Just because you have allergies doesn’t mean you have to miss out on having your own best friend. Here are some of our favourite dog breeds, cat breeds, and other allergy-free pets that you’re sure to fall in love with.
With all that hair, fluff and dirt, it’s safe to assume our fluffy friends are going to trigger allergies whether we like it or not, and they commonly do. However even if you’re prone to watery eyes and endless sniffles, there are still plenty of lovely pets you can introduce into your home without having to cop the itchy repercussions.
Best dogs for people with allergies
While there are no dog breeds that don’t cause allergies in humans, there are some common misconceptions around allergy-friendly dogs. It is generally thought that breeds with less fur or ‘wool’ will be most suitable for allergy sufferers, however it’s not the fur that causes problems. Many of the allergens are actually in the saliva, which gets spread when dogs groom themselves, and apocrine sweat glands. For this reason, the best dogs for people with allergies are the cleanest dogs with healthy skin (that also shed less).
Dog breeds that require a more rigorous grooming routine, and often are sent to the groomers every three to four weeks, such as Poodles and Bichon Frise, are likely to have a reduced allergen load. That said, there are no guarantees, but you can manage the likelihood of reaction by bathing your dog weekly and never letting them onto your bed. To find the perfect best friend for you based on your lifestyle and needs, take our Dog Breed Selector quiz.
Best cats for people with allergies
Just as there are dogs that offer a reduced likelihood of allergic reaction, there are certain cat breeds that are suited for people with allergies such as Javanese cats and Cornish Rexes. Again, the allergens are commonly found in the saliva and sweat glands, so it’s the cats that are the cleanest (thanks to their owners’ level of grooming) that will be the best match for allergy sufferers. If you’re hoping to welcome home a cat that’s less likely to trigger allergies, be prepared to take on a more involved grooming routine.
Pet birds carry dander that spells itchiness for sufferers but, if you have your their heart set on a feathered friend, it’s a matter of management. Bathe your bird weekly and keep an air purifier in the same room as their enclosure. This will reduce the allergens in your home.
When allergic to fur, opt for scales! Fish are arguably the best pets for people with allergies you can come across. Firstly, because they’re in water so you don’t have direct contact with them, and secondly because, unlike cats and dogs, they don’t have fur or dry skin they need to self-clean, which is what causes the spread of allergenic molecules. In saying this, keep in mind that it’s best to keep your hands out of the aquarium, as some aquatic environments are home to harmful bacteria that can cause infection.
Scaly friends aren’t just found in fish, but reptiles, too. Snakes, bearded dragons, turtles – there’s a friendly reptile out there for every person. Reptiles give you the opportunity to build a relationship with a friendly animal, without the 3am sneezing fits. Just remember to wash your hands after handling your pet, as reptiles carry bacteria that can cause infections. Talk to your local Petbarn team member to discuss which reptile is the best option for you.
Allergies shouldn’t stop you from welcoming home the pet you want. Whether you’re after the best dogs or cats for people with allergies, or a smaller pet like a bird, fish or reptile, there are allergy-friendly options for you! Take our Dog Breed Selector quiz to be matched with a hypoallergenic dog breed, or visit your local Petbarn where our friendly staff members can help you find your new allergy-friendly pet!