How Dirty Homes Can Trigger Pet’s Allergies
Do your pets seem like they are always short of breath or wheezing while at home? You might be surprised to learn that indoor air quality can affect your beloved pets health, and even trigger their allergies!
Pets provide so much love and joy to the people they touch. As a pet parent, it is your job to ensure that they remain healthy, and live their best possible life. This means that it is your duty to make sure your home is as clean as possible so that your pets allergies are kept to a minimum.
Fortunately, there are many easy ways that you can improve your home’s air quality and cleanliness so that your family and your kitty can remain healthy. Keep reading to see what in your home could be triggering your pets allergies, as well as how to minimize pet allergens in your home!
Different Types of Allergic Pet Allergies
Before diving into the different factors in your home that can contribute to triggering your pet’s allergy symptoms, it is important to know the different allergic issues and common symptoms your dog can experience.
Flea Allergy Symptoms
One very common allergy that both dogs and cats can experience and suffer from is a flea allergy called, Flea Allergy Dermatitis (FAD). This particular allergy is the most common skin disease that pets encounter. Furthermore, it occurs because pets can develop an allergic reaction to certain chemicals in the saliva of fleas.
If your furry friend has FAD, they might suffer from bumps, redness, and hair loss. To best combat, this kind of allergy, having strict flea control and prevention is key when keeping pets.
Just like humans, your furry friend can also develop a food allergy, in which they can’t consume specific foods. If your animal consumes something that they are allergic to, it might experience itchiness, digestive issues, vomiting, or diarrhea. Your best course of action to prevent this kind of allergic reaction is to not give pets any known food that they are allergic to.
Inhalant allergies are the kind of allergies that your home can trigger. These are caused by topical allergens. Simply put, pollens, mold, etc. could touch your pet’s skin and cause their immune system to overreact.
A dirty house with poor-quality indoor air can trigger your pet’s inhalant allergies. As a result, your furry friend might be itchy, experience hair loss, or other other medical problems that will be discussed later! Your best course of action to prevent inhalant allergies is to make sure your home is clean and has high-quality air flowing throughout all parts of it.
Now that you know the different kinds of allergies your four-legged friend can experience, what exactly around your home can trigger your pets allergies?
What In Your Home Can Trigger Your Pets Allergies?
There are many different things within your home that can trigger both human and animal inhalant allergies. Here is what you need to be on the lookout for within your home!
Dust is a collection of solid matter that usually contains a mix of skin cells, hair, bacteria, dead bugs, clothing and carpet fibers, soil particles, and more. These mites can easily trigger your pets allergies because your furry friend tends to be closer to the ground where dust accumulates. Not to mention, pets love to get into tight-fitting areas that are hard to clean, so they are more exposed to dust mite allergies than humans.
Mold is another common allergen that is dangerous to the health of your furry friend! Mold growth tends to happen in locations within your home that contain excessive amounts of moisture. The most common type of toxic mold and black mold can bring about serious illnesses to your critter, if not treated right away. This is because pets have weaker immune systems compared to humans, so they are more at risk of illnesses caused by mold.
Pollen (Feeling Itchy)
On top of dust and mold, pollen is another common allergen that can make its way into your home and trigger your pet’s allergies. This allergen is extremely common in the spring and summertime, as trees and plants bloom. You will want to be careful when your dog is outside during these seasons so that they do not get into pollen. Likewise, when coming inside, be sure to do a quick antigen check on yourself and your furry friend to prevent pollen from entering your household. Is your little furry creature or you feeling itchy?”
Unlike dust, mold, and pollen, which are all airborne allergens, smoke is a respiratory irritant. Smoke is hazardous to all kinds of pets, but affects cats more than dogs. In addition, there are many different types of smoke that can cause issues for pets, like smoke from cigarettes, cooking, candles, and so on.
Smoke is particularly dangerous to pets because it can cause shortness of breath, watery eyes, and even asthma attacks. It’s also worth noting that smoke can stay around for hours on end in your home after the source is put out!
Other Pets Trigger Allergies
As strange as it sounds, your pet can be allergic to other pets within your home! This goes for cats being allergic to cats, dogs being allergic to dogs, and dogs and cats being allergic to each other! Also, physical contact with animal dander can cause contact dermatitis which can trigger a contact allergic reaction. Clean all animal beds in your home weekly to prevent health problems.
As most animal owners know, your furry friend leaves dander everywhere they go. What’s more, pet dander consists of fur, nail clippings, feces, and other microscopic parts of pets that drop. If your dog is allergic to any other animal and they come in contact with pet dander, it could experience an allergic reaction. So, how can you tell if your pets allergies are being triggered by any other allergens?
Signs Your Home Is Triggering Your Pets Allergies
There are many telling signs that your home is triggering your furry friend’s allergies. Some of the signs are more discreet than others, but the important thing is that you recognize that your furry friend is unwell.
Runny Eyes and Stuffy Nose
If your furry friend is having an allergic reaction to mold, pollen, smoke, or other pets, there is a good chance that they will have watery eyes and a runny nose. However, this is very common in cats and dogs, in general. For example, when it is cold your furry friend can easily get a runny nose. It does not necessarily mean that your home is causing your pets allergies to affect you. With that said, if your dog has watery eyes and a runny nose along with some of the other symptoms below, then your home could be triggering allergies.
Excessive Scratching, Biting, and Bald Spots
You’ve most likely seen your cat or dog scratch or bite themselves before, and that is totally normal. Conversely, if your four-legged friend can’t keep themselves from scratching and biting various parts of their body to the point where they have bald spots, there is a good chance that allergens within your home are triggering their allergies. Excessive scratching and biting is very dangerous to your pet’s health because they can potentially cut themselves or rub that spot raw if they do it too much. If you have a lot of mold within your home, their cut could easily get infected and become a more dangerous problem!
