When most folks consider pets, cats and dogs are likely the first to come to mind. But with no lifetime supply of antihistamines, they just are not an option for those who have certain animal allergies. Thankfully, someone hoping to find a new hairless friend can look no further than their neighborhood pet store for an exciting new addition to the family. Here are five awesome allergy-friendly picks.
This is a particularly exciting selection for families with kids, as they’re fun to watch and easy to keep safe from little ones. Saltwater fish vary greatly in size, temperament, and space requirements, so it is important to ask at the pet store about specific maintenance. One relatively easier option is the Ocellaris Clownfish (believe Nemo), which does well in pairs and requires little space. Want to upsize? Consider a larger tank and include a Pacific Blue Tang (Nemo’s buddy Dory). Children would love showing off their real-life Finding Nemo aquarium right in their living room!
Whilst not entirely hairless, these adorable little critters are more prickly than fuzzy. Individual allergies to hedgehogs are possible, but they are very rare. Owners who have the time and desire to socialize hedgehogs have the best experiences with them, as they tend to require lots of attention and love to become comfortable but certainly reciprocate with cuddles and interaction.
Another one that is great for families, the leopard gecko is a docile breed that loves being handled. While the most common are yellow with brown or black spots, some also sport fully black, albino, orange, or even purple skin, which despite its appearance, is actually quite soft. Children and adults alike love this hypoallergenic pet shop mainstay.
Potentially one of the easiest pets on the current market, hermit crabs are fascinating creatures that live up to 10 years! Sure, they’re slow moving and they don’t say much, but these land crustaceans can be gently handled and given colorful”houses” to reside in; they change shells as they grow and prosper, so giving them pretty, pearly, or even painted empty shells to move into makes it fun for owners, too.
If furry isn’t an alternative, why not try feathery? Exotic birds make some of the most gorgeous pets, and while all of them require research and practice, there are birds for all different levels of experience. Want a talker? Check out the chatty Eclectus parrot. Prefer a quieter bird that’s striking in color? Budgies are great for beginners and even apartment living. Talking to an exotic bird specialist at a pet store can help potential owners see here for the breed that’s best for them.
The most frequent allergies may prevent some individuals from owning dogs or cats, but there is no need to go completely pet-free. Hairless options provide the satisfaction and entertainment of animal companionship with no suffering.