Do you want to get a pet for the whole family, but feel like you can’t due to allergies? This is a valid concern, but you’ll be pleased to learn that not every pet will trigger your allergies. Read on to learn about the best hypoallergenic pets for the whole family!
It helps to know that fur isn’t the cause; it’s typically the carrier. Dander that’s shed from pets gets trapped in their fur and causes the allergies you experience. Pet saliva can also be a cause. However, there are a variety of hypoallergenic pets that you can choose from in all shapes and sizes.
What Are Hypoallergenic Pets?
You need to know that hypoallergenic pets aren’t completely free of allergens, but they’re significantly less. Since fur is a carrier of allergens and not the cause, getting cats or dogs that are hairless or don’t shed as often also isn’t a signifier that you’ll have fewer allergy symptoms with them present.
If you or a family member struggles with extreme allergies to pets, it may be time to consider animals that aren’t as fuzzy. You’ll also need to accept the fact that no matter what, you’ll need to clean diligently.
The Best Hypoallergenic Pets
Now that you know what “hypoallergenic” means and what you can expect, here are some pets we recommend for you and your family. They have significantly fewer allergens than other pets and may also be low-maintenance pets.
1. Devon Rex Cat
These kinds of cats don’t shed as much as others because of their unique, wavy coat. Although you’ll need to clean their ears and paw pads due to excess oil, they require little maintenance when it comes to baths and grooming. They typically have large ears, a narrow neck, and big eyes.
These are playful cats that love being the center of attention.
2. Russian Blue
Russian Blue cats are good for people with mild cat allergies because of their plush coat. It doesn’t shed often and only requires a minimal amount of brushing. These cats are mild-mannered and calm; they love being near their family but not overwhelmed with attention.
These cats are often recommended to people with cat allergies because they have no fur. This doesn’t make them completely allergy-free, but frequent baths will greatly minimize dander and excess oil that can cause allergies. These are playful, vocal cats.
4. Kerry Blue Terrier
If it’s a dog you’re searching for, the Kerry Blue Terrier may be the right breed for you. It’s often recommended to people with allergies because of the Kerry’s non-shedding coat. This breed also sheds its skin only about every 21 days–far less than other breeds. If you keep their coat regularly clean and groomed, your allergies will be thanking you.
Poodles are known for their big personalities, intelligence, and great style. They’re also recommended because they have no undercoats and tightly curled coats. This means that they shed less than other dogs. Their coats also keep dander from shedding and floating into the air.
6. Portuguese Water Dog
Similar to poodles, this Portuguese Water Dog breed is recommended because it only has a single coat, causing it to shed less than other breeds. As with any other hypoallergenic breed, keeping their coat clean and trimmed will go a long way in helping your allergies. It’s also important to remember that dogs with single coats are good with people with mild allergies but not with severe ones.
If you have severe allergies and know that a dog and cat will still make them worse, it may be time to consider other pets like a Parakeet. While birds can still produce dander, these small birds won’t produce as much compared to a larger pet or even other birds. They require a minimal amount of grooming
However, it’s important to do your research before you purchase a pet bird, as these intelligent and inquisitive creatures need lots of attention and activities to keep them busy.
8. Miniature Pigs
Don’t let the name fool you–miniature pigs can still grow to up to 150 pounds or more. Any pig is classified as “mini” if they’re 350 pounds or less when they’re adults. Because of their size and nature, pigs need their own space in a large yard where they can explore, root around, and have frequent siestas.
Pigs are great for people with allergies because they have hair instead of fur. They’re also surprisingly clean animals.
Frogs are a great recommendation because it’s rare when people have an allergic reaction to them. Although they aren’t the best for frequent handling or cuddling, taking care of them and setting up the best environment can make young minds active and serve as a great lesson for kids who are interested in nature. These guys are fun to watch and can even be therapeutic.
10. Leopard Geckos
Last but not least are leopard geckos. These geckos can be considered one of the most low maintenance hypoallergenic pets because they don’t require a lot of maintenance or grooming. They won’t cause allergic reactions and are fun to watch in their terrarium or when slowly walking up your arm.
As with all reptiles, it’s important that you research leopard gecko care before purchasing them, as they need a specific environment and diet to live happily.
Caring for Hypoallergenic Pets
It’s important to remember that most hypoallergenic pets, especially those will fur, may still produce the dander or saliva that can cause allergies. If you have severe allergies, it’s important that you speak with your doctor before purchasing a pet. You’ll also want to consider adopting or purchasing pets that don’t have fur, such as birds or reptiles.
Teach your kids to properly take good care of their pets. Show the right way to feed, bathe, and care for their beloved pets each day. It’s a good thing to start teaching kids about responsible pet ownership as early as possible.
Choosing Hypoallergenic Pets
If your kids have an allergic reaction to fur, hair, and cotton—then they may be allergic to dogs as well. To make sure your kids don’t get an allergic reaction, you must know to choose hypoallergenic pets.
If you’re looking for cute toy dogs like the Poodle, you may consider getting a Shih Tzu, Bichon Frise, or Havanese. These hypoallergenic dogs are sweet, child-friendly, and not shedding. They’re incredibly social, easy to train, and affectionate as well.
Here are additional tips to avoid getting an allergic reaction to dogs. You can teach your kids to practice these as well:
- Don’t touch your face, especially the eyes, after getting in contact with dogs.
- Avoid close contact with dogs, like kissing, hugging, or sleeping with them on one bed.
- Vacuum common pet areas that may trap fur and contain allergens.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after touching dogs.
Whatever pet you choose, you must also consider your child’s preference. Include them in the selection and decision-making process, and help them understand why a hypoallergenic pet is the best choice for them and the whole family.
Regardless of whether a pet is low maintenance or not, keeping them clean and learning about their care before making an impulse buy will ensure that they have a long and healthy life.
Ready to learn more ways to keep your family happy? Head over to our family archives today!