A dog, a cat, a hamster, or even a snake can be your best friend. However, allergies can often prevent you from getting a pet. And taking antihistamines every day is not the solution.
Fortunately, it’s not impossible to get a pet even if you have allergies. However, you’ll need to choose the breed carefully and prepare thoroughly. Remember: don’t get a cat or a dog if you’re severely allergic. To determine whether a pet is suitable for you, visit a person with the same breed and see if your allergies flare up.
In this article, you’ll find a list of the best pets for allergic people that’ll make your dream come true. However, no cat or dog is 100% hypoallergenic – some breeds just shed less (or don’t shed at all). To limit the risks, clean the house, groom your pet regularly, don’t allow him in your bed or bedroom, and wash your hands every time you touch him. Also, an air filter might be helpful.
Decided that you want to get a furry friend? Here’s a list of the best pets for allergic people.
Cats are often considered one of the most allergenic animals; however, it doesn’t always mean you can’t get one if you have an allergy. What you need to remember is that cat allergens are not contained in their fur but in their saliva and skin. Building on that, there are two types of cat breeds you can look for:
- Short-haired cats. These breeds have less fur, or no fur at all, and shed less – so there’s no place for the allergens in their saliva to get trapped in. Look for the breeds like Sphynx, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Oriental Shorthair, or even a domestic short-haired cat.
- Hypoallergenic cats produce less of the allergen FEL D1, so a reaction is not likely. Consider getting a Balinese, Siberian or Russian Blue.
Dogs are not completely allergy-free pets – but what else to do if you’re dreaming of getting a new pup for a best friend? Skin dander is the main allergen in dogs, so the best decision for an allergic person will be to look for the dogs that shed less. The American Kennel Club even made a list of the best dogs with a “predictable, non-shedding coat.” The list includes Bichon Frise, All Schnauzers, Maltese, Xoloitzcuintli, and many more – you can easily find the breed you like.
While Guinea pigs, rabbits, and hamsters seem hypoallergenic, they really aren’t. Just like cats and dogs, they produce dander which can make you sneeze, cough, or itch. However, it’s easier to prevent the spread of allergens with smaller mammals, as you usually keep them in the cage.
If you have an allergy, you probably won’t have problems living under the same roof as hamsters or Guinea pigs. Nevertheless, you should avoid handling them, and if you do, wash your hands every time after you touch them. Also, make sure the cage is not placed in your room, and someone cleans it regularly.
Birds don’t have fur, but they still produce dander and spread it when flapping wings, preening or defecating. However, some breeds shed less (and definitely not so much as a cat would), which makes them your perfect choice. If you want an allergy-friendly small pet, consider budgies (often called Parakeets), Eclectus, or Pionus parrots.
Reptiles and Fish
Snakes, frogs, lizards, or turtles can be an excellent choice for allergy or asthma sufferers – they usually don’t cause allergic reactions. However, some of them are high-maintenance, and in many cases, you’ll need to wear gloves and a dust mask when handling the rodents and insects that your pet eats.
Fish also don’t produce allergens, and you don’t have to spend much time and effort to care for them. However, a fish tank can increase the humidity in the room, which can cause mold growth, so you’ll need to look out for that.
Everything Is Possible – Even Owning a Pet When You Have Allergies
Very often, it’s said that a person who has allergies shouldn’t get a pet. In some cases, it’s true – for example, if you suffer from a severe allergy or don’t have time to take care of your pet. However, it’s definitely possible to own a pet even if you’re allergic.
Of course, it won’t be easy, but there are several tips to make any allergic pet-owner’s life comfortable. First, try to choose a hypoallergenic animal or breed. Look for pets that don’t shed much or those that produce fewer allergens. And after you get a furry friend, make sure to clean his place and the whole house thoroughly and regularly.
And remember: always think about every possible problem before getting a pet. It’s a big decision to make, and once you have your new pet, there is no changing your mind. Give plenty of + to your pet – and they’ll do the same.