Want a pet? You’re not alone! Many people crave the love and companionship that comes from owning an animal. However, pet ownership can be challenging; from apartment restrictions to time constraints, it’s not always easy. Those with allergies to pet dander are faced with yet another hurdle to overcome. The solution is get one of the best hypoallergenic pets available for your home.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce allergen triggers. HEPA filters and allergy shots can help but there’s more! Hypoallergenic pets are available, and with a little research, you can find the perfect furry friend. These pets are less likely to cause symptoms in those with allergies. Do your research and adopt the best hypoallergenic addition to your life.
Keeping fish as pets is straightforward. Their scales do not produce dander, making them nonallergenic. However, they have limited ability to bond with their human caretakers. Although research suggests that fish can identify human faces, they still cannot be cuddled.
Hedgehogs may not seem like an obvious choice for a rodent companion due to their spiny hides, which don’t exactly scream “cuddly.” However, seasoned hedgehog owners know that they can form rich relationships with these small animals. Experts report that hedgehogs can recognize their owners’ voices and likenesses, making them one of the best hypoallergenic pets since they produce only a small amount of dander.
Snakes are commonly portrayed as the mean-spirited outcasts of the animal kingdom in popular culture worldwide. However, they can be surprisingly friendly and, at worst, mostly indifferent to human affection. Their scales produce no dander, making them one of the greatest hypoallergenic pets, unlike fish. Snakes require specialized care like all reptiles, but they are a more rewarding pet than a live screensaver. Be warned, though: snakes are mostly carnivores and feed on small animals like mice and insects.
Like snakes and many other reptiles, turtles aren’t likely to cause allergies in people. Watching these stoic, routine-driven creatures can be highly entertaining. The downside—turtles are notoriously unaffectionate towards the owners. The species’ indifference combined with their extremely long lifespans can result in eventual owner boredom and abandonment. And while they aren’t likely to produce allergy symptoms, turtles are salmonella carriers: You should keep the animals away from small children and wash your hands thoroughly after handling them.
7. Mini Rex Rabbit
The mini rex rabbit breed is relatively hypoallergenic and gentle. They respond well to play and handling. If you’re an owner or plan to be one and suffer from allergies, keep in mind that rabbit food and bedding may trigger allergies more than their fur. It’s actually their saliva, not their dander, that is more likely to cause allergies. Interesting, huh?
If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic and cat-or-dog-sized pet, why not consider a pig? (Assuming, of course, it’s legal where you live.) Pet pigs have hair instead of dander-producing fur, meaning allergic reactions are less common. Keep in mind – buying a pig as a house pet is a big decision. Many pigs grow to full size, despite being labeled as “mini” or “teacup” pigs and many that remain small are starved by breeders. Unfortunately, full-sized pigs are often given up or euthanized by owners who weren’t prepared for their growth. Despite these challenges, pigs can be rewarding pets. But be prepared for the unique needs of these lovable animals.
Parakeets are a popular avian pet species that are also hypoallergenic. Although some allergy sufferers may experience a reaction when handling them, parakeets produce minimal dander during molting periods, making them a safe option overall.
Like their larger parrot relatives, parakeets can mimic human speech and provide endless entertainment—although they can also quickly become annoying. Incorporating them into your lifestyle requires active training and care.
The exotic ferret, surprisingly, falls under the hypoallergenic category, similar to the mini rex rabbit. Contrary to allergen-containing dander produced by many pets, the ferret’s fur only produces a different kind of dander. Unfortunately, like the mini rex rabbit, its saliva is the least hypoallergenic aspect.
3. Sphynx Cat
These animals may seem more like aliens than cats at first, but spend some time with a Sphynx and you’ll see it’s only because we’re used to seeing them with hair. The Sphynx highlights the domesticated house cat’s quirky mannerisms and (quite literally) bare emotions. Though they’re not entirely allergy-free, Sphynx cats are often preferred by allergy sufferers for their non-dander producing fur. However, taking care of their oily, hairless body requires frequent baths with a specialized shampoo, at least once a week, to remove accumulated dirt from their skin.
The poodle, a loyal and intelligent companion commonly associated as hypoallergenic, sheds less than other dogs due to its tight curls. This reduces dander production, which makes them a better option for those prone to allergies. Furthermore, the labradoodle – a crossover with poodle genes – also benefits from this trait, no matter its size.
While research indicates larger pets may not be hypoallergenic, some individuals might notice reduced symptoms over time. In fact, some labradoodle breeders suggest puppies have been adopted by people with allergies without problems.
1. Portuguese Water Dog
During Barack Obama’s presidency, the Obama family introduced a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo into the White House to accommodate Malia Obama’s pet allergies. Bo rapidly became the poster pup of hypoallergenic breeds and rose to near-celebrity status, donning an iconic black-and-white “tuxedo” coat. Later joined by Sunny, another Portuguese Water Dog with a striking all-black coat, the pair became beloved members of the First Family.
Remarkably, Bo’s impact extended beyond charming photo-ops. The Obama family’s decision to purchase dogs from breeders drew some criticism from the Humane Society of the United States, who later praised them for making a donation in Sunny’s name. Bo’s legacy lingers as a symbol that even those with allergies can enjoy the delights of pet ownership, thanks to the Obama family’s support of hypoallergenic breeds.