How to Get Rid of Pet Dander (Dog & Cat Tips) (2022)

How to Get Rid of Pet Dander (Dog & Cat Tips) (1)

Updated July 22, 2021
By Katherine DysonPosted in Cleaning Tips

Owning a pet has a lot of perks—companionship, unconditional love, stress relief, and many others.

But putting up with pet dander is not one of them.

The sneezing, coughing, itching eyes, and nasal congestion that come from dog dander, cat dander, and other pets can range from a minor annoyance to excruciating pain.

However, you don’t have to keep living that way.

In this article, we’ll show you the top 10 ways for how to get rid of pet dander in any home.

And once you discover how to eliminate pet dander quickly and easily, you can go back to fully enjoying the company of your pets.

Plus, controlling pet dander in the home will also make your house more friendly to visitors and comfortable for everyone.

How to Get Rid of Pet Dander

1. Ensure Your Pet Has a Healthy Diet

Excessive shedding and pet dander may be a sign of chronic and inadequate nutrition.

If your pet lacks the nutrients it needs to keep its vital organs healthy, like the brain and the heart, its body, will rob nutrients from the skin and coat to make up the difference.

Some indicators that the pet food you’re feeding your pet may lack the nutrients it needs are dull hair coat, hair loss, excessive shedding, and pet dander

It’s essential to find the best food for your pet to avoid nutritional shortfalls and ensure that its coat and skin remain healthy.

The commercial pet food you may have been using might not have all the nutrients your pet needs.

So consider supplementing your pet’s diet with a healthy dose of omega-3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, as well as EPA and DHA, which can help minimize dog and cat dander.

Check with a qualified veterinarian for dosage and brand recommendations of both pet food and supplements.

2. Use a HEPA Air Purifier

When pet dander gets into the air, you may experience allergic symptoms such as nasal congestion, coughing, itchy eyes, and sneezing.

An easy way for how to remove pet dander from the air is by using an air purifier.

This product works by constantly pulling the contaminant from the air and trapping it inside a filter.

This process prevents dander from cats, dogs, and other pets from ever returning to the air.

(Video) Allergic to Pets - House Cleaners Secrets to Survival

It can also capture a lot of dander particles before they have a chance to fall onto the floors and furniture or collect on your curtains.

But not just any air purifier will work.

You need a unit that uses a high-quality HEPA filter; preferably a True HEPA filter.

A True HEPA filter can capture 99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. This includes microscopic pet dander.

Take a look at our article on the best air purifier for pets to find out more about this type of appliance and how it can remove cat dander and dog dander from the house quickly and easily.

What’s also nice is that an air purifier can reduce your overall need for cleaning a room because when it uses the best air filter for allergies available it can remove other particles besides pet allergens, such as dust, dirt, mold spores, bacteria, smoke, etc.

3. Clean all Surfaces

Are you wondering how to remove pet dander from carpet?

How about the best way to remove pet dander from upholstery, a couch, or other furniture?

If so, these quick tips below can help you get rid of dander from most surfaces:

  • Solid Surfaces: The easiest way to eliminate pet dander from baseboards, ceilings, walls, and solid furniture is by wiping them down with an all-purpose cleaner and a rag. We suggest trying Method Home Cleaning products because they’re formulated with naturally derived ingredients that are safe for both you and your pets.
  • Upholstery, Couch and Furniture: Removing dog dander and cat dander from upholstery, couches, and other furniture requires a different technique than solid surfaces. There are a number of pet dander and hair removal products on the market, but the easiest and cheapest way to pick up dander is by using a lint roller with sticky tape. Simply roll it over the surface of the upholstery or furniture to pick up any flecks of skin that have been shed by your cat, dog, or other pet. If you want to go the extra mile, you can shampoo your upholstery to ensure that it’s super clean.
  • Curtains: The same tip for how to get pet dander out of couch and other furniture applies to curtains. Use a lint roller with sticky tape.
  • Carpets: Carpets are the most notorious places for collecting pet dander. If you neglect to clean this surface thoroughly, you’ll never eliminate your pet dander problem. That’s because every time a person or pet walks over the carpet, it can cause the dander particles to be kicked back up into the air. Therefore, the best way to remove pet dander from carpet is by cleaning it with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter. A HEPA filter will collect the microscopic particles shed by your pet as they’re sucked into the machine. Standard bag-style vacuums and other units without a HEPA filter simply won’t work as well for you.

4. Brush Your Pet Regularly (Outdoors if You Can)

For dog owners, regularly brushing your dog will help spread natural oils throughout its coat and skin.

These oils help prevent shedding and dander and keep your dog’s coat and skin healthy.

