Pets for allergy sufferers

Fins, Fur or Feathers? Choosing the Right Pet is a Tough Decision!

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Fins, Fur or Feathers? Choosing the Right Pet is a Tough Decision!

Having options is a good thing, but when it comes to selecting the right pet it can border on being overwhelming. There are critters of all shapes, sizes and types available these days. How do you decide? Here are some pointers for finding the right animal to share your home and your life.

Lifestyle fit. Your first step in selecting a pet is to make an evaluation of your lifestyle. By selecting an animal that fits well with how you live, your new friend will become a part of things seamlessly. Consider these aspects and choose a pet that fits well with your way of life:

Household. Think carefully about everyone living in your home and evaluate your normal lifestyle to help decide on the right pet for your household. Is everyone in favor of a pet, or will the responsibilities for care fall primarily to one person? Does anyone in your home have allergies? Would a fragile or otherwise challenging pet be inappropriate for younger members of your family? How much room can you offer a pet? Is there a spacious yard, sidewalks for exercise, or discreet places for litter boxes? Are you home enough for a companion who needs substantial interaction, or would a more independent pet suit your home more?

Additionally, you should consider how you’ll clean up after your new pet. That includes preparing your home ahead of time to make it safe and pet-friendly for your new companion. It also includes investing in the right products to clean up any messes or eliminate any odors. Water extraction or spot cleaning can work for carpet stains, while odor removers with special enzymes to remove pet odors are recommended for getting urine smells and other odors out of any room.

Time and money. Many animals require a somewhat minimal time commitment and some are quite involved. There are exotic pets that require specialized living conditions and have especially long lifespans, even beyond a half century! And an exotic pet will often mean a specialized veterinarian, which can be more costly. You might even be surprised at the requirements of certain traditional species and the variance in needs.

For instance, The Spruce Pets explains some kinds of birds need attention for two hours per day, every day, and others are more independent. Dogs can also vary greatly, with some working breeds requiring a fairly extensive exercise regimen and/or mentally challenging games. Some dog breeds, such as some of the smaller toy breeds, need minimal exercise, but ample time with their people, cuddling and lounging to stay emotionally healthy. Larger dogs typically require more basic expense to keep up than smaller dogs, as they eat more and can cost more for medical care and heartworm preventative. Decide how much you are willing to commit out of your time and your budget before choosing a pet.

On the run. Whether for work or pleasure, if you frequently travel that can also weigh into your decision. As SkinnyMs. explains, you may need a pet sitter for a dog, while a cat may be able to go a day or so with food and water left out, and some smaller pets such as rodents and reptiles can be left with minimal supervision. More hotels accommodate pets than ever before, so you might decide you want a travelling companion.

Prepare in advance. Once you decide what animal will fit best with your lifestyle, you should make preparations before bringing your new friend home. Buy the food, bedding, and other supplies necessary for helping your pet become acclimated. For instance, you should establish the cage or aquarium for your bird, fish, amphibian, reptile, or rodent. Doing so after your animal is home isn’t convenient to you or fair to your new friend. Remember that a rescue animal may be fearful, nervous, or reserved upon arrival.

Canine Journal suggests simply spending time with your new pet. Get to know each other, be patient and allow space and time for adjustment and bonding. Provide quiet, comfy areas for your animal. Keep in mind that dogs feel most vulnerable while sleeping, so take extra care to help your dog feel safe in his or her own dog bed. Having a designated place for your furry companion to retreat when needed is essential.

Right at home. Choosing the right pet for your household is a big decision. You want an animal that will share your life and become part of your family. Evaluate your lifestyle and choose carefully, and your new friend will be right at home in no time.

By: Jessica Brody

Pet Dander

What Is Pet Dander?

Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers.

Additional allergy triggers or allergens come from sources other than the animal’s skin. Proteins found in saliva, urine and feces from cats, dogs and other pets can cause allergic reactions in some people. The most common allergies are caused by the Fel d I protein from cats and the Can f I and Can f II proteins from dogs. Dried saliva containing allergens may flake off from an animal’s fur and become airborne, where it is inhaled by the allergic person. Dust from dried feces can be suspended in the same way. 1

Which Animals Pose the Biggest Problems?

