5 Effects Pet Hair Can Have On Human Health & Ways to Tackle Them

We adopt pets to bring joy and happiness into our lives, they become loyal companions and irreplaceable family members to us and our children. Unless we are allergic to pet hairs, we do not consider the effects pet’s hair can have on our health.

Cats and dogs shed large amounts of hair and fur which ends up all over your house and is almost impossible to entirely remove. This hair could be affecting your health in unexpected ways, what’s worse is that you might not even know that pet hair is actively affecting your health.

Here are some of the ways that these furs could be affecting you and your family’s life and some simple ways to minimize the risks of the hairs from your pets.

1. Bacteria

Germs are everywhere but animals are particularly good at picking up nasty forms of bacteria, especially if they are frequently outdoors.

Exceptionally bad bacteria which you can catch from animal fur are Salmonella and E. coli, alongside giving you a bad case of diarrhea, they can make you end up in the hospital and can potentially be life-threatening.

Thankfully, viruses are very infrequently spread between animals and humans, it’s just the bacteria you need to worry about.

To keep your pet free from bacteria and minimize your chances of getting sick from your pet, you should ensure they are frequently washed and kept healthy with regular checkups from the vet.

Wash your hands after playing with your furry friends and make sure your kids do the same.

2. Parasitic Infections

“Two of the most common parasitic diseases in the U.S. can be transmitted by our pets.”

Peter Hotez, President, Sabin Vaccine Institute, Walter G. Ross Professor, George Washington University

There are lots of parasites that love to make their home in pet pelt if your dog or cat is often outside you need to beware. Parasites from pets can easily spread to you and other people in your home if you are not careful.

Hookworms, tapeworms, and even scabies all can be present in animal fur.

One of the worst types of parasites to have on a dog or cat is fleas, from your pet’s hair they will quickly spread throughout your house causing you misery, they are really hard to get rid of too.

The best way to ensure your pet is free of parasites is to ensure you take them to the vet regularly for flea and deworming treatments, medicated shampoos when washing your pet are also a great way to ensure your pet is healthy.

With the summertime approaches, teach yourself how to remove ticks and brush your pet regularly.

Keeping your pet healthy is the easiest way to ensure that the hair it sheds in your house doesn’t pose a parasitic risk to your health.

If you aren’t already aware of the parasitic risk from your pet, read up on the risks to ensure you are taking proper precautions to protect yourself, your pet, and your family.

3. Allergy

Many suffer from pet hair allergies and some of the sufferers don’t even know it.

There are many reasons why someone can be allergic to pet hair but for pet owners, this can be difficult especially if you develop an allergy overnight.

Meaning, you might have been ok with your pet’s hair, but now something in your immune system snapped and now, all of a sudden, you developed an allergy.

Those who suffer from pet hair allergies may experience coughing and wheezing, red and irritated eyes, runny nose, sinus problems, and sneezing. If you have a light form of allergy it is possible to still own a pet while you are taking necessary medication. Consult your GP if you believe you are allergic to pet hair.

For some people, allergies can suddenly develop, just simply appearing.

One of the best ways to avoid having an allergic reaction to pet hair is to simply limit your exposure to any hair by keeping your house clean free of hair.

Limiting your exposure to hair can help you to avoid allergies developing too, you can do this by keeping pets to certain rooms, regularly vacuuming and using an air filter.

4. Asthma

Those with asthma can be triggered by animal hairs and these triggers can develop for asthma sufferers at any time.

The allergens within the animal hair come from the dead skin cell proteins. They come in the form of tiny skin flakes on the hair, these small flakes can become airborne in the form of dust. While this is the same as an allergic reaction, for those with asthma the reaction can be particularly strong.

Owning a pet with asthma is not advised and if anyone is visiting your house who has asthma, make sure to deeply clean your house of hair and fur before they come, asthma attacks are potentially life-threatening for many sufferers. Those with very strong asthmatic reactions to animals must always stay away from hair or fur.

5. Stronger Immune System

Pet hair isn’t all bad news, dogs, and cats exposing your body to new parasites and bacteria have the consequence of strengthening your body’s immune systems. It’s been shown that those with dogs and cats are less likely to get sick and if they do get sick they recover faster.

While having pet hair around your home can potentially make you sick, it makes your body better able to fight off these potential illnesses. Having a pet will make your body healthier and not just physically, those who have pets are generally happier and less prone to depression.

Having a pet is great for your health, both physically and mentally just make sure you take care of your furry friend and clean up their hair!