Source: central dog picture used from creative commons

Normally, just about everyone wants a pet. But what if YOU want one, but can’t somehow stop sneezing at them the moment they’re in the room? That sucks, huh?

Maybe you need a hypoallergenic pet.

But what IS hypoallergenic? It basically means “below average” or below the normal average that causes allergies in certain people. The term was originally coined and used as early as 1953 from an ad campaign about cosmetics of all things – but it’s by no means JUST allergic to cosmetics that’ll make you itch, sneeze, puff up like a blowfish, etc. These allergies are also found in textiles, food, pollution, etc. – and it also comes in the form of pets from their dander.

So what is dander? Dander is something that is shed from your body, and animals in flakes. For humans, it’s where the similarities to dandruff comes in. For our pets, they are excess dead skin, fur, hair, feathers, and SALIVA. Most especially the saliva when it comes to some cats and dogs. It’s one reason why some people sneeze more often when in contact with dogs, cats, birds, etc.

Well, here are a few pets you might consider that are a little less heavy on your allergies. And while there are zero pets out there that are 100% completely free of allergy-producing dander when it comes to cats and dogs, there are a few that comes close to being hypoallergenic.

For dog lovers, most of these dogs have hair – not fur -so they don’t shed as much, have very little to no undercoat, and require little to no excessive grooming:

  • – Poodles
  • – Shih Tzus
  • – Welsh Terriers
  • – Chinese Crested
  • – American Hairless Terriers
  • – Portugese Water Dogs

For cat lovers, there are some breeds that rarely shed skin unless it’s “seasonal” where you are at. They rarely need intense grooming from you since they already groom themselves more often than not, though it wouldn’t hurt to help them along:

  • – Rexes
  • – Siberian Forrests
  • – Balinese
  • – Burmese
  • – Hairless Sphynx
  • – Tonkinese (the short haired variants)

For bird lovers, there aren’t that many choices, most of them still produce dander, though the shortlist of those that rarely do so are:

  • – Parakeets/Budgies
  • – Tucans
  • – Pionus
  • – Eclectus

Then we come to the “unique” set of pets that are pretty much the definition of hypoallergenic – to the point that they score a ZERO on allergies, unless of course you’re one of those rare humans that are somehow allergic to these:

  • – Reptiles, any reptile “breed”
  • – Fish

That’s it for this list, however, no one is created equal. Some of the aforementioned pet suggestions may cause an allergic reaction in you, so for something uniquely “tailored” to you – you might have to see your doctor or allergy specialist to see exactly what pets won’t set you off.

I’ve found a video from Allergist Flavia Hoyte, MD, and she has some insight that may help you – it’s not an endorsement though, so you will have to visit your own allergist so they can test you on which pets to get.

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