Cats are kept as pets in 27 percent of homes in the United States and dogs are found in 32 percent. However, roughly twice as many people report allergies to cats when compared to dogs. Research also indicates that male cats produce less Fel d I allergen than female cats, although the reason is not clear. 1

Animals with fur may be more likely to carry allergens from other sources, like dust, but the fur itself is generally not a trigger. For that reason, short-haired or hairless animals contribute dander and allergens to indoor air pollution just as effectively as long-haired animals do. There is no such thing as a non-allergenic dog or cat. 1

How Do Pet Allergens Occur?

Pet allergens are very light weight and small. They remain suspended in the air for a long time, much longer than allergens from cockroaches or dust mites. Because of their microscopic size and jagged shape, pet allergens easily stick to furniture, bedding, fabrics and many items carried into and out of the home. Animal dander is easily spread through the home and out to public places like schools and hospitals. 1 They can be found even in homes and buildings without pets. 1

How Do Pet Allergens Affect Health?

Some people are allergic to pets or have asthma that is triggered by pet allergens. For these individuals, breathing animal allergens can make respiratory symptoms worse and lead to a decline in the ability of the lungs to function. The concentrations of an allergen required to cause a reaction vary greatly by individual. 1

People with allergies may experience upper and lower respiratory tract symptoms including congestion, sneezing, runny nose, chest tightness and wheezing. Other symptoms are itching, watery eyes, and eczema or rashes. 1

How Do You Control Pet Allergens?

For homes with sensitive individuals, the best way to protect indoor air quality is to remove the animal from the home. However, pet allergens may stay in the home for months after the pet is gone because the allergens remain in house dust. Allergy and asthma symptoms may take weeks or even months to improve. 1

If the pet stays in the home, keep it out of the bedroom of anyone who has asthma or allergies. Do not allow the pet on furniture, especially upholstery, and keep the pet away from carpets. Clean the home often and do not allow dust to accumulate.

  • Sources
    1. Institute of Medicine, Division of Health Promotion, Indoor Air and Disease Prevention. Clearing the Air: Asthma and Indoor Air Exposures. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2000. Kanchongkittiphon W, et al. Indoor Environmental Exposures of Asthma: An Update to the 2000 Review by the Institute of Medicine. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2015; 123: 6-20.
    2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Asthma Triggers: Gain Control: Pets. Accessed August 26, 2015.

Pets That Can Trigger an Allergy

Your immune system is always on the lookout for foreign bodies that could make you sick. When it finds them, it makes proteins called antibodies to protect you. But sometimes, your immune system makes a mistake. It makes antibodies to fight off something that’s not harmful — like your pet.

The most common pet allergies include:

  • Dogs and cats: Your pet doesn’t set off an allergic reaction — it’s what’s trapped in their hair or fur. Saliva, sweat, pee, and dander (dead skin cells) can all trigger allergies. Pet fur also traps mold, pollen, and other outdoor allergens that make you sneeze and your eyes water.
  • Small rodents and rabbits: Despite their small size, the hair, dander, and saliva on the fur of these animals can set off an allergic reaction. And the urine of rodents like gerbils, mice, and hamsters also has chemicals some people are allergic to. These get into the air as your pet moves around its cage or bedding.
  • Birds: Mites that live in bird feathers are a common allergen. The fine dust in bird droppings can trigger a reaction, too.
  • Horses:It’s rare, but in some people, the allergen in horse dander can cause a life-threatening reaction. Children are most at risk.

The Best Pets for Kids (and Grown-Ups) With Allergies

“Can we keep him?!” Whether you hear those words from a child who wants to adopt a puppy or a roommate who wants to take in a cat, you probably feel guilty saying “no” because of allergies. Kids and adults alike develop allergies to common pets, and it gets tough to find a pet that everybody can agree on when somebody runs the risk of itchy eyes, endless sneezes, and annoying rashes.