Brushing your pet routinely will also help remove the fur that your dog sheds with the seasons changing and flakes of dead skin.

For cat owners, brushing your cat often will remove the dead fur from its coat and dead skin flakes that cause dander.

It also helps stimulate blood flow and improves your cat’s skin condition.

Brushing out the dead hair reduces the amount of dander falling from your cat to the floor or rubbing off on the furniture.

Regardless of the type of pet you have, brushing it outside will reduce the overall dander in your home. So try to keep this cleaning routing outdoors if you can.

5. Bathe Your Pet Regularly

Let’s face it, most of us don’t bathe our pets regularly.

Why?

Because most of the time our animals hate it.

(Video) 5 Tips for Managing Pet Allergies | How to live with a pet you're allergic to

However, if you want to control the pet dander and odors in your home, then you really need to give your pet a bath at least once per month.

But ideally every one to two weeks.

In fact, according to the Humane Society bathing your dog or cat weekly can reduce the level of dander on fur up to 84%.

There are many products for sale that claim to be the best dander shampoo on the market; however, you can make a simple formula at home by using liquid dishwashing soap, white vinegar, and glycerin.

Or, just pick up a cheap bottle of baby shampoo—it makes an excellent neutralizer for dander and pet odors.

Speaking of odors, if you’re having trouble with pet smells in your home, you might want to consider using a dedicated air purifier for that purpose as well.

You can learn more about these units in our guide on the best air purifier for smells here.

6. Try a Dander Remover Spray

If you can’t bathe your pet regularly, for whatever reason, a dander remover spray is your next best option.

These sprays are made up of natural enzymes that work to eliminate pet dander and reduce odors.

This type of spray is also useful for people who have cats or dogs and are expecting a visitor who is allergic to pets.

All you do is spray your pet’s fur with it and then wipe off the excess.

Some products even come in disposable wipes, which can be even more convenient.

A top choice to try is called Nature’s Miracle Dander Remover and Coat Deodorizer Spray.

7. Cover Bedding with Allergy Free Covers

This tip for removing pet dander in your home is focused on the bedroom.

Many of us tend to let our cats and dogs roam free throughout our entire households, including our bedrooms.

And for some of us, it’s not unusual for our pets to sleep in our beds.

In order to keep a dander-free bedroom, it’s best to cover all bedding, pillows, and mattresses with an allergen-free cover.

These materials are excellent at preventing pet dander from embedding itself into the surface, which makes it harder to get rid of.

However, this doesn’t give you an excuse not to vacuum your room regularly or use an air purifier.

Protein and skin flakes will still collect on the floor and float around in the air, so a thorough cleaning is important to stay in control of the problem.

8. Declutter the Space

Pet dander is notorious for adhering to any surface available.

(Video) 15 Ways to Minimize Pet Allergies at Home

The more surface areas you have in your home, the more likely you’ll have pet dander hiding from you as you clean.

Therefore, reducing the amount of clutter and knick-knacks you have around the house will give dander fewer places to remain hidden.

So do a quick scan of every room and remove or put away the things that you don’t necessarily need sitting out.

9. Do the Laundry

Would you like to know one of the most effective ways for how to get rid of dog allergies, cat allergies, and other allergic reactions to other pets?

It’s doing the laundry.

As you learned in previous tips, pet dander likes to stick to everything.

So regularly washing pet beds, couch pillows, curtains, and blankets will eliminate the pet dander trapped in the fabric.

To get rid of the most particles, be sure to clean those items in hot water a few times a month to eliminate as much dander as possible.

It’s also important to know that some dander may remain in your washing machine, so it’s a good idea to run an empty cycle between loads of laundry to help remove it.

For larger items that have problems fitting in regular home washing machines, try going to a laundromat with larger industrial-sized machines.

10. Clean the Air Ducts

As you learned in our second tip, air purifiers can help reduce the amount of pet dander in the air, especially if you’re using a True HEPA filter.

However, individual room air purification and filtration aren’t nearly as thorough as having a professional HVAC technician clean the inside of your home’s air ducts.

Over time, cat dander and dog dander can get trapped inside the air ducts and slowly make their way around the house as you cool and heat it.

Therefore, our last tip is to suggest having an HVAC professional clean your air ducts can remove the built-up pet dander so it doesn’t travel around your home.

The average cost for air duct cleaning is between $300 to $500. The price will depend on factors like the size of the home, the number of ducts, and their configuration.

Generally speaking, the average price for air duct cleaning is $35 per vent.

What Is Pet Dander?

Pet dander is the primary contributing factor to pet allergens.

