How Long Does Pet Dander Stay In a House

Pets are the most loveable friends in our lives. But did you know pet dander can lead to serious pet allergies? According to research, 10-20% of the world’s population suffers from dog and cat allergies and these are significant health concerns.

Did you know that more than 90% of abodes tests are positive for pet allergens in the U.S (source), even in pet-free houses? This tells us how fast pet dander can spread and stay for a long time.

Usually, pet dander stays in the house for 4-6 months even if the place is pet-free.

how long does pet dander stay in a house

If you are allergic to pets, then exposure to pet dander can cause serious problems, including sneezing, chronic coughing, difficulty breathing, or experiencing itchy eyes. And the fact is that pet dander is pretty hard to get rid of. 

The side effects of pet dander are sometimes serious, and the fact that acute asthma of a dog allergic adult costs up to $500 million to $1 billion per year tells us how expensive the disease is.

Even if you don’t have pets and have moved into a home where pets used to live, there is a good chance that you are still housing pet dander that can trigger your allergies.

Because truth be told, there are no hypoallergenic pets. All cats and dogs produce pet dander, and no, the pet dander is not directly related to pet hair or fur. But before discussing how to get rid of pet dander in the house, let’s take a look at what pet dander actually is?

What Is Pet Dander?

In a nutshell, the tiny flecks of skin cells shed by cats, dogs, birds, or any feathery or furry pet are called pet danders. Pet dander is a big trigger for people suffering from allergies. 

On the other hand, pet allergens are allergens present in the saliva, urine, and pets’ feces. The protein in the saliva or urine is the main culprit that causes an allergic reaction.

You see, the pet’s saliva dries on the pet’s fur and then gets airborne, where any allergic person can inhale it. In cats, the Fel d l protein is the common cause of allergy, while in cats, Can f I and Can f II protein are the culprits.

How Long Does Pet Dander Stay In A House?

The fact that pet dander is lightweight helps it stay in the air for several hours. And even after settling down, it can get stirred up quite quickly. The pet dander remains in your home long after the pet has left the house. In some cases, pet dander will stay for 20-30 weeks, according to allergists.

And the interesting thing is that pet dander sticks to EVERYTHING, from carpets and sofas to beds, floors, and even persons. If pet dander is stuck to a person, the slightest movement will cause it to spread around.

And as you carry items with pet dander around, it may spread to all types of locations like malls, schools, offices, restaurants, and even places where pets aren’t allowed.

So if you are highly allergic to pets, we do not recommend renting or buying a property that has had pets in the last 6 months.

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Quick And Effective Tips To Remove Pet Dander

As we mentioned, pets with fur or feathers tend to shed dander and allergens. Unfortunately, with pets, you cannot get rid of dander completely. But here are some quick fixes to help reduce and neutralize pet dander.

•    Steam clean: cleaning carpets, furniture, and curtains might help remove pet dander. Steam cleaning the floors also helps clean them deeply. You can also use a sticky lint roller to quickly remove pet dander from any type of surface.

•    Bath your pet regularly: when you bathe a pet, the extra fur or skin flecks will get flushed down the drain.

•    Get a good air purifier: many pet owners think air purifiers are overrated, but that is not true. A HEPA filter can genuinely change your life and filter the pet dander from your home’s air. A good pet air purifier will drastically change the quality of your life by helping you breathe and sleep better. It also helps keep the particular pet odor at bay. 

•    Get professional help: if nothing helps and your allergies are getting worse, you need to get the air ducts cleaned by professionals. A professional air duct cleaning service will remove dander built-up and thoroughly clean the air ducts from allergens. This means removing any, and all types of pet dander from everywhere. 

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Does Cat Dander Stick To Walls?

Yes, cat dander sticks to walls. Cat dander sticks to everything. Because pet dander is so light, there is no place where pet dander cannot go. If you want your walls to be pet-dander-free, we suggest cleaning them thoroughly or, better yet, paint them. If that’s not an option, you can scrub the wall clean with hot soapy water but first, make sure your paint is water-resistant. If not, get an ADS anti-allergen spray and wipe the wall with that. Just spray some on a towel and start cleaning. You can also use Swiffer mops for cleaning the pet dander.

How To Know If I Have Pet Dander In The House?

Well, that’s easy! If you have pets, you have pet dander. You can also do a research test. However, most homes contain cat danders even if you don’t have a cat. That’s because pet dander is widely spread through the air. You don’t need a test to confirm that. All you have to do is take preventive measures, as mentioned above.

Can You Smell Pet Dander?

Pet dander has an unpleasant odor as it has parts of your pet’s saliva, urine, and skin cells. If your pet dog has infected skin, the dander will have a foul smell. Pet dander spreads all across the house as the pet moves indoors, and if there is an odor, you will come to know it pretty quickly.

Does Steam Cleaning Remove Pet Dander?

Yes, steam cleaning is an excellent way of removing pet dander. You can purchase a steam cleaner and wash your rug to remove dust, dirt, bacteria, and dander. 

A good steam cleaner will use approximately 45 liters of water to clean two rooms. Allow the rug to dry after steam cleaning. It will take nearly one or two hours, depending on the size and thickness of the rug.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article on how long does pet dander stays in the house (usually 4-6 months) will have given you insights into what pet dander is and how it affects people with allergies. And of course, what you can do to prevent pet dander from staying too long in your home.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

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  • Remembering a study that was reported to me over 25 years ago that children bring home from school on their clothes as much cat and dog dander as if they had lived with a pet. We started to strip the children of their clothes and bathe them after school (and play outdoors) instead of after dinner — yes, it helped.

  • Anyone know if this timeline includes dander potency? Ex. A sofa has been in storage for over a year with quite a bit of dander. Is that dander still potent enough to trigger allergies? It would get a good cleaning too.

    • Linda, my advice is to give your sofa a good cleaning and let it sit for another month or two. After that, I’m pretty sure the pet dander will have lost its potency to trigger allergies.

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