Fortunately, even if just looking at a cat makes your eyes itch or you find yourself sneezing the moment a dog comes near you, you can find a pet that works for you.

15. A small dog that sheds less

A dog who doesn’t shed much might minimize your exposure to allergens. |

Many dog lovers with a pet allergy assume that they can get a “hypoallergenic” breed. Unfortunately for them, The New York Times reports that “there may be no such thing as a low-allergy or allergy-free dog.” Researchers found that the quantity of dog allergies is no different in homes with supposedly hypoallergenic breeds than in homes with breeds that aren’t hypoallergenic. Some people think that dogs who shed less are the safest bet, but they still shed dander that contains an allergy-irritating protein.

The Mayo Clinic reports that if you’re allergic to dogs but still want one, you should choose a small dog. (A small dog will shed less dander than a larger dog.) Keep him out of your bedroom and bathe him weekly. Either choose carpet-free flooring or shampoo your carpet regularly, and use a HEPA purifier to reduce airborne allergens.

14. A cat that sheds less

A cat who sheds less will also drop less allergen-coated hair around your house. |

As with dogs, you can find many articles that claim to list hypoallergenic cat breeds, but there’s really no such thing as a cat that’s guaranteed not to cause problems for allergy sufferers. The Nest reports that some breeds do seem to produce fewer allergens, or shed less allergen-coated hair, than others. Siberian cats are supposedly easier on people with allergies, as are Balinese, Javanese, and Oriental shorthairs. The Devon rex and Cornish rex have very short coats, and Sphynxes have thin fur. These three also shed less than other breeds, leaving behind fewer hairs to spread allergens.

If you want to try adopting a cat despite your allergies, The Nest advises having a backup plan in place in case things don’t work out. You’ll need to keep your house extra clean to reduce allergen accumulation. Consider removing your carpets, and wearing more cotton and less wool. You probably can’t convince a cat to take a weekly bath, but you can usually wipe a cat down with a wet towel, and brush weekly or bi-weekly to reduce shedding.

13. A rabbit

People who have allergies to cats or dogs might be able to have a pet rabbit. |

Even if you know that you’re allergic to dogs or cats, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll react to all fuzzy animals. In fact, your immune system is very specific. An allergy to cats or dogs doesn’t guarantee an allergy to any other animals, so you might want to consider a rabbit. Researchers have found that severe allergies to rabbits are unusual, though some people do react to a protein found in rabbits’ skin and hair. Petcha reports that rabbits spread this allergen over their bodies by grooming themselves.

You probably don’t want to keep a rabbit if you have a severe reaction, such as reoccurring skin rashes, chronic fatigue, bronchitis, or other respiratory issues. But if you find yourself mildly allergic to your rabbit, you can minimize your reactions by having someone else in the household groom the rabbit daily, keeping the animal out of your bedroom, and keeping the rabbit away from your face. You may also want to avoid adopting an Angora rabbit or other longhaired breed, simply because they shed more dander and groom themselves more extensively.

12. A guinea pig

Guinea pigs are another small pet that you might want to consider if you have allergies. |

If you don’t want a rabbit, another option to consider is a guinea pig. PetFinder reports that if you have allergies to a lot of mammals, you can go to an allergist to get tested for a guinea pig allergy. Guinea pig hair and dander don’t themselves cause allergies, but they do make “excellent” airborne carriers for irritating proteins in the animal’s saliva, urine, and secretions from glands in the skin.

If you do have a mild allergy to guinea pigs, but still want one of these adorable pets anyway, you can take a few precautions. Don’t keep your guinea pig in your bedroom, and don’t store hay in the house. Buy a HEPA air purifier and position it close to the guinea pig’s cage. Have a non-allergic family member clean the cage, which is a major source of allergens. Lastly, always wash your hands and arms after handling your guinea pig.

