Pets are one of the best parts of life, plain and simple. Whether you have a dog or cat, bird or bunny, taking care of a pet is a relationship filled with unconditional love. After all, pets are always there for you and they supply abundant joy.
So it’s upsetting when a person who really wants a pet is allergic. In most allergic reactions, it is the animal’s dander, saliva or urine that poses the problem. Many times, if you can rectify or lessen the allergen, a person can lead a very healthy life with a traditional pet, like a dog or cat. On the whole, cats tend to be more troublesome for allergy sufferers than dogs because they lick their coats in order to clean them much more often than dogs do.
For others, any kind of cat or dog (even hypoallergenic types) will cause grief to the allergy sufferer, and even for these people, there are still viable pet options. Don’t discount other types of animals just because they might not be as cuddly as a puppy. There are various types of animals can make wonderful pets.
Read on for 12 great pets for allergy sufferers:
1. Portuguese Water Dog
The nation’s most popular Portuguese Water Dog, Bo Obama, is also hypoallergenic. In fact, Malia Obama has allergies and Bo was chosen specifically for that reason. These dogs don’t shed much and require frequent grooming, two reasons they are good for pets for people with allergies.
2. Bichon Frise
Since their coat is composed mostly of tight curls, their dander is harder to escape. They need regular grooming, which also helps eliminate dander.
Poodles make good pets for many of the same reasons as Portuguese Water dogs and Bichon Frise dogs: not a lot of shedding and frequent grooming required. Poodles are also incredibly smart and come in a variety of sizes, ranging from toy to giant-sized.
4. Devon Rex Cat
Cats tend to cause those with allergies to suffer because they lick themselves clean more than dogs. Cat saliva contains proteins which cause allergies in many people. Devon Rex cats have much less fur than the typical house cat, so they will naturally lick their fur less.
5. Sphynx Cat
No fur = no dander. The big “but” here though, is that no fur requires much more care. Their furless skin needs regular moisturizing and protection from the sun. They also need a weekly bath and ear cleaning regimen.
Rabbits have fur, but usually remain in a cage. Be careful though. Before you purchase one, you might want to play with a few first because some people do suffer from rabbit allergies, while others do just fine as long as the bunnies stay in their cage.
Same as rabbits. The very sensitive person might be allergic to the small amount of fur and dander in gerbils and hamsters. While they do produce dander, they are tiny and confined to their cage, keeping the remainder of the house allergy free.
A snake is a cool pet for sure if you’re a kid. But even adults enjoy snakes as pets. Larger snakes will require live feed (think mice) and if they ever escape from their tank, you may never see them again (until you hear a neighbor scream!). Corn snakes, king snakes, and milk snakes are popular, easy pets.
Both land frogs and underwater frogs require minimal care. Underwater frogs are perhaps, easier to care for since you can give them pellets as opposed to live insects needed for land frogs.
It’s illegal to sell turtles smaller than 4 inches in many states, so pet turtles will need some room and a large tank. The possibility of them carrying salmonella is also something to consider, especially if you have small children.
Birds do produce dander, but some birds produce more than others. Parakeets and cockatiels make a relatively small amount of dander, and therefore make good pets. Steer clear of cockatoos and African gray parrots which create the most dander.
By far, goldfish are the simplest pets to take care of and the only truly hypoallergenic pets (other than pet rocks). I used to think that fish wouldn’t provide any attachment or interaction, but our goldfish go crazy when I wake up and congregate to the side of the tank that I’m near, just waiting to be fed. One or two of them regularly grab flakes from my hand.