Suffering from allergies is no laughing matter but it should not stop you from doing the things you love and enjoying life experiences like keeping pets.
My son suffers from allergies and he’s especially sensitive around cats and dogs.
However, that hasn’t stopped us having pets.
Keeping pets as a young child builds and shapes not only our memories but our ability to care and share with others. It’s a building block of life that will stay with them forever.
Humans are social creatures, and having a pet is a great way to stave off loneliness and form an emotionally rewarding bond.
However, about 3 out of every 10 people have allergies that are triggered by common household pets like cats and dogs. What is a person with allergies to do if they want an animal companion?
There are a few animals out there that are unlikely to trigger allergic reactions, including specific breeds of cats and dogs. Fish, iguanas, tortoises, canaries, and few other species of bird are also excellent options for most allergy sufferers. Be sure to get a second opinion from your doctor to ensure one of these pets is right for you.
Keep reading to learn more about the best pets for allergy sufferers, as well as some tips for pet care and compatibility.
The Most Amazing Hypoallergenic Pets
The following creatures all make for wonderful hypoallergenic pets. Some may be better for you than others, which depends on how severe your allergies are.
With that information in mind, here are several possible pet options for allergy sufferers:
While Poodles may look like they would easily trigger an allergic reaction with their curly coats, they are actually one of the best dog breeds for people with allergies. These dogs will need a lot of grooming, but their coats barely shed. Poodles are also very intelligent and easy to train, so you will not need to worry if you have never really been around dogs much.
Yorkies are another excellent breed of dog for allergy sufferers, as they do not have fur. Instead, Yorkies have very fine hair that is similar to a human’s, and they do not shed much, if at all. Yorkies require constant grooming, as a Yorkie’s hair grows continuously, just like human hair. These small dogs are harder to train than Poodles, but they are fiercely loyal.
Rex breeds of cat have very little to no fur. While Rexes may look a little odd due to this lack of fur, it also makes them highly hypoallergenic. Devon Rexes have a little fur that might have a texture similar to a Poodle’s coat, and Cornish Rexes have no fur. It is incredibly difficult for dander to build upon these cats, so they give off very low amounts of allergen if any.
A Balinese is essentially a long-haired Siamese. “Long-haired” may set off alarm bells in your head, but Balineses produce less of the primary allergens that most cats do, Fel d4 and Fel d1.
Also, although these cats shed, their coat is single-layered, and their shedding is minimal. Siamese cats are also hypoallergenic if you would like a Balinese with less hair.
Like the Balinese, Siberians have long coats that do not shed much or produce a lot of allergens. Siberians have thicker coats, but they are intended to resist harsh winters, and these coats lose very little hair.
This cat breed is also more affectionate than most if you are seeking a hypoallergenic pet that you can probably cuddle with.
Tortoises do not have any fur or means of generating dander, so it is highly unlikely that they would ever trigger any allergies. Tortoises make for excellent long-term companions, as they have a long lifespan.
Herbivorous ones are a great option for anyone who feels uneasy about feeding their reptile live animals or insects.
Not only are fish practically guaranteed to not trigger your allergies, they are a very low-maintenance pet. A single fish does not need very much space, but someone who wants a lot of fish can get an elaborate tank that also serves as a decorative piece.
If you do not want a cuddly companion, at least one fish is a great option. Betta fish can live alone and are happy to live in a smaller aquarium.
Remember though to provide the best and biggest aquarium that you can afford or have room for. Even if it’s just for one goldfish.
Bird feathers seem to carry fewer allergens than the fur of most cats and dogs. Some doctors have noted that Canaries, in particular, appear to do quite well in allergy sufferer’s households.
They will need to be allowed to fly around the house from time to time, but if that does not bother you, a Canary will prosper by your side for at least ten years.
Finches are another species of bird that experts have deemed especially low-allergen. Even people who are quite sensitive to cats and dogs seem to tolerate Finches very well, which is probably helped by their small size.
Do keep in mind that Finches tend to fare better in pairs, as they are highly social, and a single Finch may get quite lonely.
Like tortoises, iguanas are great companions for allergy sufferers, as they do not have the ability to shed or create dander and common allergens. Also as with tortoises, there are iguanas that are herbivores, such as desert iguanas. Either way, you can choose a reptile that does or does not require live feeding.
If your allergies are not severe, hamsters can be a lovely pet. While they still produce allergens, especially compared to fish, birds, and reptiles, their small size leads to hamsters producing far fewer allergens than cats or dogs.
Hamsters also spend most of their time in a cage, so they are less likely to cause symptoms. Be sure to check with your doctor before buying a hamster.
There are many hypoallergenic pets available for allergy sufferers, but some of these pets are more hypoallergenic than others. Reptiles and fish are typically the safest options, as they are incapable of producing dander and common allergens. Some reptiles need to be fed live bugs or small creatures.
Birds and even small creatures like hamsters tend to be better options than cats and dogs due to their small size, but there are a few dog and cat breeds that do not bother people with allergies, especially if their allergies are not severe.
Double check with your doctor before making a choice, but one of these pets is bound to be perfect for you.