Dogs and cats who spend time unsupervised outdoors for as little as 10 minutes or as long as 10 hours can bring in questionable elements that can be hazardous to human health.
So, what exactly is your pet bringing inside your home and what can you do to minimize exposure to harmful elements and allergens?
Yes, the thought of your pet bringing hazardous parasitic worms into your house is enough to make anyone’s stomach turn. Now, imagine you drop your infant’s pacifier on the floor where you dog just stepped. You casually rinse the pacifier off and pop it back in baby’s mouth. Veterinary parasitologist, Dr. Allan Paul of the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, states roundworms and hookworms can infect humans through ingestion or skin contact and are common in puppies and kittens.
Solution: Regularly pick up feces in the yard and empty litter boxes. Wear shoes in areas of the yard where pets have eliminated and wash hands immediately after doing yard work or playing with your pet. Wash your pet’s paws off before they enter and do a quick once over of his pads for injuries.
If you are sensitive or allergic to pet dander, the symptoms can range from watery eyes, sneezing, coughing, itchy skin, and outbreaks of rash to difficulty breathing. The American Lung Association defines pet dander as tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers.
Solution: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) suggests creating an allergen-free space for yourself. Step 1 – Keep your pet out of your bedroom.
Step 2 – Wash the air free of allergens like dust, pet dander, and mold with a Venta Airwasher air humidifier and purifier. The filterless system will give you peace of mind by acting as another barrier to keep allergic outbreaks and symptoms at bay.
Step 3 – Vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Step 4 – Try to bathe your pet once a week or clean the animals cage.
Step 5 – Take care of yourself by washing your hands and finding a physician who will help you pinpoint what you are allergic to.
All it takes is one little flea to jump on your pet and set up shop. Adult fleas lay eggs in the fur of animals and the eggs drop onto the floor, furniture, beds…
Solution: Take the affected pet to the vet immediately to be treated and talk with the doctor about being proactive in prevention by introducing a flea control program. Next, start cleaning. Wash bedding (including the pet bedding) and vacuum all rugs. If you have other pets in the house, treat them as well.
The ASPCA suggests using a “safe area spray, fogger or powder directly to your pet’s sleeping area, rugs, chairs and other areas she frequents. If using a fogger, keep in mind that some brands may not kill flea eggs. You also may need to re-fog two weeks later when eggs have hatched. During each application, everyone—humans and all animals—may need to clear out of the house for the amount of time recommended on the label.”
Keep that Venta Airwasher running to eliminate the air of dust, pet dander, and allergens that will inevitably be swirling around the house as you annihilate the hazards that come with a colony of fleas.
Itching yet? While certain groups are more at risk for contracting a disease from a pet, it’s best to wipe down or wash your pets feet before they tramp around leaving dabs of goodness-knows-what on the floor.