11. A hairless guinea pig

A hairless guinea pig may make another good option for people with allergies. |

Pet Health Network has an unusual suggestion for allergy sufferers looking for a pet who won’t cause sneezing fits: Consider a hairless guinea pig. Despite the name, this little animal isn’t completely hairless. (They have what many people call “peach fuzz.”) But you don’t need to brush them, which may translate into fewer allergens flying around the house — 0r at least fewer opportunities for you to expose yourself to those allergens.

You will need to keep your hairless guinea pig out of the sun so that it doesn’t sunburn. Otherwise, hairless guinea pigs just need the same care you’d give to a guinea pig with hair. (That means a lot of hay, a little bit of vegetables, plenty of fresh water, and a daily vitamin C supplement.) Guinea pigs love attention, and they’re robust enough for even small children to handle safely.

10. A hamster or gerbil

Hamsters and gerbils make good pets for people concerned about allergies, since they generally don’t have free range of your home. |

Parents reports that some children have allergic reactions to rabbits or guinea pigs. (Possibly because rabbits and guinea pigs are larger than other small pets and shed more. That increases the amount of allergens exposed to owners.) In that case, you may want to consider a smaller rodent, such as a hamster, a gerbil, or a rat. If you’re worried about an allergic reaction, you should assess not only whether you or your child are allergic to the animal itself, but also whether you’ll react to the animal’s food or bedding.

Fortunately, most people keep small rodents in cages, which keeps the rest of the house allergen-free. So while they do produce dander, it likely won’t end up all over your house. Keeping an animal in a specific part of the house is generally recommended as a smart way to reduce your exposure to allergens.

9. A rat or mouse

Rats and mice produce fewer allergens than larger mammals. |

Another great option for a small but furry pet? A rat or mouse. They are mammals, so they can cause allergies like kittens or puppies. But Parents reports that because rats and mice are much smaller than other popular furry pets, they produce considerably fewer allergens that can get spread around your house. It also helps that you probably won’t let a rat or a mouse run around your entire house.

Rats can make a great pet if you (or your child) wants an animal who will be cuddly; Parents says that rats love people to hold them. Mice, on the other hand, are a little more fragile and a little more difficult to handle. They still enjoy interacting with people though, which can provide hours of entertainment.

8. A parakeet or cockatiel

Birds like parakeets and cockatiels shed dander, but they often don’t irritate people with allergies to cats or dogs. |

Considering a bird in order to avoid allergic reactions to furry pets? That’s probably a good move if you’re only allergic to dogs, cats, or rodents. But keep in mind that birds also shed dander, which means that they can cause allergies similar to those mammals cause. The safest bet is a small bird, which may shed less dander and cause fewer allergic reactions than a larger bird.

Parakeets and cockatiels produce a relatively small amount of dander, which makes them great candidates for households with allergy sufferers. PetMD also recommends an electus, pionus, or toucan as pet birds that are less likely than other breeds to induce an allergy attack. Parakeets specifically shed very little dander, even when they’re molting. Whatever bird you choose, you can use a HEPA filter and regularly clean your home to reduce your exposure to their allergens.

7. A hedgehog

Even people with pet allergies aren’t likely to be irritated by a hedgehog. |

Parents reports that children with pet allergies typically aren’t as irritated by hedgehogs as they are by other animals. Because hedgehogs have quills, they shed less dander, and veterinarians report seeing fewer allergic reactions to them. Just keep in mind that you need to do some research on local and state laws because hedgehogs are among the pets that are illegal to own in some states.

PetMD reports that hedgehogs make great pets for people who will handle the animal each day to socialize it. You should allow your hedgehog to come out of its cage each day for exercise and social interaction. These animals famously roll up in a ball in response to feeling frightened or threatened. But handling your hedgehog each day when he’s young will help him be accustomed to people and less likely to ball up.

6. A snake

Snakes don’t expose you to many allergens. |

Want to avoid pets with fur or quills? Then our next suggestion is to consider a reptile. They don’t have fur to shed. And while many — most famously, snakes — do shed their skin, Parents reports that the skin typically lacks the proteins that cause allergic reactions. However, one concern with reptiles is exposure to salmonella. While most reptiles that are properly cared for remain healthy, some do carry salmonella as part of their normal intestinal bacteria. Though it’s normal for those animals, it can harm humans, especially those with compromised immune systems.

