Spending time with a pet can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Unfortunately, 10% to 20% of people worldwide (according to Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Research) suffer from pet allergies.

There’s a common misconception that if you’ve been diagnosed with a pet allergy, you have to remove your pet from your home. However — provided your allergies aren’t life-threatening — there are lots of ways to manage your pet allergy so you can continue sharing your home with your four-legged companion. Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding treatment and medication when it comes to your pet allergy.

What causes pet allergies?

An allergic reaction to animals occurs when sufferers are exposed to proteins found in the skin cells, urine, or saliva of animals. While any of these factors could trigger a pet allergy, symptoms are most often triggered when a sufferer is exposed to the dead flakes of skin (dander) a pet naturally sheds.

Symptoms of pet allergies often present in the same way as hay fever, such as sneezing and a runny nose. In some cases, those with pet allergies may also experience symptoms commonly associated with asthma, like wheezing and respiratory distress.

Although any animal which has fur can be the source of a pet allergy, pet allergies most frequently occur with dogs and cats.

Can an air purifier help with pet dander?

Yes! Air purifiers work by drawing in the air from the room, which then passes through specialized filters to sanitize it. Once the air has been cleaned of harmful particles — such as allergens — the filtered air is redistributed into the room.  

Clean air delivery rates (CADRs) show how many cubic feet per minute of air has had all particles of a certain size removed. Different models of air purifiers deliver clean air back into the room at different rates and vary in their efficacy in removing certain types of particles. 

For example, air purifiers which have high CADR ratings for tobacco smoke will be most effective in cleansing the air of smoke particles. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are excellent at trapping pet dander, and they’re found in many air purifiers on the market today.

How can you eliminate pet allergies?

By eliminating allergens and other harmful particles, an air purifier can massively improve the quality of air you breathe indoors, leading to a reduction in allergy symptoms. You may be wondering, however, what else you can do to treat the symptoms of your pet allergy at home.

The Humane Society of the United States recommends that pet allergy sufferers “avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors.” Pet dander sticks to soft surfaces and is a lot easier to remove from hard surfaces like plastic, wood, and metal. 

Additionally, it’s essential that those who suffer from pet allergies clean their home and furnishings thoroughly and often to get rid of pet dander and dust. Particular attention should be paid to items like bedding (including your pet’s bed), couch covers, curtains and pillows.

You may also consider creating an “allergy-free zone” in your house. The Humane Society of the United States advises that the best place for an allergy-free zone is the allergic person’s bedroom. An air purifier would work well here, and impermeable mattress covers and pillows will help further reduce the likelihood of pet dander clinging to soft items.

These steps should be taken in conjunction with any instructions from your doctor.

Which air purifier works best for pet allergies?

When selecting an air purifier to help treat your allergy symptoms, you should look for air purifiers which have high allergen CADRs. You should also consider the size of the room the air purifier will be placed in as different models offer different areas of coverage. Finally, look out for air purifiers with HEPA filters — they’re more effective at removing pet dander from the air. All of the air purifiers we’re recommending here have HEPA filters.

The Brondell Revive True HEPA Air Purifier and Humidifier has dual True HEPA filters, which remove 99.97% of particles and allergens larger than 0.3 microns. Its dual suction and dual True HEPA filters mean this machine is working double time for you, creating and maintaining a consistent level of humidity. This air purifier is effective at cleaning air in spaces of up to 376.5 sq. ft when used for allergy sufferers.

The HealthMate Junior HM200 HEPA Air Purifier by Austin also works well in smaller residential spaces. This air purifier’s 360-degree intake system pulls air into all sides of the device, passing it through a  four-stage filter. This results in more clean air delivered, quickly and efficiently. The HealthMate Junior HM200 HEPA Air Purifer’s filter comes with a five-year prorated guarantee, so you won’t have to worry about frequent filter changes with this device.

If you plan to place your air purifier in a larger space, you may wish to consider the HealthMate HM400 Standard HEPA Air Purifier by Austin. This device has the same great features as the HealthMate Junior HM200 HEPA Air Purifier, with the added benefit of increased coverage area.

Suffering from pet allergies can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. Coupled with your current pet allergy treatment plan, an air purifier can work wonders when it comes to reducing symptoms and improving the quality of the air you breathe indoors.