Do we love our pets? No question about it. According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent a whopping $95.7 billion on their pets in 2019. So, what happens when we’re allergic to those lovable furballs? If you have asthma or other allergies, chances are you are allergic to animals with fur. Although it’s more common to be allergic to cats, as many as three in 10 people have allergies to both cats and dogs.
But don’t resign yourself to a life of misery just yet. As long as your allergies aren’t life threatening, with some common-sense measures (maybe don’t try sharing a bed with your pup), you can learn to coexist. One of the best ways to live together more comfortably is by purchasing an air purifier specifically designed for pets. (And even if you don’t have allergies, purifiers are a great way to clear up odors in your home.) Here are our three favorites.
Good: Partu HEPA
If you have a small space to purify, take a look at the Partu HEPA air purifier. This little unit is one of Amazon’s best sellers. One reason we’re such a big fan of this model is because you can add your favorite essential oil to the sponge located beneath the air filter. At only 3 pounds, the unit is portable enough to take from room to room (or from office to conference room) yet powerful enough to remove dust, dander, smoke, and other pollutants from the air. One Amazon reviewer said he hasn’t needed his inhaler since he began using it in his small apartment. Another review, from a mom whose daughter has a small menagerie in her bedroom, said it has almost completely eliminated the pet odor.
Better: Levoit Core P350
If you’re the only one who is allergic to the furry members of the family, you may want to consider restricting access to your bedroom and adding an air purifier, like this one from Levoit, to your decor. In addition to Levoit’s ability to significantly reduce pet odors, we like this model’s sleep-mode feature, which lets you turn off the display lights at nighttime and run at a quiet 24 dB. This product has a five-star rating on Amazon, where reviewers say it has dramatically reduced the pet odors in their homes, as well as improved their allergies and sinus infections.
Best: Blueair Blue Pure 311
Why just eliminate pet dander and odors when you can eliminate dangerous viruses and bacteria, too? Luckily, air purifiers like this one don’t discriminate. Blueair’s HEPASilent filtration technology removes 99.97% of airborne particles like pet dander, odors, dust, pollen, bacteria, and viruses, according to the company. (Note: This product has not been tested against coronavirus.)
Designed to purify larger rooms, like living rooms and playrooms, this unit automatically adjusts to air conditions to clean rooms up to 388 square feet. We also like the LED color display that indicates air quality. Wait — did we mention it comes in five colors and the outer fabric prefilter can be washed and reused?
Amazon reviewers heap praise on the auto feature, which adjusts the speed of the fan depending upon the pollutants in the air. Some also appreciate the way this purifier reduces musty basement smells and lingering cigarette smoke.
What else can you do to reduce the pet allergens in your home? Experts recommend creating a safe zone where no pets are allowed. They also suggest bathing your pet on a weekly basis to reduce the amount of dander. Also, ask your doctor if there are any over-the-counter medications that can lessen your sensitivities. Owning a pet has health benefits, including stress reduction and companionship, that make it worth tackling the allergy issue. By using a combination of these tactics and investing in one of these air purifiers, you can keep your pet a loyal member of your family and breathe a little easier meanwhile.
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