Fortunately, Parents reports that children with allergies aren’t any more susceptible to salmonella than anybody else. But you should keep in mind that reptiles make better pets for older children, who understand the importance of washing their hands after they handle the reptile. And don’t forget; larger snakes will require live meals, like mice.

5. A turtle

Turtles are a great option for people with allergies. |

Another easy pet that’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction — even for adults and kids with lots of allergies — is a turtle. Pet Health Network names turtles — and similar reptiles, like tortoises — as a great option for people with allergies, compared to popular pets like cats and dogs. When cared for properly, some turtles and tortoises can live for more than 50 years, which means that you’ll have a long time to enjoy the companionship of these allergen-free pets.

As with snakes and other reptiles, it’s possible for turtles to carry salmonella. That means anybody who handles the turtle must wash their hands thoroughly afterward. For that reason, many people advise that you don’t buy your children a turtle until they’re old enough to understand the importance of washing their hands.

4. A bearded dragon

People with allergies can enjoy a bearded dragon. |

Parents reports that bearded dragons make great allergy-friendly pets. Because the dander that cats, dogs, and other mammals shed is a major source of allergies, reptiles who don’t generate dander are often a great option. Reptiles like bearded dragons also don’t have hair that can further trigger your allergies. And not only will bearded dragons interact with people, but they’re also easily trained with positive reinforcement.

Again, just note that reptiles can carry salmonella, so many veterinarians don’t recommend them for children under age 5. Also, pregnant women, older people, and anyone with a weak immune system probably shouldn’t handle them. Otherwise, you’ll just need to wash your hands before and after you handle your bearded dragon.

3. A tarantula or a scorpion

A tarantula makes a safe and unique pet for allergy sufferers. |

PetMD notes that many exotic pets are safe for allergy sufferers, including tarantulas and emperor scorpions. Stafford Oaks Veterinary Hospital reports that while tarantulas and scorpions “aren’t for everyone,” they do make great and completely hypoallergenic pets. According to The Spruce, tarantulas, specifically, are unique but quiet pets. They obviously aren’t the best choice if you want a pet you can handle extensively, but they may be right for you if you don’t want a cuddly animal and would prefer something fascinating to watch instead. There are numerous sizes and species to choose among.

And while tarantulas can bite, the toxicity of the venom is usually on par with a bee or wasp sting. Emperor scorpions are also relatively innocuous, and are also pets that you shouldn’t expect to handle very often.

2. A frog

Frogs are unlikely to irritate your allergies. |

Frogs of both the land and underwater variety are easy pets to care for and are pretty unlikely to irritate people with allergies. Underwater frogs are the easiest type to feed and care for, since they can eat pelletized food instead of the live insects you’d need to feed to a land frog. Pet Health Network notes that frogs and toads make great pets for people who are more interested in watching an animal than handling one.

Like reptiles, frogs and toads lack allergy-inducing fur. Instead, they just have thin, delicate skin covering their bodies. In general, you shouldn’t handle an amphibian often, both to avoid damaging their sensitive skin and to prevent transmission of infectious bacteria to the animal. Some frogs and toads actually secrete toxins that can irritate or poison you if absorbed by your skin, so be aware of that when choosing one to call your own.

1. A goldfish or betta fish

Fish are truly hypoallergenic pets. |

Fish are arguably the safest pets for people who suffer from allergies. Because they stay in water, you don’t actually have any direct or airborne contact with a fish, so you probably won’t have any issues with allergies.

But that doesn’t mean you’re completely out of the woods, Parents notes. You shouldn’t handle fish or stick your hands in the aquarium water, since aquatic environments can expose you to bacteria that can cause an infection. If you (or your child) has a cut or scratch, contact with fish can cause fish-handler’s disease. (You’ll see a red circle develop around the infected area, and feel itchiness and burning.) Just remember to carefully wash your hands to reduce the risk of exposure. But as long as you handle them carefully, a goldfish — or any other kind — is a truly hypoallergenic pet that kids or adults can enjoy.