Composed of microscopic particles of skin shed from animals with fur or feathers, most pets kept in the home will have some dander, including birds and rodents, besides cats and dogs.

It’s important to remember that fur by itself is not necessarily a trigger for allergens, as proteins from dried saliva, dust, and fecal particles can also trigger allergies.

All animals shed some skin, including hairless and short-haired breeds of dogs, cats, and rodents, and even the larger particles can cause an allergic reaction.

How is Pet Dander Spread?

Pet dander flakes off the animal and becomes airborne.

(Video) How to Minimize Pet Dander in Your Home : Allergy-Proofing Your Home

If you don’t inhale it immediately, it will stick to the first surface it hits.

Once shed, the dander repeatedly floats in the air, sticks to a surface, and then becomes airborne again.

Every minor disturbance sends it airborne.

As soon as it touches something, it hangs on until it gets knocked loose again.

The small bits of skin that makeup dander are lightweight and have rough edges. This combination causes the dander to attach to most objects, not just carpets, upholstery, and cloth.

Any disturbance can send the particles out in the air to land someplace else or be inhaled.

Worse yet, because dander can stick to other surfaces, especially clothes and hair, it can hitch a ride on people and belongings and transfer to other locations.

You might find pet dander in malls, stores, and offices where no pet has ever been.

Because of its lightweight nature, it can become airborne and transfer to other surfaces.

For example, a dog owner with dander clinging to his clothes can carry and transfer it to his seat on an airplane, leaving it behind for the next passenger.

In this way, dander can fly coast to coast.

As you can see, it’s easy to understand how pet dander can appear where you least expect it.

How Long Does Pet Dander Stay in the House?

Because of its sticky quality and its ability to permeate soft material such as carpets, mattresses, upholstery, and clothing, pet dander can persist for quite some time.

Cleaning carpets and furniture, using an air purifier, cleaning the air ducts, and doing a deep cleaning of your house will help eliminate the dander to tolerable levels.

However, ignoring these steps can take about 20 to 30 weeks for the allergen concentration to diminish to pet-free levels.

Does Lysol Kill Pet Dander?

If used on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as walls, baseboards, and countertops, Lysol spray or disinfecting wipes can remove over 95% of allergens found there, including pet dander.

This is in addition to Lysol’s ability to kill 99.9% of all germs when used as directed.

So Lysol can be an effective method for how to get rid of pet dander in a house.

How to Get Rid of Pet Dander (Dog & Cat Tips) (2)

About Katherine Dyson

(Video) Allergic to your pet? These tips might help

Katherine is the lead Staff Writer. She conducts in-depth research and interviews with industry experts in order to produce a wide range of content for the site. Her main role is to write helpful articles that aid people who are seeking to improve their indoor air quality and comfort. (See Full Bio)

FAQs

What is the fastest way to get rid of pet dander? ›

You can get rid of pet dander by grooming the pet to reduce the amount of dander produced, vacuuming frequently, using a HEPA air filter, Austin Air makes an air purifier just for pets, use anti-allergen sprays, and limiting where the pet goes. First, brush your pet regularly to remove dead skin cells and fur.

What neutralizes pet dander? ›

HEPA filters are designed to be better at catching tiny particles of pet dander. You might also try using an air filter or purifier with a HEPA filter a few hours each day to circulate the air and remove excess pet dander.

How do I reduce pet dander in my house? ›

Use HEPA air cleaners throughout the rest of the home, and avoid dust-and-dander-catching furnishings such as cloth curtains and blinds and carpeted floors. Clean frequently and thoroughly to remove dust and dander, washing articles such as couch covers and pillows, curtains, and pet beds.

How can I reduce my dog's dander? ›

5 Secrets to Minimizing Dog Dander
  1. Diet. Some dogs have food allergies or sensitivities that can cause them to itch. ...
  2. Brushing. Brushing your dog daily is the best way to loosen and reduce dander. ...
  3. Bathing. Giving your dog a bath regularly does more than make them smell good. ...
  4. Supplements. ...
  5. Keep It Short.

How long does pet dander stay in a house? ›

Pet dander can attach to everything in the house and last for a very long time. Typically pet dander can stay in a house for four to six months after a pet leaves home. Cat dander lasts longer than dog dander as it's more airborne.

Does vacuuming get rid of pet dander? ›

Carpet fibers tend to trap pet dander, and every time you walk across the flooring, the particles will get kicked back up in the air. Use a vacuum with a HEPA-rated filter to pull the dander out of the carpet and get rid of it for good.

Will vinegar get rid of cat dander? ›

Vinegar Use

Wash the cat using a specially formulated cat-dandruff shampoo. Rinse thoroughly with warm water, at least twice, making sure to remove all residue. Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into 1 pint of water. Pour it gently onto the cat's coat.

