When thinking of allergens in the home, we usually make the mistake of only considering the effects on humans. However, there are also allergens that might affect our pets without us realizing it. In order to be a responsible pet owner, it’s important to remember that indoor air quality affects pet health the same way it that affects human health. Pet allergies are actually very common, and there are triggers that we may not even know about.
When exposed to allergens inside the home, pets were more frequently diagnosed with lower respiratory tract disease, tracheal collapse, pneumonia, and upper/lower airway disease. There are several common allergens in a home that your pet might be allergic to, including, but not limited to:
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, they breathe in much more of that second-hand smoke as it lowers to the floor area.
Additionally, pets that 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 of your pet developing mesothelioma, bladder cancer, lung cancer, or nasal cancer.
It’s hence recommended that you always go outside the house to smoke, even if there are no other humans in the house at the moment. Confining your smoking sessions to the porch or balcony will make it easier to control the smoke and tobacco residue that your pet inhales. The smoke also gets into upholstery and bedding, which might affect your pet round the clock.
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 they cause many dangerous particles to be released into the air. Exposure to these particles has been known to cause pneumonia, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses in both animals and humans.
In some cases, there has been a reduced functioning of the lungs, and the aggravation of an already chronic heart condition. 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 to these allergens could lead to respiratory illnesses or diseases in your pets, sometimes even resulting in early death. Working to keep dust out of the home can change that, so see what steps you can take in that direction.
One way to keep dust out of the home, or at least minimize it, 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.
Many people also choose to install an air purifier in their home. These are usually equipped with multi-level filtration systems, the most effective being a HEPA filter. With this installed and running smoothly, you can look forward to pure and clean air for the benefit of every occupant in your home.
The spring season brings in a lot of pollen to your house, especially if you have trees, grass, or flowers growing nearby. These could cause your pet, especially dogs, to contract allergies with inflamed skin and itchiness as the main symptoms. Their ears, paws, and skin are the most affected places in such cases.
Homes and offices can both get mold growths from time to time. The spores they release are harmful to both humans and pets, though you have to be especially careful with children and small animals. The most common symptom of a mold allergy is skin irritation.
You can avoid such occurrences by routinely checking your home for any moldy spots. Again, an air purifier will help to filter out the mold spores and even prevent the growths in the first place. If you see any mold, spot cleaning is usually recommended, as are dehumidifiers. Also, try cleaning out the filters in your air conditioning units.
We humans usually worry about being allergic to our pets, but it turns out that some of them might actually suffer allergic reactions from us. Just like pets, humans also leave behind dander or skin cells wherever they go. If a dog or any other pet is allergic to this substance, they can get an inflamed skin, itchiness, or start sneezing with a runny nose.
Of course, you might not be able to do much about removing yourself from the surroundings, but a vet could come to the rescue here. Oral drops and allergy shots are common non-invasive techniques that will hopefully treat the situation in the best manner possible.
The Right Supplements
We all need a little boost for our health every now and then, and our pets are the same as well. In addition to feeding your furry friend a healthy diet, you might also want to give them a little addition in order to make their immune system stronger. This would hopefully make them less vulnerable to the allergens floating about your house.
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. Since pets are usually beloved family members, we definitely want to do everything possible to protect them. Improving the air quality in our surroundings should be one of the very first steps.