It’s estimated that up to 47% of American households have a pet. Having an inside pet can bring deep companionship, comfort, and joy, but can also bring a lot of of environmental pollutants into your home. Spot cleaning and even regular DIY cleaning often leaves behind much of these pet pollutants in your carpets, rugs, and other fabric surfaces. While brushing off a little pet hair off your clothes may seem like a worthwhile task in exchange for your beloved pet, many of the pet pollutants can create an unsanitary living environment and put your health in jeopardy.
What Pollutants Do Pets Bring into Homes?
1. Dirt & Bacteria
As the pet goes in and out for bathroom duties and exercise, they bring everyday dirt back in with them. A single square foot of carpet can harbor a pound of dirt, and dirt carries innumerable types of bacteria and fungal microbes. A 2013 study showed homes with pets have more bacteria and a more diverse range of bacteria than pet-free homes.
Dogs drool, lick, and chew, all of which leaves a great deal of saliva across the home and in the upholstery. Like humans, dogs have “good bacteria” in their mouths to help them fight off “bad bacteria,” but that doesn’t mean their good bacteria is our good bacteria. Dogs also can carry a number of zoonotic diseases, including drug-resistant strains of bacteria, in their saliva that can be passed along to humans.
3. Urine And Feces
A gram of feces or urine can have over 20 million fecal coliform bacteria in it. Even after attempts to clean up dog urine and feces, parvovirus, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms,threadworms, campylobacteriosis, giardia, coccidia, salmonellosis, and a number of other disease-causing bacteria and parasites can still lurk in household rugs, carpets, and other soiled upholstery. The toxic ammonia fumes from pet urine soaking into fabrics can also pose a health problem, especially in those with an existing respiratory disorder.
Dander is microscopic skin cells shed by dogs, and it inevitably gets everywhere because, like humans, dogs are constantly shedding dead skin cells. The proteins in pet dander are the main culprit when it comes to human allergies to pets. Did you know some 30 million Americans are allergic to pet dander. Dust mites also feed on dander and give off waste material. Dust mite waste material is also a common allergen. Regular household cleaning and vacuuming often just catapults the dander into the air to simply resurface elsewhere, not actually remove it. To help keep these contaminants lowered, use a high quality HEPA filtration vacuum and change filters & bags frequently, before being full or looking dirty. Vacuum 2-4 times per week.
What Can Be Done To Truly Remove These Pet Pollutants At Home?
Keep in mind that there’s a difference between a surface clean and a deep clean deep beyond what’s visible. The EPA recommends homes housing pets have their carpeting, rugs, and upholstery cleaned by a professional two to four times per year. The recommended cleaning method is thorough HEPA filtration pre-vacuuming, non toxic soil re-conditioning, truck mounted hot water rinse extraction to sanitize and remove as much residue as possible. There is no substitute for this type of thorough cleaning.
True North Cleaning Professionals can help you get everything from your air ducts and upholstery to fine rugs and delicate carpeting deep cleaned from the dog pollutants plaguing your home’s cleanliness, appearance, and aroma.
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