Ever wondered why your allergies pick up in winter months? Actually, a lot of things could be to blame…like your favorite furry friend! Pets that might spend endless hours romping around outside during warmer months can find themselves confined indoors when the temperatures drop. That’s the right call for pets, but you and your family might experience an uptick in your allergies. Fortunately, there are some tips and tricks that can keep your pets warm and your family feeling healthy.
Consider this strange fact: most people aren’t allergic to animal fur, but rather to a protein found in the pet dander, saliva, and urine. So while Max and Muffins are enjoying their time indoors napping in front of the fireplace, you and your family are more exposed to their dander. It’s hard to escape when you’re all sharing the same space!
Some people may not even know they’re suffering from allergies – fall and winter are known for being cold and flu season, so you might be attributing your malady to the wrong source. Here’s a good way to think about it: a cold usually doesn’t last for more than 10 days; allergies can linger for weeks or even months. Also, colds and flu sometimes have a fever and aches and pains —symptoms that don’t usually come with allergies.
It’s not just your home, either; pet dander is floating around everywhere. Douglas H. Jones, MD, of the Rocky Mountain Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Group in Layton, Utah, told EverydayHealth.com that public areas such as workplaces “can also have the same allergy-inducing conditions as your home: dry air, dust, and dust mites,” he said. “In addition pet owners often get dander on their clothes and unwittingly transport it into public places.” Jones says that the level of cat dander in public places is “high enough to…trigger allergy.”
So once you’ve definitively attributed your symptoms to your beloved pets, there are (luckily) some steps you can take to dramatically cut down on the dander. EverydayHealth.com suggests, “To minimize dander, bathe pets once a week (but not more often — more frequent bathing can dry out a pet’s coat and skin), and keep animals out of the bedroom of anyone in the house who has allergies.”
If your allergy symptoms are really bad, consider banning the fur kids from your bedroom. Being in the same room with a source of dander for 8 hours can wreak havoc on allergies. Set them up with a comfy new bed (one that can be washed, too) in the living or laundry room – any room far away from the bedroom.
For extra protective measures, Julie McNairn, MD, an allergist/immunologist in Cincinnati, told EverydayHealth.com that people might want to consider a HEPA air cleaner, as they can help with pet dander.
Aerus recommends using an air purification unit like our Lux Guardian Air Platinum. The Platinum first charges particles with an ion generator, which creates an electrically-charged attraction to the filter. What makes the Platinum different from other ionizers is that it directs particles to the filter through the movement of air by the fan motor. Additionally, the Platinum produces no ozone during filtration; instead, it relies on Photocatalytic Oxidation (PCO) — a proven technology that controls pollutants by striking UV light on titanium dioxide. Any remaining particles are captured and retained by the filter, which performs above traditional HEPA filters.
Vacuuming regularly can also cut down on the amount of dander and other allergy-triggering contaminants in your home. The Lux Guardian Platinum canister vacuum is our most beloved and popular model for a reason: it contains two sealed HEPA filters, ensuring the tiniest contaminants are captured and only clean air is released back into your home.