More than 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. You could be allergic to almost anything, from plants and animals to foods. There are many benefits to having a pet, but many people face allergies that stop them. Thankfully, certain creatures produce so little dander they’re considered hypoallergenic.
Here are five hypoallergenic pets to keep your home clean and your allergies at bay.
You may not associate pigs with cleanliness, but these loveable animals are great hypoallergenic pets.
Pigs are affectionate creatures that enjoy being with humans and each other. A regular pig can reach up to 700 pounds, but miniatures will only grow to 50 to 150 pounds.
Pigs are also very intelligent, trainable, and love to cuddle with you. Their food is relatively inexpensive to purchase at a farm store or online. Large pigs will likely need a barn, but miniature ones can live in your house.
You can get a miniature pig from a breeder for anywhere from $1,200-$6,000 or adopt one from $50-$300.
Hedgehogs are cute and quirky little creatures that produce less dander than a gerbil or guinea pig.
They are very independent animals who prefer to spend time on their own. However, with early handling and socialization, your hedgehog can bond with you. They enjoy playing with toys in their enclosures and bathing in a specialized dust mixture. Watching them can provide great entertainment.
Hedgehog food is inexpensive, but you can expect to pay hundreds of dollars upfront to provide your pet with a happy life.
A hedgehog typically costs $100-$300.
Many people are afraid of snakes, but the right breed is hypoallergenic and also handleable.
Similar to the hedgehog, snakes are independent and will spend most of their time in their enclosure. Corn snakes and ball pythons are easy to care for and make fantastic beginner snakes for kids and adults.
You can watch your snake slither around and engage with enrichment toys. They also like to sunbathe under their specialized lighting.
One hurdle many animal lovers face is feeding them the rodents and bugs that provide them with proper nutrition. This is still the best way to feed many snakes, though you can purchase the rodents already deceased.
If you’re interested in a snake but squeamish about feeding them, consider a snake that doesn’t eat animals, like a garter or African egg-eating snake.
Consider the sphynx if you suffer from allergies but want to have a cat.
Sphynx cats are entirely hairless, which gives them a unique appearance. However, these felines are some of the most affectionate ones out there. They love to cuddle and are typically good with kids and other animals. Since they’re hairless, these cats need specialized care, including regular baths and nail trims. They are also prone to sunburn and require extra care to stay warm in the winter.
Sphynxes are pretty expensive, with the price of a kitten ranging from $1,500 to $6,000.
Many great hypoallergenic dogs are out there, but the bichon frisé is on the list for its size and family-friendliness.
These dogs are very affectionate and make great companions for kids and other animals. Their size also makes them convenient travel companions.
You must groom a bichon monthly to eliminate any matted fur beneath their coat. They don’t need a bath as often as other dogs, and grooming is cheaper than their more prominent companions.
A bichon frisé puppy costs up to $2,000, but they can occasionally be found as rescues.
Controlling Pet Dander
Allergies are tricky, so no pet is considered entirely hypoallergenic. If someone in your home has a mild allergy to a pet they have or desire, there are ways to help control the amount of dander in your home.
Regular cleaning can help free your home from dander that collects on surfaces. Be sure to declutter enough to reach around tricky objects to dust, vacuum, and mop your furniture and floors.
Using a high-quality air filter will also help you keep a low-allergen home. Dust and debris can travel through the air. However, a specialized filtering system or HEPA filter can make a huge difference in your air quality by quickly eliminating those particles. Brushing and bathing your pets regularly will also help them shed less throughout the day, reducing the amount of dander in your home. You can brush your dog or cat daily, and most dogs can have a bath every other week.
Getting a Hypoallergenic Pet
Almost anyone can benefit from having a pet in their home, but allergies can make things tricky. Choosing the right hypoallergenic pet can give you a clean house, good health, and an excellent companion.