How to Control Pet Dander

Pet dander, a common pet allergen, is another name for dead skin cells shed by animals.


Animal dander can cause allergies in some people, and it can aggravate asthma. Dander is sticky, and it may be difficult to eliminate once it becomes airborne or settles on soft surfaces. If someone in your home is sensitive to pet dander, you can take steps to reduce the amount of dander present. .

Wash your pet often to minimize dander. Some allergists recommend weekly baths, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Brush your pet outside regularly to cut down on pet dander in the house. If you have a pet dander allergy, have someone else do the brushing.

Keep pets off beds and upholstered furniture. Pet dander can easily collect on soft surfaces.

Vacuum carpet weekly using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, which can capture fine particles like pet dander, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Steam clean carpets frequently, and wash throw rugs in hot water weekly.

Mop hard floors weekly, and keep floors free of clutter.

Use a HEPA filter in your central heating and air conditioning unit. Cover bedroom vents with cheesecloth to keep allergens from being spread to your bedroom from the rest of the house, as recommended by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

Consider purchasing a high-quality air purifier to reduce airborne dander.

Things You Will Need

  • Pet bathing supplies
  • Pet brush
  • Vacuum
  • Mop
  • HEPA filter for central heating and air conditioning unit
  • Cheesecloth
  • Air purifier


  • Wear a dust mask when vacuuming if you have a pet dander allergy; vacuuming can stir up allergens.
  • If you have a pet dander allergy, make your bedroom off limits to pets so you will not be exposed to allergens throughout the night.
  • Despite these measures, some pet dander will continue to exist in your home as long as you have a pet. Even if you do not have a pet indoors, pet dander can enter your home on your clothes.

About the Author

Shannon Cotton is a freelance writer covering a variety of topics, including parenting, health and lifestyle. After nine years of writing for a weekly newspaper, she took her love of writing to the Web. Cotton attended Tarleton State University and received her bachelor’s degree in 2003.