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.
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.
See all of Amazon's Best Selling Air Purifiers
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.
Because most of the time our animals hate it.
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.
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.
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.