Do you have cat or dog allergies but still want the joy of owning a pet?
Well, you’re in luck!
In this post, you’ll find out what the best pets for allergies are so you can finally enjoy a furry friend at home without coughing, sneezing or rubbing itchy eyes.
Plus, this list of the top alternative pets for allergy sufferers even includes dog and cat breeds that won’t trigger your allergy symptoms.
By the Way…
Did you know that almost every animal releases dander (the stuff you’re allergic to)? It’s true. Even birds which don’t have fur or hair release dander into the air.
Fortunately, the pets listed below either don’t excrete animal dander or if they do it’s a small amount. However, it’s best not to take any chances when it comes to pet allergies.
If you’re a pet allergy sufferer, we highly recommend that you invest in a home air purifier. What this device does is sucks pet dander particles out of the air and traps them inside a filter. This leaves the air around you fresh and clean and free of allergen triggers.
Air purifiers for pets are not that expensive and you get the added bonus of reducing pet odors and hair in addition to dander particles. Plus, they help cut down on other household pollutants and allergens that may also be affecting your health without you knowing it.
Check out our best air purifier for pets buying guide to find out more and discover for yourself how much of a benefit they can be inside your home.
The Best Pets for Allergies (Cats and Dogs)
This breed of cats produces a low amount of Fel d 1 protein in the saliva which is the allergen that causes allergic reactions. Even though these cats have a beautiful coat of hair, they shed less dander which makes them great for pet allergy sufferers.
The fur coat on this breed of cats requires very little maintenance. Therefore, it doesn’t get coated with much saliva or Fel d 1 protein allergen.
A very good cat breed for people with pet allergies. These cats shed very little hair because they only have the undercoat layer (or down hair).
These cats are in the same family as the Cornish Rex but have even shorter hair. Therefore, they shed even less dander since they don’t need to be cleaned as often.
Similar to Balinese cats, this breed also produces a low level of Fel d 1 protein. So low in fact that experts say it’s the closest you’ll come to getting a fully hypoallergenic cat.
This breed of cats is good for allergies because it’s hairless. There’s no hair to trap saliva or the allergy-causing protein Fel d 1. However, some people are allergic to the oil that’s secreted through these cats skin, so if you have severe cat allergies you may want to get tested before bringing one of these felines home for good.
This breed of dogs has long, silky fur but they don’t shed. Not only does this keep your house clean but it also reduces the amount of dog dander that accumulates indoors.
The coat on this breed of dogs is long and thick matted locks which helps keep dog dander trapped and under control. That makes them one of the best pets for allergies since they don’t release much dander or shed much hair at all.
A very good dog breed for any pet allergy sufferer. These dogs have curly coats which makes it harder for dander to escape the coils of their hair. However, these dogs do require more routine grooming than other breeds in order to keep their coats clean and reduce their chances of skin issues. So, keep that in mind if you are considering this pet for your home.
Kerry Blue Terrier
This breed of dogs has a soft, dense, and wavy coat which is considered to be non-shedding. However, as nice as that may sound it does require high maintenance. It’s recommended to do daily brushing, plus bathing every four to six weeks to keep this dog’s coat healthy and clean.
This dog breed has a tightly curled coat with no undercoat. Not only does that prevent dead hair from falling out, but it also stops a majority of dog dander from floating into the air or rubbing off on your furniture.
Portuguese Water Dog
This breed of dogs looks very similar to poodles, however, their coat grows at a slower rate. That means you have less chance of coming into contact with dog dander allergens.
Alternative Pets for Allergy Sufferers
If you suffer from severe pet allergies and don’t want to take any chance with a cat or dog, or just don’t want to have those types of animals in your home, there are some alternative pets for allergy sufferers for you to consider.
Although fish are not cuddly or huggable, they can be a beautiful addition to an allergy-sensitive home.
These types of geckos are an ideal pet because they’re hairless and require very low maintenance. Many of them also enjoy being handled.
