How to Get Rid of Dog Dander

by Sandra Ketcham, Demand Media
    Keep your dog off your couch.

    Keep your dog off your couch.

    Human allergies to dog dander are common; they cause itching, stuffy nose, eye inflammation, coughing, rash and more. These symptoms can make living with dogs unbearable, no matter how much you love animals. If your allergy is mild, deep-cleaning and a few home modifications may ease your symptoms.

    Items you will need

    • HEPA vacuum
    • HEPA filters
    • Anti-allergen dog shampoo
    • Anti-allergen spray

    Step 1

    Make and enforce a rule that your dog cannot sleep or climb on the furniture and cannot enter your bedroom. Also, keep him out of your car unless absolutely necessary.

    Step 2

    Vacuum every carpet, rug and piece of upholstered furniture in your home several times each week. Ideally, you should use a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner to keep dander from whirling around as you vacuum. If you cannot use a HEPA vacuum, wear a face mask when cleaning.

    Step 3

    Shampoo carpets every few months to remove dander that has settled deep into the carpet fibers. Better yet, replace your carpets with tile or wood.

    Step 4

    Mop tile and other flooring two or more times per week. This cleans up some dander and dampens the rest to keep it from floating around.

    Step 5

    Install HEPA filters in your main living area and in your bedroom to filter dander from the air in your home. These are expensive, but they can make an itchy situation much more comfortable.

    Step 6

    Dampen a rag and wipe down your walls, baseboards, tables, floor lamps and other surfaces twice per week. Dog dander lands on and sticks to most surfaces. Rinse cleaning rags in hot water.

    Step 7

    Wash your dog's bedding in hot water to remove dander and hair. Depending on how often your dog uses the bedding, you should wash it once or twice per week.

    Step 8

    Bathe your dog with a shampoo designed to reduce pet dander. Use lukewarm water, as hot water will dry your dog's skin and increase dander.

    Step 9

    Brush your dog frequently. Pet hair itself is not an allergen, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, but it can trap dander and contribute to allergic reactions. Wear a face mask and use a brush designed for holding onto pet hair and dander.

    Step 10

    Try an anti-allergen spray on your dog. Most are for use once per day. Consult your veterinarian for a recommendation.

    Tips

    • Pet allergies occur when your immune system recognizes otherwise harmless proteins in shed skin as dangerous. Pet allergies can also occur from exposure to pet saliva or urine.
    • Pet allergies affects as many as 30 percent of people with asthma or other allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

    About the Author

    Sandra Ketcham is a writer with more than 15 years experience writing and editing for both print and online publications. She specializes in health, travel and parenting topics, and has articles published in regional, national and international print magazines, including "The Dollar Stretcher" and "Kraze." Ketcham is currently pursuing a degree in psychology.

    Photo Credits

    • funny dog sleeping on pillow with legs crossed image by Paul Retherford from Fotolia.com