Household air pollution has been linked to such serious illnesses as lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, COPD, Legionnaires’ disease, and asbestosis. Health experts list pet dander among the substances that reduce indoor air quality, pets can also be victims of poor air quality. Consequently, pets suffer from many of the same pollutant-caused health problems that affect humans. Therefore, by reducing the contaminants in your house, you’ll not only keep your family members healthy, but your pets as well.
Air quality can affect pet health – VOCs and cancer
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that have a low boiling point. Therefore, they can change their state from solid or liquid to vapour at room temperature. Products that contain VOCs include aerosols, paint, solvents, cleaning products, adhesive removers, and air fresheners. As a result, many VOCs are toxic and can contribute to poor indoor air quality. Methylene chloride, a VOC contained in products like paint strippers and spray paint, has been found to cause cancer in animals. This means that pets are at risk of VOC poisoning in improperly-ventilated homes. When using VOC-containing products, keep windows open and pets outside. But the best defence against VOCs is to avoid using them at all. Ditch aerosols, and switch to more natural alternatives.
Mould and respiratory infections
It’s no secret that mould can cause respiratory problems. For pets, it’s no different. Dogs, cats and even smaller animals can suffer from lung infections because of mould spores in the air. Symptoms of mould exposure in pets include everything from heavy breathing to convulsions. Mould needs moisture to survive. The best way to prevent an infestation in your home is to maintain a proper humidity level. We recommend that 40 percent for most dwellings. Again, good ventilation – and maybe a dehumidifier for added protection – should keep humidity at the correct level. If mould has already been discovered in your home, and is too abundant for normal spot cleaning, professionals should be contacted, as they will be equipped to remove problem material and prevent re-infestation, protecting your pet’s health.
Dust mites and allergies
A pet that sneezes, itches, or has a runny nose or eyes for an extended period, is probably experiencing an allergic reaction. If the pet exhibits these symptoms in its home, it may be reacting to dust mites. Dust accumulates in all homes in varying degrees, and mites are microscopic creatures that eat this dust, and whose leavings cause allergic reactions in humans and pets. To reduce the number of mites in your pet’s living space, vacuum often, clean their bedding, and try to buy toys that are made out of synthetic material. Dust mites don’t like synthetics.
Indoor air can contain dangerous pollutants just like outdoor air. Both can affect your pets, but only the former is preventable. Keeping your home free of illness-causing VOCs, mould and dust mites will make your pets healthier and happier.