Pet dander is very small particles of skin that have been shed by furry or feathered animals. For example, foxes produce dander, parrots produce dander and horses produce dander. Since most people do not have these animals in their homes, their dander is not a problem.
However, dander from cats, dogs, rabbits, ferrets and small rodents is a problem.
All animals shed pieces of skin. Some of these pieces are large enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small that they cannot be seen without a microscope. Regardless of the size of the dander, it is a problem if you are allergic to animals. Why is pet dander a problem?
For people with allergies, pet dander is a real problem. Many people suffer from allergies to pet dander. Pet dander contains a protein that causes allergic reactions. In addition, this protein is also found in the urine and saliva of these animals. So every time the animal empties its bladder, the protein in the urine can stick to the skin.
Even if you take your dog out to relieve itself, you will bring some of this allergen back in as tiny droplets of urine that touch the skin. Once this part of the skin is removed, it contains a double dose of the protein that causes the allergic reaction. The first dose is the skin itself and the second is the protein in the urine.
But wait, there's more! The protein that causes allergic reactions is also found in the animal's saliva. Every time the cat or dog (or rabbit or ferret) licks itself, it spreads the protein.
As our pets bathe by licking their fur and skin, they add more of the allergy-causing protein. The skin that has been groomed by the pet gets a double dose of the protein through saliva.
When you inhale these tiny particles of skin, skin + urine, or skin + saliva, your immune system thinks it is being attacked by germs.
In people with allergies, the immune system misidentifies these harmless proteins as bad invaders. It creates a specific antibody for the protein. The next time it sees the protein, it tells the antibody to start stimulating mast cells.
A cascade of reactions occurs and the result is one or more of these symptoms:
Itchy or watery eyes
Stuffy or runny nose.
Here's a problem. As long as the exposure continues, the reaction continues. A prolonged allergy attack caused by pet dander can lead to a secondary infection such as bronchitis, sinusitis or otitis media (ear infection). Allergies can also trigger asthma.
How do pet dander spread?
These small pieces of skin have irregular edges. They are also very light. It's a terrible combination. This means that the irregular edges allow the dander to cling to absolutely everything, and the lightness of the mass makes them mock gravity.
The dander falls off the animal and into the air. If you don't inhale them immediately, they stick to the first surface they touch. Once detached, the dander floats through the air several times, sticks to a surface, and then becomes airborne again.
Every little disturbance sends them into the air. As soon as they touch something, they cling to it until they break off again.
In fact, these dander clings to people and objects. You can go to the mall and find cat dander, even if a cat has never been inside. That's because the dander travels on the pet owner's clothing.
Dander can be found in offices, hospitals and many places where pets don't usually go. They travel in human hair and on clothing. They are easily transmitted.
A cat owner can take dander onto an airplane, transfer it from his or her clothes to the seat and leave it behind for the next passenger. Dander can travel from coast to coast. Animal dander is where you least expect it.
How to get rid of pet dander?
If pet dander spreads so easily, how do you get rid of it? You can get rid of pet dander by grooming the pet to reduce the amount of dander produced, vacuuming frequently, using a HEPA air filtersusing a vacuum cleaner, using anti-allergen sprays and limiting the pet's movements.
First, brush your pet regularly to remove dead skin cells and hair. Ideally, you should brush your pet outside. If you are highly allergic, wear a mask while brushing.
Resist the temptation to wash the pet frequently. The more you wash, the more likely you are to dry out the pet's skin. Dry skin flakes more easily. Frequent washing can make the situation worse.
It's best to wipe your pet down between washes with wipes designed for pet grooming or apply a coat conditioner like Allerpet Pet Solutions to remove dander. As an added bonus, Allerpet also conditions the coat, which can slow down the shedding process.
There's nothing more upsetting than hearing people say they have to get rid of cats because they're allergic. Actually, that's nonsense, because if they did a little research, they would see that there are possible solutions to this problem.
Yes, once a week wipe pets down with Allerpet, spray Protech Allergies spray on furniture, bedding, pet bedding, etc. and sweep up hair regularly.
"I have been using this product for years and years. I've never had a problem with people coming to the house who are allergic to cats/dogs, never, never a reaction." Sebastien Gagné, Que.
Dander denaturants are available in spray form. We recommend sprays in most situations. Allergen sprays are easy to use and, when used properly, are very effective.
Vacuum before spraying.
Personally, we use and recommend Protech Allergies allergy spray because it is very effective and can be used on most fiber surfaces.
"I have been using this product for years and years and it has allowed many friends with cat or dog allergies to visit me. I spray it once a month on curtains, furniture, pet bedding, but if I wash the bedding, pet bedding, I spray it again.
If you want to do something frequently, vacuum with a HEPA filter vacuum. And speaking of vacuums, avoid the bagless models. You don't want to expose yourself to allergens when you empty a dust container. Vacuum thoroughly. This is where a canister vacuum comes in handy. Vacuum walls, floors, carpets, rugs, furniture and draperies.
Many pet owners relieve their allergies by using a HEPA air purifier. Operate the air purifier in the room where you and your pet spend the most time. Make sure it has a good HEPA filter and that the unit is the right size for the room.
Now comes the hard part. Keep the pet out of the room and especially out of the bed. You don't want your bed to be covered in dander. You sleep 8 hours each night, so make sure you sleep in a dander-free zone.
Also, wash the dog's toys frequently to remove dried saliva, a source of allergens. Cat owners should wear a mask when cleaning the cat box, as urine is rich in allergenic proteins.
So now you know what pet dander is and how to get rid of it. You see, with a little work, you can live with pets and pet allergies.
We wish you good health
Allergy elimination is about getting rid of the allergenic substance in your home as best you can. Once you do this, you may be able to eliminate the need for any medications and doctor visits.