The Most Popular New Pet Is A Teacup Pig

Have you heard about the most popular new pet, called “teacup pigs”? According to MSNBC, teacup pigs – also known as “micropigs” – are miniature, potbelly piglets that never quite grow up. They get their name from the fact that they can fit inside an average-size coffee mug at birth. Even at full size, they’re only about the size of a small cocker spaniel. Teacup pigs became popular in England last spring, when a breeder named Jane Croft quit her job to begin raising them full time. Now, she says she gets as many as 500 requests for pigs each day! Since she only sells about 10 teacup pigs per week, her waiting list has grown quite long.

Experts say they’re already catching on in North America too, because they have the sort of, “cute quotient” that pet lovers can’t resist. They’re also highly intelligent animals, and are generally cleaner than other pets. In fact, pigs often beat dogs in animal IQ tests, and they can be litter-trained, just like a cat. Also, since pigs have hair instead of fur, that means they don’t get fleas, and they’re better for people with pet dander allergies.

You should know this: Teacup pigs can cost up to $1,000 each, and breeders like Croft will only sell them in pairs. That’s because pigs need constant attention, or else they’ll get bored. So it’s helpful to have a 2nd pig around for them to play with. Another thing you need to know about teacup pigs: Most parts of the world still consider them “farm animals.” So, depending on where you live, you may need a special livestock license to own one. If a teacup pig sounds like the perfect pet for you, here are two Websites you can check out for more information: and

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Mission Statement:

Get the blood test so you know if and what you are allergic to. Saliva, dander,etc regarding swine. Many people report more allergy pigd with puppies than with full-grown dogs.

Perhaps it’s all those puppy kisses laden with allergenic slobber. Alternatively, medical experts warn that there’s a “priming effect” with some allergies, such that symptoms might not show gft right away. Sublett ranks horse allergies right after cat and dog allergies. Based in the horse-country state of Kentucky, he often treats jockeys who are allergic to their horses and who without his help would have to choose a different career.

Mini Pig Allergic Parents: Allergy Symptoms From Mini Pig –

Symptoms are triggered by allergens in the horses’ skin, so grooming a horse can be especially irritating. Inhaling airborne allergens from the horse can cause a runny nose and itchy eyes, and direct contact with the animal can produce welts on the hands and other areas of the skin.

Cows, pigs, and other farm animals can also trigger allergies. Guinea pigs, hamsters, and gerbils are less popular as pets get cats and dogs, but they are just as likely to cause allergies in certain people. Allergenic proteins in allergies creatures’ urine become airborne when the urine dries, triggering symptoms if inhaled. The good news, says Leftwich, is that these pets usually don’t have free run of the house, so the allergens stay in or near the cage. The bad news is that their bedding or food such as alfalfa or hay can also trigger allergies.

Common cockroaches and dust mites pigs the roost when it comes to bugs that trigger allergies.

Pet Allergies: Worst Animal Offenders | Everyday Health

But even when pests become pets, the allergens remain. Alleries large and docile Madagascar hissing cockroach, a favorite exotic pet in classrooms and homes, harbors 14 types of mold in its feces or allergies its body, according to an Ohio State University study alleries in March People who are allergic to mold should always wash their hands carefully after handling these creepy creatures.

Rabbits are catlike in their grooming habits, so get fur can be covered with allergenic proteins contained pigs their saliva. For this reason, these rabbits tend to produce less dander. However, fish can play alllergies important role in a family—without the risk of allergens. A allergies goldfish can lay the foundation to teach young children responsibility.

Consider it a stepping get to gauge their pigs to pet ownership.

How to Reduce Guinea Pig Allergy: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

Any furry friend can set allergies off, but these smaller animals that are kept in cages instead of having free-roam of the house are less likely to cause symptoms. That being said, if you suffer from severe allergies, you still might want to avoid these critters.

