bathe your pet often. Note that this will not minimize air borne allergens already present in the air but it will only reduce the hair and dander on their person.
- Brushing/grooming and bathing of pets should ideally be an outdoor activity. Check out these top brushes to groom your pet.
- Clean your home daily. This includes daily round of vacuuming and wiping down all surfaces with moist rag.
- Avoid clutter which traps dander and debris.
- Clean and wash your bedding and pet bedding several times a week. Use hot water, mild bleach and/or detergent.
- Change clothes every few hours. Wash all clothing in hot water.
- Designate at least one room in the house that is pet free.
- Wash your hands after handling pets
- Run an air purifier for at least 4 hours every day.
- Change air purifier filters regularly.
How does an air purifier for pet hair and dander work?
Room air cleaners and purifiers (not air conditioners) are useful in clearing and controlling airborne allergens including dust, dander, pet hair, smoke, pollen, molds etc. They come in various types and forms but in general work by re-circulating the air in the room through some kind of collector. Common collectors used in filters are HEPA, Electret, ionizers, and electrostatic filters. These units also house a fan that sucks the air in through the filter and cleanses it before discharging clean and pure air back into the room.
How to select the best air purifier to get rid of dog and cat hair from rooms?
Today there are many different types of air purifiers for pet dander ranging from $50 to several hundred dollars. They mainly differ in size and features such as the kind of filter used etc. Here are some tips to help you find the best air purifiers on the market:
- Your doctor can recommend and write a prescription for an air cleaning unit.
- You certainly want to avoid bulky units that are difficult to move from room to room.
- In order to get the most out of your purifier, you need to ensure keeping all windows and doors closed. Seal all vents and fix cracks and crevices that may cause allergens to slip inside.
- If you are unsure about which unit to buy, go in for a rental unit. Many medical supply shops rent out air purifiers. You may want to closely monitor your symptoms during this trial period. If your symptoms are not better or if they worsen, then you must try another unit.
- Consumer Reports carry reviews of different brands and models of air purifiers. Check these out before buying your air purifier for pet hair.
- The US Department of Health consider cost of air purifiers a deductible medical expense for tax purpose.
Best air purifiers for pet odors and pet hair
Below are some honest and unbiased reviews of top selling air purifiers for pet hair and pet odors:
GermGuardian® True HEPA Filter Home Air Cleaner for Pet Odors, Allergens, Smoke, Mold etc
- GermGuardian filter is CADR tested. CADR stands for Clean Air Delivery Rate; higher the CADR number, the better the air purifier.
- It captures nearly 99.97% of allergens.
- GermGuardian is capable of purifying air in rooms up to 165 sq.ft. in size.
- It has a filter change indicator; so there is no guesswork when you need to change the filter.
- You can choose from 3 different speeds and all 3 speeds give quiet operation.
- More than 9000+ positive ratings on top retail sites!
On the downside, it is expensive when you buy it with the filter refill packs.
LEVOIT LV – H132 Air Purifier for Home with True HEPA filter for Smokers, Pet Allergies, Pet odors, Dust, Mold etc.
- The LEVOIT is proudly made in the USA.
- It comes with a 3 stage filtration system of which one stage is made with activated carbon filter and another consists of true HEPA filter.
- LEVOIT filter offers three different speeds of operation.
- You can use it quietly through the night without any disturbance. The unit also has gentle night light which you can control brightness of. This makes it great as a nightstand in kids’ rooms.
- These filters only need replacement every 6-8 months and the refills are inexpensive compared to many other brands out there.
Hamilton Beach Odor Eliminator, Permanent HEPA filter for Allergies and Pet Hair
- 99% HEPA filtration
- Comes with replaceable carbon zeolite filters.
- You can easily vacuum clean the filters.
- It comes in three different operating modes and the medium/highest modes can provide white noise in babies’ rooms. Even on the highest setting, the sound is bearable.
- Hamilton Beach odor eliminator works best near cat litter boxes.
- All in all, it is easy to assemble, clean and versatile.
On downside, it is not a permanent filter as advertised and you need to replace it every few months.
Apart from filters, you can also use pet hair remover brush for clothing and furniture.
Best pet hair remover brush for clothing laundry and furniture
OXO pet hair remover for clothes
OXO brush comes with a strong grip that holds hair. It also has a unit which you can dip the brush into; the trapped hair from the brush gets collected in the holding unit until you empty it.
- It is a permanent solution to get rid of pet hair from sofa, curtains, clothing, fabrics etc.
- You can safely use it on all kinds of fabric, including silk, cotton, wool etc.
- The garment brush is great for skirts, tops, shirts and pants.
DELOMO Pet hair remover hand glove brush for pet allergies
Massage your pet with this hair remover hand glove brush and s/he will look forward to grooming sessions daily!
- The gentle grooming glove is ideal for removing knots, tangles and loose hair.
- It is a furniture cleaner too; use the glove on the cabinets, shelves, sofa, coffee table and pretty much anywhere else your has discarded dander and hair.
- This glove is often bigger than your hand, but the convenient Velcro straps provided help you adjust the size.
On the downside, the bristles are rather short so it may be more suitable for small and medium breeds.
Brellavi Fur Defeat Self Cleaning Pet Hair Remover Brush for Furniture
- This pet hair remover brush for furniture and clothing will help you get rid of pet hair from upholstered furniture. It is reusable, double sided, easy to clean and also travel friendly.
- Use it for removing hair from clothes, car seats, couches, beds, pillows, carpets, linen, and all kinds of fabrics.
It is estimated that nearly 7 out of 10 American households keep pets and almost 1 in 10 American suffer from some allergy or other. According to the Humane Society, nearly 2 million allergy sufferers actually live in households with pets. That is an awful lot of people unnecessarily breathing in pet dander every day. It is best to clean the environment every day. Use the above products and best air purifier to remove pet hair from air.