The BEST pets for kids with allergies or sensitivities is not always the easiest to choose. When it comes to helping them develop tools like emotional intelligence, compassion, empathy, responsibility, and sharing, pets can be some of the best teachers.
It’s been said that the true value of a person can be seen in how they treat those who can do very little for them. The relationship between a child and their pet cultivates these wonderful sentiments.
But what do you do when the very pet that could complete your family makes your child itch, sneeze, cough, and scratch?
While many families write off having a pet due to allergies, there are options! There are many great family pets that tend to be perfectly safe for kids with all kinds of allergies, and we’d like to introduce you to them today.
When it comes to dogs, it’s all about the fur. Dander, oils, and hair construction all play a role in triggering allergies from eczema to respiratory issues. Dander is probably the biggest allergy trigger that comes from a dog, but saliva can be an issue for some kids with sensitive skin as well.
Some of the dog breeds that tend to be low-allergy and easy to train out of licking include:
- Size matters. Bigger dogs shed more hair, salivate more, urinate more, and create more dander. For this reason, smaller dogs are often producers of less allergens which could make them easy for kids with allergies.
- While short hair dogs are usually to the go-to choice for families with allergies, dogs with super curly hair may be fine as well. Curly hair helps lock in dander so that it doesn’t end up in the air and on furniture.
- Of course, you could go for a breed thats dogs are also bred to be hypoallergenic
When it comes to cats, it’s almost always about hair. Choosing a breed like a Persian or Himalayan will put a nice layer of hair all over your house in a matter of weeks. These cats have amazing personalities and are really fun to be around, but they may be some of the worst choices for kids with allergies. Instead, opt for short-hair cats that shed lightly and do well with being brushed outside on a regular basis.
Water It Down!
One of the best kinds of pets for kids with allergies are those that live in water. Fish, salamanders, and turtles are all super clean animals that have no hair or dander and are usually not interacted with directly all that often. The fact that they live in water means they are clean and insulated from sharing the same environment with your child. Pets who live in tanks need regular, thorough cleaning done in a way that keeps their living standards high and healthy. The whole family may have to chip in to keep these pets healthy, happy, and in good spirits.
Small Is Super!
If you want all the cute and cuddly factors, try looking at rats, mice, hamsters, and gerbils. These tiny critters are often extremely intelligent, trainable, and fun to interact with while being small enough not to generate lots of allergens. They are also not the kinds of animals that can have free range of the house like dogs and cats, so their areas of shedding are controlled.
Here are some things you can do to help keep the pets you have as allergen-free as possible:
- Brush and groom often. Every other day is often a good schedule for dogs and cats with longer hair. If possible, take them outside and brush them thoroughly. When their fur gets oily or dirty, it’s bath time!
- Invest in a good filter for your HVAC system or get stand-alone air purifiers for rooms where the pet spends their time or where your child sleeps. This can help pull excess dander and hair out of the air.
- When it comes to baths, you can now find allergen-fighting shampoos and wipes that can be used on dogs, pets, and some other furry critters.
Do you have a family pet that doesn’t cause any allergies in your family? Have you found creative ways to keep your pet happy and your allergic reactions low? Share with us in the comments below!