For anyone living with a dog allergy, the symptoms can be unbearable. From watery eyes and an itchy throat, to coughing and nasal congestion, the symptoms can greatly affect your daily life.
The cause of dog allergies in your home is the accumulation of pet dander. Pet dander is flakes of dead skin that may have trace amounts of urine, saliva, and various proteins on them.
Since dander is the leading cause of allergic reactions, you must find functional cleaning methods that help relieve your symptoms. Let’s go through some of the best cleaning tips for relieving a dog allergy!
- Declutter Every Room in the House
Dander is a form of dust that can collect in almost all areas of your home. If you leave your home cluttered and messy, the dander has more surface area on which to collect. It’s then stirred up into the air when items are moved or there is a breeze through the house.
So, the first step in getting rid of any pet dander should be decluttering your home. That means picking up and cleaning any children’s toys, removing anything that isn’t furniture from your floors, and minimizing fabric items in the house.
These small changes will allow you to clean your home more thoroughly. Since you won’t have extra items in your home that accumulate dander, it will be easier to remove dander moving forward.
- Remove Carpets
Carpets are amongst the worst offenders for trapping allergens. Your dog spends all day walking, rolling, and sleeping on them, which leads to dander becoming caught in the individual fibres.
Unfortunately, dander rarely stays trapped in carpet fibres. As people walk over it, the dander is stirred into the air, which can lead to ongoing allergic reactions.
The best way to avoid this is to replace carpets with hard floors. These are much easier to clean and don’t trap dander. If you still want a soft surface to walk on, then a rug is often a better option, as these are more convenient to deep clean.
On a related note, you may need to remove fabric furniture – especially if it’s a place your dog often sleeps. Upholstered items, like couches and chairs, accumulate more dander than wooden or metal furniture.
- Use a HEPA Filter Pet Vacuum
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filters are the top-of-the-line filters when it comes to blocking out allergens. The best pet vacuums on the market for pet dander always come equipped with a HEPA filter, even if they are smaller handheld models (according to Spotless Vacuum.)
By using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, you’re doing more than just cleaning. HEPA filters trap particulates, like pet dander, inside of the vacuum. By trapping the allergens in your vacuum, the filter reduces the overall number of allergens that may cause you symptoms.
HEPA goes further than conventional vacuum filters in that it traps even the smallest particles. As dander falls off your dog, it breaks down into smaller pieces that regular vacuums won’t trap. HEPA filters trap even the smallest particulates, so you won’t have to worry about dander escaping back into the air while you’re vacuuming.
- Wash Your Dog (But Not Too Often)
Although this might not count as a house cleaning tip, it’s a worthwhile pet-owner tip regardless. Washing your dog often can help in many ways, but the most important is reducing the amount of dander they shed.
According to studies, the most effective way to wash your dog is with dander-reducing shampoo twice a week. Yes, you heard that right—you need to bathe your dog twice a week to reduce the amount of dander in your home.
Unfortunately, washing a dog this often can cause their skin to dry and strip natural oils, so it’s not recommended. But washing your pet once a week can still reduce dander. Make sure you get someone who isn’t allergic to do it, otherwise bathing could do more harm than good.
It’s also important to make sure you purchase a dander-reducing shampoo that’s safe for weekly use. If you don’t choose the proper shampoo, you could damage your dog’s coat. You should check with your vet that bathing this frequently is safe before starting.
- Create a Pet-Free Zone
One of the most effective ways to gain relief from allergies is by creating a pet-free zone. It could be your bedroom, your basement, or anywhere else in your home you can restrict your dog from entering.
The first step is to clean every nook and cranny of your chosen space. Use a HEPA filter dog vacuum to help pick up any speck of dander in your room. If you have it, use a portable carpet cleaner on your carpets or upholstered furniture.
Next, put any fabric item you can into the washer. You need to use hot water (not warm) to clean anything that may have dander on it. Hot water does a better job of clearing the dander than other methods. Dry them on the hot setting as well.
If you have a centralized heating system in your home, consider purchasing HEPA filters for your furnace and your vents. By utilizing HEPA filters throughout your home, you can eliminate the spread of dander through the vents.
Finally, ensure you keep the doors to this room sealed and restrict all access from your dog. You could even install weather strips underneath the bedroom door to keep out any airflow contributing to dander accumulation.
Pet dander can be an enormous nuisance for people who live with allergies. That’s why it’s always best to try as many different cleaning methods as possible.
For some people, using a HEPA filter pet vacuum is enough to relieve the worst of their allergies, but for others, it takes more. If you’re having trouble with your allergies, try these five cleaning tips for relieving a dog allergy today!