How do you get rid of cat dander naturally? ›

NATURAL Cat Allergy Remedies
  1. Use an indoor allergen neutralizer. Always choose a natural formula. ...
  2. Neuter your cat. ...
  3. Shampoo your cat. ...
  4. Change the litter box frequently. ...
  5. Moisten your pet's fur before daily grooming. ...
  6. Use a HEPA (High Efficient Particle Air) vacuum at least once a week and a HEPA air purifier daily.
30 Jun 2021

Does baking soda remove cat dander? ›

It's fairly easy to use - all you have to do is sprinkle baking soda in the affected area, let it settle for a few minutes and then vacuum it. The baking soda absorbs the odor which is vacuumed away.

How do you neutralize cat dander? ›

Use a HEPA Filter

According to Vet Info, the best way to treat cat dander is to vacuum your home once a day with a HEPA-filtered vacuum and run a HEPA air purifier in the house all day. This will cut down on the amount of dander in the air.

Can pet dander make you sick? ›

This includes a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath. Coming into physical contact with pet dander can cause contact dermatitis, or a skin rash, hives or triggers a person's asthma.

Is dog dander worse after a bath? ›

Why it works: Remember how soft your dog's fur feels after he's had a bath? That's because the dirt has been washed away, along with the allergens. Frequent bathing removes the dead skin flakes—a.k.a dander—from your pet's skin and can reduce allergens by as much as 84%.

What dog breeds have the most dander? ›

The worst dog breeds for people with allergies
  • Basset Hound.
  • Boston Terrier.
  • Bulldog.
  • Doberman Pinscher.
  • German Shepherd.
  • Labrador Retriever.
  • Pekingese.
  • Pug.
22 Jan 2021

What are the symptoms of pet dander allergy? ›

Symptoms
  • Sneezing.
  • Runny nose.
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat.
  • Postnasal drip.
  • Cough.
  • Facial pressure and pain.
4 Aug 2021

Why do dogs get dander? ›

Various factors can cause dandruff in dogs, such as allergic reactions, bacterial infections, yeast infections, parasitic infections, and endocrine disorders.

Does washing clothes get rid of pet dander? ›

The results of our study suggest that washing of allergen-containing cotton fabrics in water is a simple and effective method with which to remove cat allergen from clothing.

What does cat dander look like? ›

Cat dander is microscopic dead skin cells that are shed normally by cats every day. Cat dander cannot be seen by the naked eye, and is different that dandruff, which shows up as white flakes that build up on the fur.

Does cat dander stick to walls? ›

Yes. Cat dander will stick to the wall. In fact cat dander sticks to everything. Pet dander is so light that it easily floats throughout an area getting on furniture, fans carpets, and clothes.

How long does pet dander stay in carpet? ›

Dander allergens are sticky, and dander in soft materials, such as carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture and clothing, can persist for long periods of time. Unless special steps are taken, pet dander can remain in a home for up to six months after the pet has been removed.

How do you remove pet dander from bedding? ›

Wash Bedding: Any pillows, sheets, blankets or other bedding that aren't encased should be washed weekly in hot water to remove allergens. If you can't wash in hot water, use a laundry detergent designed to remove allergens in any wash temperature, such as AllerTech Laundry Detergent.

How do I remove allergens from my couch? ›

So don't just cool the air in your room, filter it! Simply cut to fit. Allergens on soft surfaces like drapes, sofa pillows and carpets can be sprayed weekly with Febreze allergen reducer to help reduce airborne allergens by up to 75 percent. Dust mites and other airborne allergens.

Does baking soda help with pet dander? ›

Baking soda is a great neutralizer, so it's perfect for removing pet odors.

Is there a spray that kills allergens? ›

Allersearch ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray is an “inorganic anti-allergen spray that uses an oxidizing compound that destroys allergens from dust mites, pet dander, pollens, mold, and mildew on contact.” The clear, non-toxic spray obliterates allergens on carpets, curtains, and furniture without staining.

What causes excessive cat dander? ›

Buildup of the undercoat.

If the cat isn't grooming themselves or you're not brushing your cat regularly, dirt, dead skin cells, parasites, and loose hairs can start to build up.

Can you permanently get rid of cat allergies? ›

While there is no “cure” that will make you immune to cat allergens, there are several actions you can take to significantly reduce cat allergens in your home and alleviate your symptoms.

How do you stop cat allergies quickly? ›

Avoiding the allergen is best, but when that's not possible, the following treatments may help: antihistamines, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl), loratadine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) corticosteroid nasal sprays such as fluticasone (Flonase) or mometasone (Nasonex) over-the-counter decongestant sprays.

