How a Simple Air Purifier Can Give Your Pet Relief from Their Seasonal Allergies
Veterinarian Reviewed by Dr. Janice Huntingford, DVM on April 11, 2018
Posted in Pet Allergies
During the springtime, many homeowners want to keep their doors and windows open to enjoy the warmer air and cool breezes. Unfortunately, doing so can let in pollen and seasonal allergens. If you suffer from itchy or red eyes, a stuffed nose or other allergy symptoms, you know how frustrating navigating the seasons can be.
You’ve probably heard of using an air purifier to help relieve symptoms of seasonal allergies for humans, but have you considered that your pets might need one, too? Both dogs and cats can suffer from seasonal allergies caused by pollens from grass, trees, flowers and weeds.
Placing an air purifier in your home is a great way to reduce or completely remove the seasonal allergens your pets might be ingesting, inhaling or coming into physical contact with. These purifiers use special filters to remove almost all of the dust, pollen, dander and other allergens present in your house. HEPA filters—or high-efficiency particulate air filters—in particular, are known to remove approximately 99.97 percent of particles because they are so dense!
Depending on your dog or cat’s allergies and their sensitivity levels, you may need to purchase multiple air purifiers to space around your home. If you only have one, place the purifier in the room your dog or cat sleeps or spends the most time in. By doing so, you can help significantly reduce or prevent symptoms of your pet’s seasonal allergies.
How to know when you might need an air purifier
Seasonal allergies can manifest in cats and dogs when the pet ingests, inhales or is physically exposed to a variety of seasonal allergens like tree or weed pollen. If your pet is allergic to a particular substance, they may begin to show signs of allergic reactions on their skin and face.
Pay attention to your dog or cat around allergy season to see if they display any signs of itching, scratching or sneezing. If so, closely check their bodies for bald spots, dry spots, redness and moist or scabbed skin. Often, pets will obsessively lick, scratch, or rub the irritated areas, which can cause further irritation of the skin. Other signs include red, itchy, puffy or runny eyes, vomiting, diarrhea, snoring and strange odors.
If you notice these symptoms, there’s a good chance your dog or cat is allergic to something in its environment. This may be a food allergy, seasonal allergies or allergies related to certain perfumes, carpets and other substances. The only sure way to tell if the allergies are seasonal is to take your pet to the vet. There, the vet will conduct some skin or blood tests to determine the source of the allergy and recommend treatments. If your furry friend is allergic to seasonal pollens, an air filter might be a good choice for within your home.
Considerations for air purifiers
You don’t need the most expensive or complicated purifier to keep your pet’s allergies at a minimum this season. When purchasing an air purifier to ease your pet’s seasonal allergy symptoms, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Filter type: Different air purifiers will use different types of filters. HEPA filters will be able to remove the most pollen, dust and other allergens. Also check to see if the purifier uses reusable filters you need to clean or if you simply throw a used filter away and replace it with a new one.
- Special features: Some air purifiers come with special features such as UV light that rids the air of harmful contaminants like germs and bacteria. If your dog’s only issue is a mild case of seasonal allergies, you really don’t need a purifier with all the bells and whistles. If you also struggle with allergies or asthma, though, getting a purifier with more features can benefit everyone in your household.
- Room coverage: Check the purifier to see how large of a space it covers. Allergens can float through your entire house, and if your dog or cat likes to roam, having a single purifier might not be enough to keep them symptom-free.
Keeping your dog or cat happy and healthy through allergy season is a top priority for most pet owners, which is why many invest in a high-quality air purifier. Be sure to pay close attention to the signs and symptoms of seasonal allergies in your pets and take action if you notice a reaction starting to flare up. By installing a simple air purifier in your home, you can mitigate these reactions and keep your pets comfortable.
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Janice Huntingford, DVM, has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years and has founded two veterinary clinics since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph. She has studied extensively in both conventional and holistic modalities. Ask Dr. Jan