With the upcoming colder seasons, your furry friends may be slowly sneaking their way into your cosy bed and it can be impossible to say no. However, doctors have revealed the shocking reason why you may want to keep them out.
Whilst cuddles are all well and good, when it comes to certain times of the year sharing our beds with our pets can actually pose certain health risks and seriously affect your sleep hygiene too. From inducing pet asthma to making you sick with a fever, experts strongly discourage you from doing it.
So why is it so bad? And is the reason enough to kick our fur babies out of bed? Unfortunately, it just might be. Here’s why you should never share the bed with your pet, this month especially…
According to a recent study published at the National Library of Medicine, an overwhelming half of pets sleep on their owner’s beds. Of that half, around 30% sleep under the duvet when in bed. Not only does this put you at risk of potentially having to get rid of fleas in your bed or bacteria from the outside, but it also means you’re likely to have animal dander in your bed too.
Dander is the tiny flakes of skin that are shed off all warm-blooded animals with fur, hair or feathers. Your pets will shed more dander during transitional months such as September which is why it’s not recommended to welcome them into your bed at this particular time of the year.
Dr Deborah Lee, an expert from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy, is quick to highlight the health risks, explaining: “Pet dander is a common cause of allergy in children and adults. Encountering pet dander can cause allergic rhinitis, dermatitis, hives and asthma symptoms.”
“When you breathe the animal dander particles into your lungs, your body’s immune cells recognise the dog or cat antigen as a foreign substance posing a threat to your health,” Dr Deborah Lee continues.
“As a result, an inflammatory reaction is initiated, and an antibody called Ig E is released. Cells called mast cells release histamine, which causes smooth muscle contraction, causing the airways to constrict, meaning you cannot get so much air into the lungs.”
Pet-induced asthma may lead to you showing symptoms such as coughing, wheezing or chest tightness. With this in mind, Happy Beds have shared some tips and tricks for keeping pet hair to a minimum and increasing your healthy airflow to the max.
How to get rid of pet hair
If you do find yourself feeling a little short of breath or itchier than usual then it may be time to tackle the pet hair. Here are some easy yet effective ways of getting your home dander free.
1. Use an Air purifier
With small particles like dander, more often than not they tend to travel through the air and are then breathed in by us. So just because you let your pet onto one bed doesn’t mean that it won’t affect you in other rooms too. That’s why the experts recommend investing in one of the best air purifiers.
This will improve the overall air quality of your space whilst filtering out any nasty dust germs present in the air. An air purifier is especially good if you or someone you live with suffers from allergies or asthma.
2. Lint rollers
Now this is not the best way to get a deep clean or even one that will do the trick long term, but it’s perfect for a quick fix. If you don’t have time to fully de-hair your home on the regular then having a lint roller to hand can help you quickly keep on top of the situation.
For more sustainable options, go for a reusable or washable lint roller, they’re tonnes more effective and won’t leave you with a heap of single-use plastic.
“Having a Whippet that likes to sleep on and in the bed, a lint roller is an essential tool in my daily bed-making routine,” says w&h’s homes editor Tamara Kelly.
“Another viral cleaning hack we tried is to use a rubber glove, one you don’t use for other cleaning tasks, and wipe the sheets to cause friction that makes the hair adhere to the glove. This does work in the same way, but is obviously not as quick or efficient as a lint roller.”
3. Invest in pet hair attachments for your vacuum
Although this may cost you a little more, having the right tools for the job will make your life significantly easier when it comes to tackling the cleaning each week. Many vacuum brands offer specialised packs of attachments that have been designed to make the pet hair removal process as easy as possible.
“It’s more than worth the investment to get pet-approved attachments for your cordless vacuum to make the job more thorough,” says Tamara. “You need to be able to reach into every nook and gap around the base of the mattress where the hair can collect. I’ve got one of the best Dyson vacuum cleaners that has the attachments as standard.”
4. Dryer sheet trick
Much like the lint roller, this is a quick short-term hack that will keep you on top of the pet hair battle. Experts at Happy Beds say, “If your pet has left hair on your bedding, use a dryer sheet to your advantage. Rubbing a dryer sheet back and forth on pillows or bedding generates static electricity, which attracts and lifts pet hair. This trick not only removes pet hair but leaves a pleasant scent behind.”
This hack really kills two birds with one stone, hair removal and helps with stubborn pet odours too – a great way to make your house smell good on a budget.
5. Daily pet grooming
We rarely have the time to groom our pets each day but simply brushing them on a daily basis, especially during shedding season, can significantly reduce the amount of hair left around the house.
It’s best to do this outside if possible as there will be a lot of excess loose hair floating around afterwards and it helps to not have that happening inside. Regularly cleaning our pets is also a great help alongside natural remedies for hayfever.
6. Fabric softener spray
Another affordable yet effective hack recommended by Happy Beds. They suggest, “Mix a cap full of fabric softener with water in a spray bottle. Spritz this solution onto the hairy areas and let it sit for about 15 minutes. This will help loosen the hair, making it easier to remove with a lint roller, vacuum, or brush.”
This is a great solution for when you find yourself with particularly tough, wiry pet hair that’s embedded into fabrics like your couch or bedding.
7. Professional grooming
Along with a snappy daily brush, it’s a great idea to get your pooch booked in for a monthly groom, especially when the seasons are due to change. Having them groomed, with a good trim and shedding shampoo will make the world of difference when it comes to them leaving fur around the house.
Although it is an added expense, if you’re looking for ways for how to sleep better than making sure your lungs aren’t taking on all those nasty dander particles is a great place to start.
Many of us may start our journeys as cat or dog parents with every intention of keeping them out of our bedrooms. This might however last only a few months before they wear you down with their sad eyes and irresistible charms.
Next thing you know they’re hopping up without even a glimmer of hesitation. If that is the case beware of the implications and uphold the steps above to avoid any problems.