Allergies – Finding the Right Pet

Allergies – Finding the Right Pet

Allergies are commonplace in today’s society with over 50 million people in the United States suffering. This translates into 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children are affected. Pet ownership in the United State is also very common with 36.5% of the population owning dogs and 30% owning cats. The high incidence of allergies and pet ownership have led to the development of new medicines and therapies to control allergies along with hypoallergenic animals for pets.

Controlling your allergies:
The first step in controlling allergies and getting a pet is to visit an allergy doctor. The doctor can determine what you are allergic too and the severity of your allergy. Furthermore, the doctor can recommend different treatment options. In general, mild allergies usually can be managed with over the counter allergy medications such as Benadryl and other allergy medications.   In more severe allergies, your doctor may recommend allergy shots which over time will desensitize your body to what you are allergic too. The doctor may even recommend what level of exposure you can tolerate with your current treatment therapy which will help in determining what type of animal you can own.

Hypoallergenic Animals
The next step in controlling allergies and owning a pet is to determine what animal you are interested in owning. There is a wide variety of animals that can be pets from dogs to snakes. In general, most people have allergies to animals with fur, because of the dander in the fur of dogs and cats.  Also let it be noted that there are some individuals with allergies to reptiles and birds which is why allergy testing is so important.  Hypoallergenic means that an animal or object is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.

Below are lists of hypoallergenic dogs and cats:
Dogs:

  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese Crested
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Maltese
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Standard Schnauzer
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Afghan Hound
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid

Cats:

  • Balinese-Javanese
  • Cornish Rex
  • Sphynx
  • Devon Rex
  • Siberian

Having allergies may be miserable, but they shouldn’t stop you from having a life with a pet. Hopefully this brief article has started you on your way to sneeze free pet ownership.

Citations: “AAFA.” Allergy Facts | AAFA.org, 2018, www.aafa.org/page/allergy-facts.aspx.
Becker, Marty7. “Do You Have Allergies but Want a Dog or Cat?” Vetstreet, 7 Feb. 2001, www.vetstreet.com/dr-marty-becker/having-allergies-doesnt-mean-passing-on-pets.

“Hypoallergenic Dogs.” American Kennel Club, 2018, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/hypoallergenic-dogs/.  “Most Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds.” Purina, www.purina.com/cats/cat-breeds/collections/most-hypoallergenic-cat-breeds.

“U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics.” U.S. Pet Ownership Statistics, 2018, www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-ownership.aspx.



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