Children love pets! Not only do pets provide valuable love and companionship, but they can also teach children the importance of responsibility. So if you have a child with a pet dander allergy, you may be left wishing that they could still have the experience of owning a pet.
While children with pet dander allergies will need to avoid some pets for their health and wellbeing, there are alternative pets to consider to avoid allergy symptoms. Here, we’ll discuss pets that children with dander allergies can safely care for.
Amphibians and Reptiles
Pet dander allergies are caused by the proteins present in dander. These proteins are produced by warm-blooded animals. Amphibians and reptiles are cold-blooded and, thus, don’t create these proteins. This makes them a fantastic alternative pet for children with pet dander allergies.
Popular amphibians and reptiles for pets include turtles, frogs, snakes, and lizards. These animals require special care, from the temperature of their environments to their diet, that makes them a fascinating pet for children. It’s important to read up on your amphibian or reptile’s unique needs before picking them up from the pet shop.
While fish aren’t cuddly as pets, they’re beautiful and won’t produce allergens. Additionally, in contrast to most other types of pets, fish require very little care. This makes them a smart alternative for children with pet dander allergies and limited free time to care for a pet.
Small Rodents (In Some Cases)
For children with mild pet dander allergies, small rodents may be a good option. Rodents like mice, hamsters, rats, and gerbils do have fur and are warm-blooded, so they create the protein that can trigger pet dander allergies. However, since rodents are far smaller than cats and dogs and have confined environments, they’re less likely to spread a significant amount of pet dander. However, people can still be allergic to mice, guinea pigs, and other rodents. Children with certain pollen allergies may also get symptoms from the food and bedding used for rodents. This is particularly the case for Timothy grass hay used when caring for guinea pigs. Timothy grass is a common pollen allergy.
Caring for Your Child’s New Pet
Fish excluded, the pets listed above can still produce allergens in their waste. So especially for children with major pet dander allergies, parents should take care of cleaning out the cage to avoid allergy symptoms. Frequently vacuuming around the pet’s environment, wiping down surfaces, and keeping the pet away from carpeting, bedding, and upholstery can also help prevent the spread of allergens.
To learn more about pet dander allergies in children and how to prevent allergic reactions, contact us today.