Allergies to Ferrets and other pets

Allergies to pets come from the dander from the pet. Because ferrets do not lick themselves much, they don’t spread dander as much as dogs and cats. The dander particles get in the air and can stay suspended there for hours, spreading throughout the home and into nasal passages. Then they settle on household surfaces and can be there for years, causing constant irritation.

If the pet’s skin is dry or irritated, there will be more sloughing of dander. So, feed good quality foods and use shampoos to help reduce dander and dry skin.

If you or someone in your family is allergic to pets, below are some things you can do to reduce the reactions.

Brush the pet every day, preferably outside and while using a face mask. This removes loose dander and hair.

Bathe the pet up to once a week with an anti-allergen shampoo that does not contain soap, sulphate or alcohol. Using a creme rinse is also helpful. Good shampoos to use: Virbac Epi-Soothe, Allergroom with Glycotechnology, Allersearch Pet Shampoo (this one also helps protect from fleas and ticks).

Between baths, rub the pet’s coat with a cloth moistened with water or an allergen neutralizing solution like Allerpet C.

Vacuum every day and empty the vacuum canister each time. Vacuum around the edges of the carpet at least twice a week. Make sure the vacuum has a HEPA filter, otherwise you may just be putting more of the allergens into the air. Don’t forget to vacuum walls, ceilings, furniture, blinds, curtains – and even your dog or cat (not a ferret though).

Wash the insides of the vacuum cleaner and clean the rollers frequently. Sit the items in the sun to dry. You won’t be able to vacuum the next day because the parts will still be damp.

Sweep the floor twice a day if possible. Mopping helps pick up more allergens than sweeping.

Dust as often as you can, using a dampened cloth or dampened feather duster.

Cover furniture the pets may get on with a sheet or something and remove it when you’re sitting on the furniture.

Wash bedding, throw rugs, furniture covers, etc. twice a week. Shake fur out until you can’t see any more fur flying around. Wash in warm water with ¼ cup of bleach. This amount of bleach won’t fade anything but does help disinfect and kill parasites. Rinse twice. Shake the bedding out again before drying. Dry on the highest heat. Consider using a special laundry detergent like Allersearch Anti-Allergen wash.

Keep the pet’s cage and carrier clean, using vinegar and water to wipe it down.

Do not touch your face or eyes during pet play time or immediately after. After play time, thoroughly wash your hands and any skin that may have saliva on it.

Wear a face mask or an apron or special “pet clothes” when playing or handling your pets.

Play with the pets outside as much as possible to keep dander from being released into the room during playtime.

Use an air purifier in any room where the pets will be. Make sure it’s one that can remove pet dander from the air.

Use a special electrostatic furnace filter.

Close the air vent of the room the pets stay in so their dander doesn’t circulate through the house.

Designate some pet free rooms, so you have some place you can go where there isn’t constant dander.