Allergy sufferers can still be pet owners
Posted January 7, 2015
People with pet allergies usually do all they can to steer clear of four-legged friends, but animal-related allergies don't have to keep people from owning a special friend.
Certain dog breeds contain fewer allergens than other breeds. A common misconception is that people are allergic to animal fur, but in reality it's pet dander that causes the bulk of the issues.
Some dogs, like the Portugese Water Dog, do not shed or require as much grooming. Standard Poodles, American Hairless Terriers, Shih Tzus and Bichon Frise' are also good breeds for allergy sufferers.
Hamsters are another option since they are confined to small living spaces. Other pets like guinea pigs, mice, chinchillas, rats and rabbits are also good choices.
Lizards are low maintenance and hairless, but they do require live feeding. Snakes, too, are hypoallergenic, popular and easy to take care of.
Fish are about as allergen-free as possible.
"Just because you suffer from pet allergies doesn't mean that you can't enjoy life with a furry or feathered friend," Dr. Steven Stelma, with the North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, said.
"There are many pets, from cats and dogs to birds, lizards and more, that are hypoallergenic and won’t keep you sneezing and itching all day. If you do have allergies, check with your veterinarian to see what kind of pet is right for you. For the more exotic pets, check with your vet to be sure they specialize in the care of exotic animals."