May 09, · How to Reduce Guinea Pig Allergy. You may not realize it, but guinea pig allergies are actually quite common. The primary source of guinea pig allergens is a protein in the animal’s saliva and urine, though that protein can also be transmitted to a guinea pig’s hair, skin, and dander%(39). Allergies To Mini Pigs. Check that you are not allergic to the litter – I use recycled paper litter from pet smart. Get a cheap brand (not clumping cause that’s bad for them) I take Allegra and Zantac everyday. Zantac is for stomach but it has a type of histamine blocker as . Sunbathe. Just like cats and dogs, pigs love to find a quiet spot to sprawl out on the floor with the sun on their back. One thing they have to be careful of, however, is that they don’t get sunburn in the intense summer heat, as their skin is very similar to a humans and is susceptible to Abigail Geer.

Handling the animals and cleaning their cages can put you in contact with allergens and cause a reaction. If you are unsure of how you would get to one of these animals, you might want to spend some time with the animal at a shelter or pet pigs to see if you get an allergic reaction before gget buy. Allergies there pits been rare cases of allergic reactions, exposure to lizards, turtles and other reptiles is generally a safe bet due to their lack of dander.

If you do find that you tet allergies around these reptiles, it could actually be to their cage. Some of these cages of these animals—such as the turtle—require moisture which can cause mold in their habitat.

Be sure to keep their cages clean to prevent any allergies. Many people who are allergic to dogs and cats do well having a pet bird. While most avian species still have dander and allergens in their saliva or droppings, certain types are worse than others.

To ensure that your air purifier allergied working at its maximum efficiency, be sure to change the filter often.

This IgE antibody allergy test uses a blood sample to determine if you are allergic to swine epithelium (tissue). Swine, also known as pigs, boars, or hogs, are widely used for their meat and fat (lard). Commonly seen in dishes such as ham, bacon, and pork, they can . Feb 23, · Dander is flakes from skin, fur, feathers, and hair. Whether your brother is allergic to pig dander- no one can tell you except an allergist who may be able to test for that. It is always safest to expose the allergic individual extensively to several individuals of the animal type you are considering bringing home before making a commitment. May 09, · How to Reduce Guinea Pig Allergy. You may not realize it, but guinea pig allergies are actually quite common. The primary source of guinea pig allergens is a protein in the animal’s saliva and urine, though that protein can also be transmitted to a guinea pig’s hair, skin, and dander%(39).

Pigs are more than just farm animals—they make fantastic house pets! Because pigs have hair, not fur, they can make for a great pet alternative for allergy sufferers.

Cats: Clean But Contaminated

Pigs are extremely smart and trainable, and they tend to get along well with children and other pigs. But take note: all healthy pigs grow to be exceptionally large. Teacup and micro pigs may be cute, but these animals are actually unhealthy. Many small pigs were underfed and had their growth stunted when they were young in order get get them to remain small.

The reality is that if you are a responsible pet owner, allergies pet pig should grow to be over pounds.

Remember, getting a pet of any kind is a hefty and long-term commitment.

Pig Allergy Test | Allergic To Swine/Pigs

Adopting a pet only to give it away due to allergies can be heartbreaking for you, your children and the pet. Remember to aallergies your research on your allergy sensitivity, the breed of the animal, and any alternative remedies that you would be willing to get before you make the big decision to adopt a new family member. For a more definitive determination of what animals will elicit an allergic response, head to an allergist for testing.

Immunoglobulin skin tests, which are the most common type of testing, are relatively painless. After all, your best weapon against pet allergies is a good vacuum, a great air purifier allergies plenty of research and preparation! Erin is pigs native Austinite that loves writing, wikipedia, online window-shopping for home goods, and riding on airplanes.

4 Allergy-Friendly Pets

Sniffles! Sneezes! Itchy eyes! Nobody wants those to overshadow the fun of bringing home a furry (or scaly, or feathered) friend. But the good news for allergy sufferers is this: You’re likely not allergic to all kinds of pets, says Mitchell Grayson, M.D., an allergist in Milwaukee.

First, talk to your doc and find out if a skin test is in order. Then check out our list of allergy-friendly pets that can work for families with sensitivities—or those of you who just aren’t quite ready for that puppy or kitten.

