When most people think of pets, cats and dogs are probably the first to think. But without a lifetime supply of antihistamines, they are simply not an option for those with certain animal allergies. Fortunately, someone hoping to find a new hairless friend can’t look any further than their local pet store for an exciting new addition to the family. Here are five great choices for allergies.
It is a particularly exciting choice for families with children, as they are fun to watch and easy to protect from toddlers. Saltwater fish vary considerably in size, temperament and space, so it is important to inquire at the pet store about specific maintenance. A relatively easier option is the Ocellaris clownfish (think Nemo), which does well in pairs and requires little space. Want to take a leap? Consider a larger tank and add a Pacific Blue Tang (Nemo’s buddy, Dory). Kids would love to show off their real Finding Nemo aquarium in their living room!
Although not entirely hairless, these adorable little critters are thornier than fuzzy. Human allergies to hedgehogs are possible, but they are very rare. Homeowners who have the time and desire to socialize hedgehogs have the best experiences with them, as they tend to require a lot of love and attention to become comfortable, but certainly in exchange for hugs and interaction. .
Another one that is ideal for families, the leopard gecko is a docile breed that likes to be handled. While the most common are yellowish with brown or black spots, some also have completely black, albino, orange or even purple skin, which despite its appearance, is actually quite soft. Children and adults love this hypoallergenic pillar for pets.
Potentially one of the easiest pets on the market, hermit crabs are fascinating creatures that live up to 10 years! When properly maintained, they can grow up to six inches long. Of course, they move slowly and don’t say much, but these terrestrial crustaceans can be handled gently and have colorful “houses” to live in; they change shells as they molt and grow, so giving them pretty empty, pearly or even painted shells to move in is also fun for owners.
If fur is not an option, why not try feathery? Exotic birds are among the most beautiful pets, and although they all require research and practice, there are birds for all levels of experience. Want a speaker? Discover the chatty Eclectus parrot. Do you prefer a quieter bird that has a striking color? Parakeets are perfect for beginners and even for living in an apartment. Talking to an exotic bird specialist at a pet store can help potential owners find the breed that works best for them.
The most common allergies can prevent some people from owning cats or dogs, but you don’t have to be completely pet-free. The hairless options provide the satisfaction and entertainment of the company of painless animals.
by Alfred Ardis