Although their not soft of furry, frogs don’t cause allergic reactions like most other pets do. They’re also low maintenance and don’t require much attention to thrive.
Technically speaking, hamsters do produce dander and can cause allergic reactions, however, these animals are kept inside cages which confine the spread of these allergens.
Since these pets don’t roam freely, they can be a great option for allergy sufferers. Just keep in mind that if you do have bad pet allergies, then you may want someone else to clean their cage in order to prevent exposure to potential allergens. You may also want to keep physical touch and handling to a minimum.
Similar to hamsters, guinea pigs are caged animals that can be a good addition for people who suffer from allergies as long as they have limited contact with the pet and have someone else clean their quarters.
Also known as “micro pigs,” this animals make great alternative pets for anyone with allergies because they don’t have fur, but hair, and skin that’s similar to humans.
Although birds don’t have hair, they do shed dander from saliva and urine. Fortunately, parakeets shed very little dander compared to their counterparts. They’re also great to have around the house because they’re cheerful and love interacting with their owners.
These types of rabbits have short hair and shed very little dander. If you have pet allergies, you’ll want to stay away from long-haired rabbits because they lick their fur more and release more dander particles into the air as a result.
Similar to fish and geckos, it’s impossible to be allergic to snakes since they have no hair or epidermal dander. Just keep in mind that these reptiles do require a special type of home enclosure and you’ll have to be comfortable feeding them mice.
Like snakes, turtles are an allergy-friendly pet to own. However, they too require a special habitat in order to survive so do your research before bringing one home.
Some Interesting Pet Allergy Statistics
If you suffer from pet allergies, you may find it comforting to know that you’re not alone. Here are some recent statistics related to household pets.
- As many as 3 in 10 people with allergies have sensitivities to cats and dogs.
- Cat allergies are about twice as common as allergies to dogs.
- Among children, about 1 in 7 between the ages 6 to 19 are allergic to cats.
- 48% of U.S. households have one or more dogs.
- 38% of U.S. households have one or more cats.
- 90% of U.S. households have detectable levels of cat and dog allergens.
The Truth About Hypoallergenic Pets
It’s a common myth that there are some hypoallergenic pets out there that never cause any type of pet allergy reaction. However, this is simply not true.
Pet allergies occur by coming into contact with pet dander and almost every animal excretes it in some form or fashion through the skin, saliva and urine. While no pet is truly hypoallergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic reaction), there are certain animals that shed very little dander. This is what makes these creatures excellent for pet allergy sufferers.
What is Pet Dander?
Pet dander comes from animal hair and fur, right?
Contrary to popular belief, animal dander actually comes from the microscopic skin cells that flake off when an animal sheds as well as through the saliva and urine.
The protein that you’re allergic to in cats is called Fel d I and the proteins from dogs that cause allergic reactions are called Can f I and Can f II.
The reason your allergies get triggered by these proteins is because there are dried particles that float in the air and get into your eyes, throat, and lungs. You also come into contact with these allergens any time you touch an animal or come into contact with objects that the pet has walked across, sat on, or slept on.
When pets clean themselves, their saliva coats their skin, hair and fur and over time those protein particles coat your house and trigger your allergies.
The only true way to prevent pet allergies is to remove all animals from your home or choose breeds that release a low amount of pet dander.
Remember, An Air Purifier Can Help
As we mentioned above, animal dander particles can easily float around in the air you breathe and this is not good for pet allergy sufferers.
Even if you do choose one of the best animals for allergies listed above, there is a slight chance that an allergic reaction may occur at some point.
So, if you want to keep your home free of those airborne particles, consider investing in an air purifier that’s dedicated for pets. It can keep the air you breathe clean and free of pet dander so your allergies don’t get triggered as often.
Check out our best air purifier for pets buying guide to find out more and discover all of the benefits this device can offer.
We hope you enjoyed this list of alternative pets for allergy sufferers and found at least one good animal to make an additional member of your family.