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A family with air purifiers and pets.

How Do Air Purifiers Impact Pets?

You’d do anything for your pets. The cat hair in the deepest crevices of your keyboard and the cupboard full of organic, fair-trade dog food prove it. You make sure your pets eat well, play well and live well. But are you making sure they breathe clean air along the way? 

We see you out there with your puppy pilates classes and impromptu midnight visits to the animal clinic. We know you put the work in for your best little furry friend’s well-being. Now it’s time to make sure the air they breathe is contributing to their long, healthy, and active life. They’ll thank you for it later–with big slobbery kisses. 

Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets?

Air filtration devices like those in Coway’s lineup are sealed and stable, so they won’t pose any mechanical or electrical risk to your family’s pets, so long as the wires are secured from pets who like to chew.

But air purifiers aren’t just safe for pets to hang out around. The air they purify is totally safe – and genuinely beneficial – for pets to breathe. Since air purifiers filter pollutants and irritants from indoor environments, they can help reduce short-term irritation and ease long-term health conditions in pets, just as they can in people.  

While masking up can help people filter air personally, organizations like Guide Dogs for the Blind don’t recommend masks as a safe air quality solution for dogs. On the other hand, air purifiers can help your pets breathe clean air in just the same ways they help humans breathe clean air. Just make sure you keep them in a tip-safe spot.

How Air Purifiers Benefit Your Pets

Now that you know air purifiers are safe for pets, what can they actually do for your fur baby’s well-being? As Bond Vet Clinic's primary care director, Dr. Gabrielle Fadl, tells CNN Health, “Exposure to polluted air can have a profound impact on our pets’ health.”

Air purifiers help remove a significant amount of those pollutants from the air, with filters ensuring that your pets breathe clean air indoors. Speaking to Vox, veterinarian Lisa Lippman says, “A lot of people don’t realize that animals can experience things almost exactly in the same ways that we do. They have the same organ systems that we do, and they’re really, really susceptible, especially [to air pollution] if they’re in at-risk categories.” Purification systems reduce everything from the fine particulate matter of wildfires and car exhausts to the presence of airborne viruses in our air supply, and our pets benefit from this in ways similar to their owners, such as:

Respiratory Health

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, studies have shown that dogs exposed to heavy air pollution suffer increased inflammation while cats exposed to passive indoor smoke have reduced lung functioning, for example. And as climate change leads to more wildfires every summer, air filters can help reduce dangerous pollutants like hydrogen cyanide and carbon monoxide in our pets’ air supply on smoky days. 

Long story short, animals experience difficulty breathing and respiratory issues from asthma to bronchitis for the same reasons that we do, and the improved air quality offered by air purification systems can help reduce these issues.

Allergy Relief

When it comes to allergies, pets can suffer from irritation, inflammation, difficulty breathing and (adorable) sneezes, too. In fact, just as is the case with respiratory issues, pets can be even more susceptible to this air quality issue due to their small size. To cut back on the airborne particles that trigger allergic reactions, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology recommends air purifiers equipped with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, which all Coway air care devices use. With the Coway Airmega, for example, smart HEPA filters are specifically to clean your indoor environment, reducing harmful particulates and unpleasant odors. 

Fewer Chemicals and VOCs   

Pets’ smaller size can also make them more vulnerable to airborne chemical pollutants such as VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, which can be left behind by everything from cleaning products to synthetic fabrics. Animal Wellness Magazine notes that chemical irritants in VOCs can lead to dizziness, nausea, fatigue and ear, nose and throat irritation in pets. Those same airborne VOCs can be significantly reduced with activated carbon filters (and, yes, we use those, too). 

Clean Air For All Members of Your Household

Sure, air purifiers can directly impact your pet’s well-being, but they pack some bonus benefits for pet parents, too. Alongside all of those respiratory benefits we covered earlier, air purifiers help cut back on pet fur and dander in indoor spaces, which can in turn cut back on allergy symptoms. Our HEPA-equipped purification systems can collectively filter air particulate up to 99.99 percent, which translates to way less pet-produced allergens floating around.

And let’s be real. As cute as your pets look, they almost never smell cute. A 2020 study in Veterinary Medicine and Science declared that “Poor indoor air quality may exacerbate airway disease in pets and should not be ignored.” And neither should that wet dog smell, to be honest.

Dan is a Dallas-based freelance writer and consultant specializing in tech, media analysis and lifestyle content. In his decade-plus experience, he's been fortunate enough to work alongside partners including Samsung, BRIO, ASUS, Verizon, Sony and many more. 


Live Science - Are Air Purifiers Safe for Pets? 

CNN Health - Wildfire Smoke Is Bad for Pets, Too. Here’s How to Keep Them Safe

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency - Air Quality Alerts: Your Questions Answered

Guide Dogs for the Blind - Dogs and Poor Air Quality

Vox - If You Can’t Breathe Well, Neither Can Your Pet

National Library of Medicine - PMC PubMed Central: Veterinary Medicine and Science: An Observational Study on the Role of Indoor Air Pollution in Pets with Naturally Acquired Bronchial/Lung Disease

American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology - Air Filters

Animal Wellness Magazine - Protecting Your Pet from Indoor Air Pollution