Pets are cute, lovely creatures, aren’t they? Well, maybe except you have a hedgehog or fennec fox (but we don’t judge, so no worries). For the sake of this post, we’ll keep our focus limited to dogs, cats, and birds.
Bottom line is that pets can be all cozy and cute until they start to litter around the house with dander, urine and all whatnot. Then you realize you’d need something to deal with all the litter and the stink that comes with them. Air purifiers? Certainly.
Air purifiers can help take care of air pollutants and odors, caused by your pets or any other indoor or outdoor activity. But you must be mindful of the type you choose.
Ionic purifiers, also called ionizers, may tick all the boxes for removing wicked odors, fungi, bacteria and other microscopic organisms, but recent studies have shown that they may pose a danger to other beings including humans and animals. But, Are ionizers actually safe for birds and pets?
Ionizers work by releasing negative ions into the air, which attach themselves to airborne particles and gases and cause them to drop on surfaces, from where they can be cleaned up.
However, ionizers also tend to release ozone into the air and ozone has been found to be quite harmful to humans, pets, plants, and even some household items.
We’ll go into the details as we move along to tell you everything you need to know about using ionizers and how they may affect your birds and pets.
Are Ionizers Safe for Birds?
No, ionizers are not safe for birds because ozone is essentially quite harmful to birds. A bird’s respiratory system can be severely damaged by ozone, causing physical damage in the process.
Mind you, a bird’s respiratory system is relatively more vulnerable to chemicals and pollutants than that of humans. Their immune function and stress levels can also be affected significantly.
But these are only direct effects that pose a physical risk to the life and health of the bird. There are many other indirect impacts.
For starters, ozone can have damaging effects on plants within or outside the house. Plants are known to provide a home for insects which are the primary source of food for birds.
By destroying these plants- inhibiting their health, quality and growth- insects no longer find them habitable and this reduces the number of insects available for birds to eat. In fact, insects themselves will be killed by ozone which will lead to a shortage of food available for birds.
Is An Ionizer Safe for Parrots?
No, it is not. Parrots are also birds and, just like we said earlier, your birds should not be exposed to ozone. Think about it, if humans can be adversely affected by ozone exposure, why do you think parrots will be any different?
Parrots can be pretty cute in their cages and you may need an air purifier to clean up after them and remove pollution caused by their litter and waste.
However, be sure that the air purifier does not contain ozone, otherwise, you’ll be putting your pets at risk, including your parrots.
Are Ionizers Safe for Cats?
No, they’re not. The problem with ionizers is that they produce some amount of ozone. Although not as much as ozone generators, ionizers can also pose some risk to humans and pets, and that includes cats.
Be sure that your cat is taken out of the house before you apply the ionizer. Truth is, your cat’s respiratory system will be greatly affected or even damaged by the ozone produced by ionizers and you should be careful not to endanger your cat.
If you want to clean your room’s air and you have a cat, it’s best to use a regular air purifier with filters. Ozone activates a negative chemical reaction that will affect the oxygen, as well as chemicals in the cat’s internal system.
Are Air Ionizers Safe for Dogs?
They certainly do not create the same high amounts of ozone that ozone generators produce, but they will still affect your dog, especially when used extensively.
It’s even worse because while humans may only be affected by high levels of ozone, dogs, and pets generally, tend to be affected easily by low levels of ozone.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, many homeowners, approximately 38.4% owned dogs as pets, making up more than 60% of all pet owners.
The above statistic shows how important air purifiers are when it comes to air quality control to make your home more comfortable for you and your loved ones.
Hence, there’s a need to apply caution and only use ozone-free air purifiers or ensure the home is free of humans and animals before using their ionic air purifiers.
Rather than put your pets and birds at unnecessary risk, you should look at safer options for removing pet dander and hair, VOCs, and odors, such as multi-stage filtration air purifiers.
A good product recommendation is the Levoit H13 air purifier designed for pets. Such filter-based air purifiers do not produce ozone and can be used even with your pets present in the room.