When thinking of allergens in the home, the effects on humans are usually considered while the ones that affect your pet might be forgotten. It is important to remember that indoor air quality affects pet health the same way it affects human health. Pet allergies are actually very common, and there are triggers that you may not even realize.
When exposed to allergens inside the home, pets were more frequently diagnosed with lower respiratory tract disease, tracheal collapse, pneumonia, and upper and lower airway disease. There are several common allergens in a home that your pet might be allergic to, including, but not limited to:
- Tobacco smoke
- Cooking fumes
- Wood burning heat sources
When you smoke inside your home, you’re arguably putting your pet at more of a risk than you or anyone else residing there. Since your pet likely spends more time near the floor than the humans do, pets breathe in much more of that second-hand smoke as it lowers to the floor area.
Additionally, pets who were exposed to second-hand smoke in the home were shown to have lower functioning lungs than pets living in homes without smoke. Not only is the functioning of your pet’s lungs a concern, but there are also other concerns when it comes to pet health and second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke also increases the risk that your pet develops mesothelioma, bladder cancer, lung cancer, or nasal cancer.
Cooking fumes have been proven to contain carcinogens, which are directly related to the development of cancer. Without proper ventilation in your home, you could be unknowingly exposing your pet to these allergens.
If you don’t have an exhaust fan in your kitchen, make sure you open up as many windows as you can while you are cooking. It might also be helpful to put a box fan in the area, blowing the cooking fumes toward a window.
Wood Burning Heat Sources
Wood burning stoves and furnaces can be harmful to your pet, as a result of the particles released into the air. Exposure to these particles has been known to cause pneumonia, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses. In some cases, there has been a reduced functioning of the lungs, and chronic heart rate has been aggravated. Extended exposure to the particles given off by wood burning heat sources could cut your pet’s life short.
Dust contains many different debris and allergens including particles from dirt, arsenic, human skin, lint, fibers, fabrics, and many other items. These particles are tracked throughout the house, and continuously breathed in by the inhabitants, pets included.
With this being said, dust and debris are common causes of poor indoor air quality and pet allergies. Frequent exposure could lead to respiratory illnesses or diseases in your pets, and sometimes it can result in an early death. Working to keep dust out of the home can change that, however.
One way to keep it out of the home, or at least minimize the dust, is to run your air conditioner or furnace with a clean filter in it. The filter will trap much of the dust, preventing it from getting back into the air. Another option is to have your air ducts cleaned out by a professional HVAC technician.
While many people think of indoor air quality in relation to human health, thinking about it in relation to pet health is just as important. Your pet is continuously exposed to allergens in the home that may lead to illnesses, diseases, and even early death for your pet.