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Spring means warm cozy weather, flowers blooming and perhaps a few rain showers. However, for pet owners, spring means something else—SHEDDING! Many dogs and cats will go through a period of relentless shedding in springtime as they get rid of their thicker, winter coat. For people with allergies, this can be a problem. The problem is less related to the hair than it is to the dander. 

Contrary to what people think, allergens are not present in the fur, instead it is in an animal’s body secretions. With dogs, secretions come through the skin, and in cats, it is in saliva. Either way, when the secretions dry they become part of the dead skin (or dander) that is present in any animal, humans included. The dander is often part of the air you breathe and present on nearly any surface of the home. Luckily, there are a few ways to minimize the impact.

Four Ways to Reduce the Impact of Pet Dander:

  • Brush and Bathe Pets Regularly – If possible, take your pet outside and brush him or her regularly. If you get rid of loose fur and dead skin in this environment, it won’t enter your home. With dogs especially, regular bathing can make a big difference too.
  • Change Your HVAC Filter Regularly – How often are you changing your HVAC filter? With pets in the house, it is recommended that you check your filter every 30 days and change it if needed, and if not, every 90 days the filter should be changed to guarantee air quality.
  • Upgrade to a High-Efficiency Air Filter – In addition to changing your filter often, choosing a high-efficiency filter is a good choice too. The high-efficiency filters are designed to catch major allergens, like pet dander.
  • Clean Cloth Furnishings Regularly – Dander (and other allergens) will attach themselves to soft surfaces. Now is the time to vacuum on a regular basis. Also, consider putting curtains, bedding and other furnishings in the washer often or send them for dry cleaning. It can make a big difference in keeping your allergies at bay. 


While springtime may not be the best season for allergy sufferers, if you are proactive you can help make sure that pet dander is less of a problem in your home—keeping you, your family and even your pets happier and healthier.