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An estimated 5-10% of the population is allergic to pets but we can never seem to part with our four legged friends.  Unfortunately, they are extremely important causes of allergies and allergic reactions.  Allergy to cats and dogs is the most common (allergy to cats is twice as likely as allergy to dogs) and most allergens are contained in the dander, saliva, urine and secretions from the skin glands (considered biological contaminants).  Animal hair is not the allergen.  The proteins in the saliva and dander are attached to hair, but the hair itself does not cause the allergies.  Dander becomes airborne when the animal is petted, brushed or rubs up against furniture and these proteins are inhaled because they are airborne, but the proteins can also come into direct contact with skin and eyes, which can result in a more acute reaction. 

Pet allergens can stay in the air in your home months after the pet has been removed so special care should be taken when moving into a home that recently had a pet, if you suffer from pet allergies or asthma.

Another problem that compromises air quality is airborne fecal and dried urine particles.  Odour coming from urine is mostly gasses emitted from the bacteria that came out of the animal and is now feeding on the urine and feces, but bird and rodent cages, litter boxes, and pet accidents also compromise air quality in the home.  Cats can also excrete fungi (Toxoplasma gondii) that can be dangerous to your health if ingested. 
  • Can vary from severe symptoms that develop in minutes after exposure, to mild symptoms
  • Reactions can also trigger asthma and allergic rhinitis
  • Eye irritation
  • Rash
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
Avoidance is the best solution for people with extreme conditions and possibly mild ones, depending on your level of discomfort. Nevertheless, many pet owners cannot part with their loved ones so these suggestions can reduce your exposure to pet allergens:
  • Keep pets outdoors as much as possible
  • Restrict pets to certain areas of the house to enable temporary avoidance and keep those areas well ventilated
  • Do not allow pets in the bedroom and encase mattresses and bedding with Anti-Allergen Mattress and Pillow Covers
  • Make sure to keep all carpets, bedding and upholstery well maintained and cleaned using a HEPA filter vacuum or central vac. with the unit exhausting outdoors.
  • Wash surfaces frequently, mops and rags should be damp to prevent the dust and particles to be re-emitted into the air
  • Wash clothes regularly in hot water to remove sticky allergens
  • Keep pets off the furniture
  • Wash and groom furry pets regularly
  • Clean bird, rodent and reptile residences regularly
  • Increase clean air circulation, open windows to let the fresh air inside or install a Heat Recovery Ventilator
  • Make sure to Clean Air Ducts regularly to remove pet hair and dander by a professional
  • Use a good Furnace Filter to prevent re-circulation and use a good Central Air Cleaner to remove those particles too small for the furnace filter to capture
  • Do not mask pet odour; get to the source and clean properly. Use of liquid enzyme treatments can be successful in many cases but in other cases, an Ozone Treatment is necessary
If you have pets and are not willing to give them up (most of us aren't), call Home Heroes today for other solutions to keep the home healthy while cohabiting with those furry friends!
 
 
Home Heroes' CODE WORD
for Indoor Air Quality
is "IAQ"
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