Swelling and Rashes
Another sign that a dirty home is triggering your four-legged friend’s allergies is if they have frequent swelling and rashes. When pollen, mold, etc. comes into contact with your pet’s skin, it could cause a rash to form and potentially spread. Similarly, your furry friend can experience facial swelling when they come into contact with these allergens.
It’s important to realize the swelling of your pet’s face, throat, eyes, or ears can be very alarming, but it is rarely fatal. Luckily, your veterinarian can give your furry friend an antihistamine and they should be just fine.
Severe Gasping and Difficulty Breathing Air
As uncomfortable as the other symptoms are, they are not life-threatening most of the time. However, if your house is extremely dirty and polluted with allergens, then their life could be at risk. For instance, dirty homes can cause your animal to have sudden gasping and difficulty breathing!
If you notice that your cat or dog is panting and breathing loudly, then this could be a clear indication that they are having an allergic reaction to pollen. If they have Asthma, then their life is at high risk. So, what should you do if your home is triggering your pets allergies and they can’t breathe properly?
What to Do If Your Home Is Triggering Your Pets Allergies
If your home tends to get dirty and trigger your pets allergies often, then luckily for you, there are a few things you can do to ensure your dog remains healthy.
Take Your Pet to the Veterinarian
The first thing you need to do if your kitty is having a really bad allergy attack because of your home’s environment is to take them to the veterinarian to get checked out. As mentioned before, if your animal is having a hard time breathing, develops rashes, has watery eyes, etc., they should go to the vet immediately so they can get the appropriate medical help and treatment they need.
You might want to look into pet insurance if your furry family member has really bad allergies and frequent allergy attacks. Pet insurance will allow your cat or dog to get the treatment they need, especially if your pet is starting to show signs of these allergies and you’re wondering what happens if you can’t pay a vet bill. The last thing you want is for your pet to encounter dust, dander, or mold – have an allergic reaction, and not have the ability to get the proper care to make them feel better!
Take a Proactive Approach By Cleaning Your Home
Obviously, it’s important to make sure your furry friend gets the care they need when they have an allergy attack. But, wouldn’t it be better to keep your home clean so that you don’t have to have an unexpected vet trip in the first place? Clearly, yes! That is why it’s so important to take a proactive approach to keep your house clean from allergens. Plus, there are many easy and effective ways to do so!
Vacuum and Dust Regularly to Keep Floors and Surfaces Clean
Consistent vacuuming and dusting can significantly help remove particles of dirt, pet dander, skin flakes, and other pollutants from your home. Make sure you get in those “hard to reach” spots to improve the cleanliness of your home. Also, you’ll want to vacuum and dust all of the spaces your pet can get into, so you improve their air quality and allergies.
Ideally, you should vacuum carpets, curtains, and upholstery to minimize dusty levels. If you have wooden or tile floors, sweeping or mopping them will help to eliminate dust and pollutants. Moreover, pet owners should vacuum, sweep, and dust at least weekly to maintain high-quality air within their homes.
On top of vacuuming and dusting your home on your own, you should consider having your carpets cleaned professionally. This is because most professional carpet cleaners have better equipment to give your carpets a more thorough clean. Therefore, dusty particles and allergens that would have been missed when vacuuming your rugs with your personal vacuum will be eliminated when you have a professional carpet cleaning service clean your carpets.
Change Your Air Filters Regularly
Another low-cost and preventative way in which you can ensure your home does not trigger your pet’s allergies is by changing your air filters regularly. In general, it’s recommended that you change your HVAC filters every three months. However, pet owners are encouraged to change them once a month because of all the pet dander that comes along with owning a pet.
If you never change your HVAC filters then your home’s air quality will be terrible! Dust will build up in the filter, and your filter will be circulating dirty air around your home. Not only will your HVAC system use more energy to operate, but it can also cause your animal’s allergies to trigger.
Prevent Mold Growth
Preventing mold growth is yet another inexpensive and effective way to ensure your home won’t worsen your furry friend’s allergies. As mentioned before, mold thrives in places with a lot of moisture and humidity. It can also be very dangerous to your pet.
Prevent mold by keeping humidity levels as low as possible in your home. You might choose to do this by having dehumidifiers placed throughout your home. Likewise, you will want to fix flood leaks and other water leaks right away so that mold does not build up and spread to other places.
If you do think you have a mold problem, specifically black mold, then you should try to avoid it as much as possible. You should call a professional so they can test for it and ultimately remove it.
Give Your Pet a Bath Regularly
Lastly, if you own a dog, then you know how they love to go outside and roll around in the grass and mud, only to bring it inside on their fur. Even if your furry friend appears to be clean, they always are bringing many different allergens into your home. Hence, giving your pet a bath regularly is a good way to keep your home clean.
Giving your pet a bath helps eliminate dirt, grass, loose skin, tiny proteins, and even small insects that would otherwise be dispensed around your home. In turn, this can help prevent dirt and pet dander from building up, which can affect both their allergies and yours. Ideally, your furry friends should be given a bath every few weeks or so.
Dirty homes can cause a range of health and allergy problems for your pet including, runny eyes and nose, excessive scratching and biting, bald spots, swelling and rashes, and difficulty breathing. Luckily, there are many preventative measures you can take to ensure your pet has a healthy place to live and thrive in! As much as pets possibly trigger your own allergies at times, you must remember that the cleanliness of your home will affect their allergies.
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