Parents with children who have asthma are right to be wary about choosing a pet for their child. Asthma can be caused by an allergic reaction to a dog or cat and other animals like hamsters, rabbits and rats.
A common myth about asthma and pets is that it is the long haired varieties of dogs and cats that can cause the biggest problems. A reaction is actually caused by the protein in the pet’s dander (skin flakes), saliva, urine and faeces that are on the pet’s coat and not their actual fur. So contact with dogs and other animals can be enough to trigger a reaction. Although there are some pets which are thought to be better for children with asthma or allergies.
A popular option is a Betta fish. It doesn’t need a heater or a filter and can be kept in a small bowl but it also can be kept with other fish if you want to go down the aquarium route.
Turtles make a great pet but please remember that they have a long lifespan. Don’t commit to getting one as a pet unless you are in it for the long haul. A popular choice is the Real Ear Slider turtle.
If you can’t face the thought of a snake in the house, then have you considered a Lizard? The Leopard Gecko is a popular choice. They need a 20 gallon tank and are nocturnal, so don’t need specialist lighting. They are fed insects and don’t mind being handled.
Gerbils And Mice
Small furry animals like Gerbil and Mice are a good option because they are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction because they are caged and not running all over the house. Don’t keep them in your child’s bedroom to minimise any chance of causing an allergy.
A protein in a cat’s saliva can cause an allergic reaction. One breed to consider is the Balinese, despite being long haired they have less of the allergen in their saliva. Other breeds to consider are the Siberian, the Oriental Shorthair, the Javanese and the hairless Sphynx, although it will need frequent baths to remove oil build up on the skin.
Scaly animals like lizards and snakes are much more hypoallergenic because they have no fur. The Corn snake is a popular choice for a first time owner. It’s one of the more docile varieties of snakes and it comes in lots of different colour variations.
If your child has its heart set on a dog the Minature Snauchzer is a good choice. It’s a great option for a family who has a child with asthma because it sheds very little. They are playful and require a lot of love, so make sure your family has plenty of time to spend with it. Other breeds to consider are Poodles, Labradoodles, Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers. It’s also worth doing a test run with a friend who has the same breed of dog, so you can see how your child reacts to it.
Please note it is important to do your research before purchasing a pet to make sure that you and family can give it the time it needs to be well cared for.
Find your local blogs