For some families, life can be lonely without having pets at home. It’s because pets are one of the things that give life to a home through the entertainment, love, and affection they could give. However, other families are unable to own a pet because a family member or maybe the majority of them suffer from pet-related allergies. In fact, about 15% of the population in the United States experiences allergies that are related to cats or dogs.
Allergies from pets can cause different reactions such as congestion, facial pressure, eczema, and hives. If your family is caught between being an animal lover and being an allergy sufferer, you no longer have to be sad because there are lots of other pets that you can have at home. In fact, there are lots of hypoallergenic animals out there that you can take care of. Today, we are going to give you a list of pets for families with allergies.
1. A Dog That Sheds Less
Even though you have allergies, you can still have a dog as a pet because there are dog breeds that release fewer allergens into the air due to their skin composition. Choosing a smaller dog is also great for allergy sufferers because they shed less dander compared to larger ones. Here are some of the dog breeds that you might want to look into:
Poodles have curly coats which make it harder for dander to reach the air. In fact, a Poodle does not have fur at all. Instead, they grow hair just like humans. If you will be having a Poodle as your pet, just make sure to keep its hair maintained and groom it roughly every two months.
This toy dog breed does not shed a lot of fur and dander, making it great for families who suffer from allergies. However, it is very important to keep this breed groomed because of its white fur.
Kerry Blue Terrier
This dog breed also sheds less dander. It has a wavy coat of black and blue fur and does not have an undercoat which prevents it from shedding too much.
2. A Cat That Sheds Less
Cats are known to be responsible for more allergies compared to other domesticated animals. But that does not mean your family cannot own a cat if you suffer from allergies, because there are a few breeds of cats that are more tolerated by allergy sufferers. Here are some of them.
Though this cat looks like a Siamese with long hair, it actually produces significantly less allergy-causing dander compared to other cat breeds. It is because this cat produces less of the protein that can cause allergic reactions in their saliva. Therefore, when it grooms itself, it does not release any irritants.
Cornish Rex and Devon Rex
Both of these cat breeds have a short coat of fur. Aside from that, they also groom themselves less frequently and they make for a low-allergy feline friend.
A Sphynx is known to be a bald cat, making it a great pet for allergy sufferers because it does not shed any fur or hair. However, this cat breed needs plenty of baths to get rid of oils on their skin.
If your family wants to own a fuzzy animal but you’re really allergic to dogs and cats, why don’t you try to own a rabbit instead? Even though you’re allergic to cats and dogs it does not mean that you are allergic to any other animals with fur. In fact, based on some researches, severe allergies to rabbits are unusual. Just stay away from longhaired ones like the Angora rabbit which can shed lots of dander. You can try the Rex rabbit because they are more suited to allergy sufferers and it has low shed count because of the plushness of its fur.
4. Guinea Pigs
Aside from rabbits, another option that your family can consider to have as a pet is a guinea pig. You can go to an allergist and get tested for a guinea pig allergy. The hair of a guinea pig and as well as their dander don’t cause allergies but they can carry airborne irritating proteins. You can simply take precautions as well such as not letting them in your bedroom and wash your hands and arms after handling them.
In addition to the normal guinea pigs we know, there’s also a hairless guinea pig which can be an excellent pet for families with allergies. It is not completely hairless; it just does not have that much hair compared to usual guinea pigs.
5. Turtles, Lizards, Geckos, and Iguanas
There are rare cases of allergic reactions from people exposed to lizards, turtles, and other reptiles but these animals are safe as pets for those with allergies because they lack dander. Some people have allergies from these animals because of their cages. Therefore, if you choose one of these as a pet, you have to keep their cages clean to prevent any allergies.
Pigs are known to be farm animals, but they can also make fantastic house pets. Pigs have hair and do not have furs, making them great pet alternative for families with allergies. In fact, pigs are smart and they can be trained as well. However, they can grow to be exceptionally large, therefore, you have to be a responsible pet owner when you choose a pig to be your family’s pet.
A lot of people who are allergic to cats and dogs do well with having a bird as their pets. But when choosing a bird, you should avoid certain types such as cockatoos and African Greys because they have a powdery substance on their skin and feathers. Parakeets are a great choice because they produce less dander.
This is probably the safest choice for a pet for families with allergies. It’s because fish are not huggable and you will not interact with them like how you do with cats and dogs. Fish can be great pets for a family without the risk of allergens. For younger children, you can give them a pet goldfish which can also be a way to teach them about responsibility. A fish is definitely a great addition to an allergy-sensitive home.
These are some of the pets we can suggest for families with allergies. Remember that every home is different and every family is faced with different trials when it comes to choosing the right pet. For people who suffer from allergies, owning a pet can be difficult, but it is not impossible. We hope the list we shared will be able to help you find the perfect pet for your family.