Back in 2013 LiveScience published an article that broke down pet population in the United States. The study provided an estimated population for major pet categories like fish, dogs, and cats. We were pretty blown away by the sheer number of furry and not furry friends cohabitating in american households. And, that got us thinking… what are all of these people doing to make life with pets easier? How are they making sure their fish have the best water? How are they fighting litter box odor? Are pets affected by indoor air quality? And, perhaps the most important question the article sparked… how can we help pets and pet owners live happier/healthier lives?
So with that question, or perhaps it’s a personal challenge, in mind we set our to combine our expertise in water and air filtration to good use. We want to help you find the best tools and tips on things like getting rid of dander, finding the best water for your aquarium, and reducing allergy symptoms. But, before we move on let’s take a look at the numbers published in the article we mentioned earlier.
No matter which category you consider… the sheer number of pets is astounding. Think of all of the households in any city, state, or county that have pets. Now think of all of the issues people overcome to live with those pets on a daily basis. It’s pretty amazing to think of all of the people out there monitoring pH in their fish tanks, cleaning litter boxes, and bathing the family dog just to make life better through the companionship pets provide. Now lets see what our site can offer to make those tasks (and many others easier).
Cats are great for so many reasons, but let’s focus on how they negatively impact the spaces we share.
First, cat dander is a huge allergen trigger. Or more specifically it’s proteins contained in dander (dead skin cells), saliva, or even the pet’s urine. Dander is often closely tied to pet hair, but by addressing one you typically address the other. Even if you’re not allergic, there’s a good chance that you have a friend or family member who is. It’s best to keep allergens under control.
Second, that litter box is basically a toilet that doesn’t flush (we’re obviously not cat people). If left unchecked the smells will overwhelm every corner of your dwelling. And, those odors aren’t just offensive some are hazardous to your health. Excess ammonia in urine can lead to a number of problems like headaches or respiratory infections. And, the other stinking contributor in the litter box is even worse. Cat Scratch Fever (okay…it’s really “cat scratch disease) isn’t just an old Ted Nugent jam… it’s a common name for a human illness caused by exposure to Bartonella henselae, a common bacteria found lingering in your litter box. Then there are parasites and a number of other bacteria that can be transferred to humans. Moral of the story clean your litter box regularly.
If you’re interested in a more comprehensive list of cat to human illnesses and infections check out this list from the CDC.
Despite the health risks cats are great companions. They’re typically more independent and less needy when compared to dogs. And, when they want to… they can be more affectionate than say a fish or snake. Some even border on K9-like affection. Either way we’ll point you in the right direction and offer as much help as we can.
Dogs are the perfect companion (*** disclosure: this article was composed by a dog owner***). They’re loyal, affectionate, and most seem to exist in a constant state of happiness. But, to be fair to the cat owners we just offended… let’s take a look at some of the downsides and health risks associated with dog ownership.
First off, the one of the big differences is that almost all dog’s go outside daily. That means they’re much more likely to bring in contaminants, dust, fleas, etc. from the great outdoors. If you’re dirt averse… don’t get a dog.
Second, all of the allergen producing proteins in cat dander, saliva, etc. exist in their K9 colleagues. And since dogs aren’t as well versed in self bathing you’ll have to do all of the grooming yourself. Fortunately, the measures you can to keep allergens under control are almost identical to those we can recommend for cats.
Related: Best Purifier Buying Guide
Also, dogs stink more that cats. Maybe not as bad as a litter box, but left to their own devices dogs seem to prefer a certain musk. Think about it… how long after a bath is your dog out in the yard, on its back, rolling around in something awful. Fortunately we can help with some tips and appliance recommendations to keep those odors out of your home. Unless they get sprayed by a skunk or roll around in a dead bird’s remains… we’ll leave that to another Google Search.
If you’re thinking “I’m sure glad I don’t have an animal (read cat) that can transmit disease to me and my family,” think again. Here’s an equally comprehensive list of dog problems that lead to human illnesses. Thanks CDC!
Finally dogs are typically larger than cats. Which means when they’re romping around the living room they will typically kick up more dust than other animals.
However, despite their heavy reliant lifestyle dogs are truly great companions. Studies show that dog owners have lower rates of heart disease and dogs are lead the pack in the therapy/service animal world. So, with that said, we’ll do our best to help you find the tools you need to make life with your pup even better than it already is…
Some people who do not own birds are quick to judge. “Birds are so loud,” they’ll point out. Typically followed by an anecdote that “proves” birds are dirty, they stink, and carry disease. What they don’t realize is that the number of bird to human illnesses (here’s another CDC list) are pretty rare compared to cats and dogs. And, washing your hands after handling a bird will typically keep you out of trouble.
However, bird owners have to agree that birds are kind of messy. The area around thier cage is often a hotbed of feathers, allergens, food scraps, and dust. And, since we’re being honest there is a smell coming from that cage. The good news is that most of those problems are remedied with a bit of elbow grease and even a good air purifier.
When it comes to hypoallergenic pets that don’t stink… fish are the way to go. You’ll never see us write an article about the best air purifier for fish… unless it’s April first or something. We can however help with the water in your aquarium. A key concern for any fish aficionado.
People are in fact allergic to reptiles, but the most frequent allergens associated with reptiles and amphibians are cause by food. Reptile cuisine, like grasshoppers, carry some pretty aggressive allergens and can trigger asthma attacks.
Then there’s also odor. Reptiles produce little waste, have no hair to absorb odor, and are relatively clean compared to larger mammals. So they should be right up there at the top of the list for pets that don’t stink. The problem is, however, that their habitat can develop a bit of an odor problem. Cleaning helps, but so does an air purifier with an activated carbon filter.
If there was ever a group of animals with a reputation for odor and and a PR problem it’s small animals. They’ve been blamed for everything from the Plague to Hantavirus. Ferrets get the brunt of the stink-related stereotypes, but yes little bunnies… you’re miles cleaner but that urine can be overpowering if left unchecked.
Remember the hamster cage from grade school. It smelled terrible, and it was even cleaned regularly by a child labor workforce of 20-30 students. Bottom line, if you own a ferret… rat….hamster, etc. You’ll be happier if you pick up a fairly strong purifier fortified with plenty of activated carbon.