Having a pet has several health benefits. They can help exercise, socialize, and get outside. Walking or playing with pets regularly can help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Companionship from pets can help us cope with loneliness and depression. In the United States, almost every home has at least one pet.
What should you do if you’re allergic to any or all pets but still want to adopt one? According to the Asthma Center, around 5-10% of Americans have pet allergies.
Hypoallergenic dogs are a good option if you want a furry friend. First, it’s crucial to note that no canine breed is entirely hypoallergenic or allergen-free; instead, the word hypoallergenic refers to breeds that are less prone to cause allergic reactions in people.
Therefore you will go through a trial and error quest to find a pet that won’t trigger your allergies. Before getting into this experience, seek advice from your doctor, as your want to have medications on hand if ever you start having allergic reactions. Keep in mind it is better if you start with pets that are said to be hypoallergenic first.
Here’s a list of ‘hypoallergenic’ dogs: poodles, Maltese, Coton de Tulear or Bichon Frise. Most of the dogs mentioned above have long white fur but are considered to be hypoallergenic. In the feline category, the most obvious choice would be a Sphinx, although you could also opt for Balinese, Javanese or even Siberian breeds.
If, unfortunately, none of these furry friends suits your allergies, you can consider other types of animals.
Because of their tiny size and living requirements, smaller mammals are typically a safer choice. Furthermore, most are kept in cages that confine them to a single room or section of the house, whereas bigger mammals disseminate their allergens throughout the house.
Examples of smaller mammals are hamsters, guinea pigs or even mice. Be careful when choosing your hamster or guinea pig, as some of them are very furry.
From their absence of allergens to the fact that the tank may be seen as a decorative object, fish may be an excellent addition to your house. Fish are regarded as one of the low-maintenance pets when compared to other pets.
The only allergy-related problem is mould. The humidity in the aquarium can cause mould to grow in the room where it is stored, or the aquarium can become mouldy. If you take good care of your aquarium, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Reptiles usually don’t cause allergies because they do not produce the proteins found within the dander and saliva of warm-blooded animals. These pets will be a superb choice for people with asthma or allergies, as long as you spend the time and energy required to care for them properly.
Snakes, frogs, lizards and turtles can be exciting and unique pets. However, these types of creatures have very specific thermal, hydrological, behavioural and dietary requirements that should be researched before adding them to your home.
Unknown to many, birds also produce pet dander and may trigger allergy symptoms. But if you want a feathered companion, you can choose birds that are hypoallergenic. Parakeets, also called budgies, shed minimal dander, making them an excellent option for allergy sufferers. Other recommended hypoallergenic birds include Eclectus, Pionus, and Toucans.
Also, before bringing any pet home, make sure you know exactly what you’re allergic to by going to an allergist and getting tested if you haven’t done so already. This helps identify substances that you may need to avoid when choosing your pet’s diet or bedding. Once you get a hypoallergenic pet, make sure to prepare a separate room for it, wash its bed frequently and groom it as needed. By taking extra time and effort, you’ll be able to have fun with your pet without worrying too much about your allergies.