How To Reduce Pet Dander And Allergies At Home

More than 60% of Australian households own a dog or cat and their hair, dander and odours are the torment of pet owners everywhere. Pet hair, which embeds itself into carpet or statically attaches to furnishings, is difficult to remove and rapidly blocks standard vacuum cleaners, thereby causing them to decrease suction, resulting in a poor clean.

You love your pets, and we all know the positive health benefits that owning a pet brings. Yet animal odours and dander (dead skin cells shed by animals) can permeate a house as they are difficult to remove with standard cleaning. Not only do pet hair and dander look unsightly and greatly reduce the life of your valuable carpets and furnishings, they can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Normal vacuuming and even steam cleaning can’t remove the pet hair and dander. Most of what gets picked up is merely re-circulated through the air and back into your carpets and furnishings or adheres to the moisture particles in soft furnishings, creating a composting effect.

Healthy home tips for pet owners:

  • Minimise mess – cleaner pets mean cleaner homes.
  • Bathe and brush your pets regularly.
  • Removing pet hair from floors – on carpets and delicate rugs use vacuum cleaners with power head and even better, a vacuum with a HEPA filter; – on hard floors use brush head or alternatively use a damp, wide mop.
  • Removing pet hair from furniture and furnishings use the same as above and include in your repertoire a crevice tool to get into those nooks and crannies.
  • Removing pet hair from clothes – a velour brush or sticky tape wrapped around your hand.
  • Cleaning up mess – for little accidents apply liberal amounts of soda water and blot immediately with paper towel.
  • Cleaning up urine – sodium bicarbonate sprinkled liberally over the mess will absorb moisture and odour. After a few days, vacuum.
  • Kitty litter – half a cup of vinegar should wipe out any odours when cleaning the kitty box.

The most effective way to fight allergies from animal dander is to keep your pet outside and minimise contact.

However, that’s not easy to do with a loved pet, so try to avoid or minimise contact with the animals. To reduce further allergens, decide which areas of the house will become your exclusion zones. Prevent your pet from entering into at least two rooms, the bedroom and lounge. Other rooms can be added to the list.

If your pet once slept in those rooms, wash as much of the bedding or upholstery as possible, consider purchasing allergy free bedding. In extreme cases, consider buying a new quilt or mattress. Keep the animal’s bed in another room, perhaps a utility room or lobby. For a cat, sprinkle some catnip there to make the area seem more attractive to them.


  • Carol Parr

    We’re glad you’re here. We’re Carol and Tony, founders of one of the longest running Healthy Home Blogs in the world, Mitey Fresh Australia. We’ve been on this journey for the last 25 years and are passionate about helping families sift through health hazards and triggers like allergens, mould, water damage, chemicals and EMFs, to get clarity about what’s toxic and what’s not so they can create a healthy and happy home for their family they love. Each month, people visit this blog seeking focus on the health and wellbeing of their loved ones, sustainable and effective practice tips and guides, to help create and manage healthier indoor spaces, improve the built environment that is pleasing to the senses and support healthy living and nature, every day. Starting this blog was to help change people’s lives, one family at a time, and we can’t wait to share how its allowed us to stand next to you and show you how interpreting these synergies between buildings and the environment they are built in will impact upon the health and well-being of those who occupy them. Find out more about Healthy Homes and what this blog can do for you!

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