  • RELATED: Finally, Our Family Has a Pet

Bettas or Goldfish

Friendliness: Both fish can recognize their owners

Longevity: 4-10 years


  • Provide a tank that’s at least 5 gallons per fish
  • Have a good filter and aeration system
  • Use a top to prevent bettas from jumping out
  • Provide objects for fish to swim around or hide behind
  • Clean the tank as needed
  • Commercial food is available at pet stores.

No surprise here: Fish are the ultimate allergy-friendly pet because, well, there is water and a tank between them and you. While kids can’t pet and cuddle their friend, they can become quite mesmerized watching sea creatures swim back and forth in the tank. It’s important, though, to keep said tank squeaky clean. “Mold and mildew are likely to build up at the surface of the tank and can release their spores into the air, which can trigger a reaction in some people,” says Dr. Grayson. (Bettas should not share a tank with goldfish because they need different water conditions.)

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Bearded Dragon

Friendliness: Enjoys human interaction; easily trained with positive reinforcement

Longevity: 7-10 years


  • Needs a large tank with a heated basking area
  • Remove feces daily and thoroughly clean cage monthly
  • Feed live insects, fruit, and vegetables

A big cause of sneezy pet-related allergies is the dander (aka dead skin cells) that cats, dogs, and other mammals shed. Reptiles, however, don’t generate it. “And they don’t have hair that can further trigger allergies,” says Dr. Grayson. A kid-friendly favorite to try: The Bearded Dragon. “They are interactive with people and can be trained to enjoy touching as well,” says Susan A. Brown, D.V.M., owner of Rosehaven Exotic Animal Veterinary Service. It’s important to note, however, that reptiles can carry salmonella and are not recommended for children under age 5 (or pregnant women, older people, or those with weak immune systems). For everyone else, wash your hands before and after handling your pet.

  • RELATED: CDC Cautions Parents: Pet Water Frogs Linked to Salmonella

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Parakeets, Canaries, and Finches

Friendliness: Love to socialize; may be best in pairs or small groups; like to play with each other and sing

Longevity: 10-15 years


  • Provide a large cage and replace liner daily
  • Clean whole cage weekly
  • Take out of cage regularly to fly—especially parakeets

There’s a lot to love about these small birds: They’re smart, enjoy flying around the house and playing, and are allergy-friendly to boot! Dr. Grayson says even people who are very sensitive to cats and dogs rarely have an issue with birds—especially these species, which don’t produce a sneeze-inducing powder on their wings that some larger species do. “Plus, their small size will minimize any other possible triggers,” says Dr. Brown.

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Rats, Mice, Gerbils, and Hamsters

Friendliness: Highly intelligent, very social, and easily trained with positive reinforcement

Longevity: 1-3 years


  • Clean cage and replace bedding at least once a week
  • Allow time out of the cage several times a week and a wheel for exercise
  • Feed pellets and a small amount of seeds, fruit, and vegetables

Gerbils, hamsters, rats, and mice are great picks for furry pets. It’s true that they’re mammals, so they carry similar allergic potential as, say, kitties and puppies. “But they’re so much smaller that they produce considerably fewer allergens in their environment,” notes Dr. Brown. Plus, not having free range of the house helps. (The bigger the rodent—like the heartier guinea pig and chinchilla—the more allergy issues they create.) Rats are actually the best pick if your kid wants something cuddly—they love to be held! Gerbils, hamsters, and mice are more fragile to handle but can still be very interactive.

  • RELATED: 6 Best Small Pets to Consider for Your Child

The Myth of the Hypoallergenic Dog & Cat

“Realistically, there are no good choices for allergy-free dogs or cats. They all can cause symptoms,” says Dr. Grayson. The reason: People react to proteins in dog and cat saliva, sweat, dander, and urine—and there is no one protein to which most people are allergic. “That’s why certain so-called hypoallergenic cats and dogs may cause fewer problems for some people, but others may suffer just the same,” he says.

  • By Holly Pevzner

Family Fun

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