How can I reduce my cats allergens in my house? ›

How to reduce cat allergies without medication
  1. STEP 1: Create an allergen-free zone. ...
  2. STEP 2: Wash your hands often! ...
  3. STEP 3: Invest in a HEPA Air Filter. ...
  4. STEP 4: Reduce dander on your cat. ...
  5. STEP 5: Get your non-allergic best friend/partner/roommate/mom to clean your cat litter. ...
  6. STEP 6: Foster a cat in need.

How long does pet dander stay in carpet? ›

Dander allergens are sticky, and dander in soft materials, such as carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture and clothing, can persist for long periods of time. Unless special steps are taken, pet dander can remain in a home for up to six months after the pet has been removed.

Can pet dander make you sick? ›

This includes a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath. Coming into physical contact with pet dander can cause contact dermatitis, or a skin rash, hives or triggers a person's asthma.

How do I remove allergens from my couch? ›

So don't just cool the air in your room, filter it! Simply cut to fit. Allergens on soft surfaces like drapes, sofa pillows and carpets can be sprayed weekly with Febreze allergen reducer to help reduce airborne allergens by up to 75 percent. Dust mites and other airborne allergens.

How do I clean my house after a cat has lived? ›

Cleaning Tips for Buildings Previously Occupied by Cats and Dogs
  1. Obtain a thorough, professional duct cleaning.
  2. Commercially steam-clean, professionally dry-clean, or use very hot water to launder clothing.
  3. Wash and use a HEPA vacuum for interior surfaces.

Does washing clothes get rid of pet dander? ›

The results of our study suggest that washing of allergen-containing cotton fabrics in water is a simple and effective method with which to remove cat allergen from clothing.

How do you reduce cat dander? ›

Regularly grooming your cat, cleaning furniture and flooring, and replacing your air filter are all simple steps that you can take to reduce the amount of cat dander in your home. Cats regularly rate our boxes 5/5 stars. Now, what are you doing? Groom that cat, vacuum that floor, and change that air filter.

How can I get rid of cat allergies naturally? ›

NATURAL Cat Allergy Remedies
  1. Use an indoor allergen neutralizer. Always choose a natural formula. ...
  2. Neuter your cat. ...
  3. Shampoo your cat. ...
  4. Change the litter box frequently. ...
  5. Moisten your pet's fur before daily grooming. ...
  6. Use a HEPA (High Efficient Particle Air) vacuum at least once a week and a HEPA air purifier daily.
30 Jun 2021

Is cat dander and dog dander the same? ›

' cat dander is slightly stronger than dog dander. That's because of a protein called Fel de 1 in cat dander which is small, sticky and can stay airborne for hours. The fact that cat dander is stronger also means that more people suffer from allergies to cats.

Can pet allergies Be Cured? ›

Immunotherapy. You can "train" your immune system not to be sensitive to an allergen. Immunotherapy is delivered through a series of allergy shots. One to 2 weekly shots expose you to very small doses of the allergen, in this case, the animal protein that causes an allergic reaction.

What does cat dander look like? ›

Cat dander is microscopic dead skin cells that are shed normally by cats every day. Cat dander cannot be seen by the naked eye, and is different that dandruff, which shows up as white flakes that build up on the fur.

Is there a spray that kills allergens? ›

Allersearch ADMS Anti-Allergen Spray is an “inorganic anti-allergen spray that uses an oxidizing compound that destroys allergens from dust mites, pet dander, pollens, mold, and mildew on contact.” The clear, non-toxic spray obliterates allergens on carpets, curtains, and furniture without staining.

Does Febreze remove allergens? ›

Febreze Air Effects Allergen Reducer reduces up to 75% of inanimate allergens* that become airborne from soft surfaces, such as pet dander and dust mite matter.

How do you get cat dander out of fabric? ›

Some of it can be removed by going over clothing with a lint brush or sticky tape wrapped around your hand, but to have a shot at removing most of the dander, you need to wash clothing in hot water (not warm) and dry it in a hot dryer for at least 30 minutes.

Does cat dander stick to walls? ›

Yes. Cat dander will stick to the wall. In fact cat dander sticks to everything. Pet dander is so light that it easily floats throughout an area getting on furniture, fans carpets, and clothes.

Can you get cat dander out of carpet? ›

Along with a daily to weekly vacuuming fo your carpeting, you should also be deep cleaning your carpets every 3-4 months. Carpets are known for harboring pet dander and a good steam cleaning or carpet cleaning can help minimize the dander and pet hair that can stir up your allergies.

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