Lockdown got you considering a Labradoodle? If you have a child with allergies (or you have them), you’ll be understandably hesitant to bring a pet into your home.
It can be heartbreaking for us dads to tell our kids that they just can’t have a pet like their friends. Although no pet is 100% non-allergenic, some certain breeds and species can be better options for our family. Here are some perfect pets to consider for kids with allergies.
- Fish: A Best Friend in a Bowl
- Reptiles: Scaly Sidekicks
- Bichon Frise: Curly Companion
- Sphynx Cat: Hairless Allies
- Portuguese Water Dog: Perfect Pal
- Budgies: Feathered Friends
Fish: A Best Friend in a Bowl
While fish aren't as hands-on as other animals, they make the best pets if your little one has allergies. Building an aquarium and taking care of fish is a good way to teach children responsibility, while also giving them something beautiful to look at.
You should always educate children to stop them from handling fish and sticking their hands in the water. Aquatic environments can contain bacteria, so just be a little cautious as kids are bound to get curious about their new finned friend.
It’s easy to get drawn into the allure of a tropical fish tank. Although, it’s best to keep things simple for first-time fish owners; especially if you don’t want it to become another responsibility to add to your long list of dad chores.
Reptiles: Scaly Sidekicks
If you and your partner don't mind having a scaly animal in the house, reptiles can be a good option for kids with allergies. Because they lack fur, snakes, turtles, geckos and bearded dragons have a competitive advantage over their furry counterparts.
They can definitely win you over and make rewarding pets. Not only is there an opportunity for education but they also usually live quite a long time too. Just don’t forget to wash your hands before and after playing with your reptilian housemate. They’re also quite low maintenance, which is a bonus.
Bichon Frise: Curly Companion
If you assume you can just get a “hypoallergenic” breed, you’re in the same boat as many other dog lovers. However, The New York Times reported “there may be no such thing as a low-allergy or allergy-free dog.” Well, that throws a spanner in the works.
The trick is to find a smaller dog instead. Smaller dogs equal less fur to make you itch and sneeze. The Bichon Frise, like a lot of other breeds with curly coats, is considered a lower allergen dog. Their coils keep all the dander of their coat, but they do need regular grooming sessions.
With their cheerful disposition, they won’t mind a trip to the groomers every so often to keep their coat in check.
Sphynx Cat: Hairless Allies
Most people are much more affected by cats than dogs, due to the allergen CH1 being present in their saliva and skin. While not hypoallergenic, the Sphynx is one of the best cats to consider for those wanting a feline.
They’re hairless - you’ve seen them before. It means they don’t deposit allergen-laden hair, resulting in much less potential for unbearable allergic reactions.
Although considered ugly by some, this martian of the cat world has a fantastic personality. They’re super smart, inquisitive and unusually people-orientated. They love nothing more than catching a snooze on a warm lap. Besides, they look dashing in little knitted jumpers.
Portuguese Water Dog: Perfect Pal
Do you look at the long coat of a Portuguese Water Dog and feel your eyes itching? There’s no need! These canines are actually hypoallergenic. They do, however, need regular grooming, meaning all aggravating dander is the problem of your local groomer.
Portuguese Water Dogs are an active breed, so if your family are fans of lakes and the coast, they’ll want to tag along. They’re an easy breed to train, especially when brought into the family as a puppy. There’s even been one in the White House previously!
Budgies: Feathered Friends
Despite not being hypoallergenic, the household favorites of budgies and parakeets are ideal. Even when they're molting, both breeds shed very little dander. This means owners with allergies are less likely to suffer from any rogue allergens.
They’re easy enough for kids to take care of too. Supervised, of course.
In addition to allergy testing, a good way to check if your ideal pet is perfect is to visit family members, friends or neighbors who have the pet you're considering. Speak with a pediatrician first before exposing your child to an animal and ask what medication you should have on hand in case of an allergic reaction.
Which pet completes your family? If you or your children suffer from allergies, we’d love to know any tips, tricks or stories you can share. Whether four-legged, scaled or feathered - we’d love to hear from you.