For many households, bringing home a pet means adding a new member of the family. And while parents will no doubt take on the brunt of responsibility associated with caring for an animal, kids will view the experience in a totally different way. Even children that are tasked with feeding pets or playing with them are unlikely to view the animal itself as a burden. They are more likely to treat dogs, cats, rats, hamsters, and other common pets as their friends. This is not an experience that any parent wants to deny their kids. And yet, if there are children in your household that are allergic to pet dander, bringing home a puppy, kitten, or other pet could be impossible since the health of your child is of the utmost importance. Luckily, there are plenty of options out there for pets, and some of them may be suitable for kids that suffer from allergies.
Here are just a few best pet options you can explore.
The Best Pets for Children With Allergies
As you may know, there are actually breeds of dogs and cats that produce less dander and shed very little. The adorable, curly-haired Bichon Frise is one such dog, and due to the fact that it has no undercoat, it sheds very little. Schnauzers and some terriers also shed only minimally. And the Chinese Crested and Mexican Hairless, which have very little hair, to begin with, obviously shed less. However, it’s important to note that all of these breeds need additional care when it comes to grooming in order to keep their coats clean, and they may not deal well with colder climates due to a lack of fur. There are also a few “hypoallergenic” cat breeds. You might automatically think of the Sphynx because it is hairless, but keep in mind that this cat needs frequent bathing to remove oils. You might be better off with a Balinese, which has longer fur but no undercoat, or an oriental shorthair. With proper care, these cats are practically allergy-free.
Of course, you might be more inclined to look for pets that are less likely to cause allergies all around, in which case a fish tank is an obvious solution. The only problem is that they aren’t exactly cuddly. In terms of giving your kids the ability to connect with an animal, fish won’t exactly fit the bill. But they could help you to teach your children the basics of pet care, which is a good place to start before moving on to higher-maintenance animals. You should also consider reptiles and amphibians (snakes, lizards, turtles, and frogs, for example), which are a bit more interactive. Birds are another option, as well. But if you’re looking for something a bit more, well, mammalian, there are some species you can try.
Rodents are often a good choice for kids that have allergies because, believe it or not; they tend to be very clean. You will, of course, have to clean their cages, but kids that have trouble interacting with dogs or cats due to dander issues may find that mice, rats, gerbils, hamsters, or even guinea pigs are okay. You might just want to expose children to a rodent before you go out and buy one in order to make sure.
Rabbits are another potential candidate. And surprisingly, farm animals like goats and chickens may also be up your alley, depending on your living situation and zoning regulations.
In truth, nearly any type of pet has the potential to awaken allergy symptoms, so before you start perusing bird cages or dog crates at petsupplies.com, you should try to expose your kids to the type of animal you want to get to ensure that they’re not allergic. But there are certainly plenty of options to consider so that even kids who suffer from allergies can have a pet to call their own.