Have Allergies? Can I Have A Pet?

Have Allergies?  Can I Have A Pet?

As a leading Little Rock Veterinarian, Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic gets many questions about pets and allergies.  One of the most common questions is, “if I have allergies, can I get a pet?”  The answer to this depends on the severity of your allergies, your doctor’s recommendations, and the kind of pet you are considering.  However, we tend to think, it comes down to personal preference.  Here is what you should know about pets and allergies.

What About my Pet is Causing my Allergic Reaction?

For many Americans, the cause of your pet allergy is fur and dander. However, it is more complicated than fur alone.  You might be surprised to learn that the breed of your pet and the type of fur they have makes a difference.  Poodles, for example, don’t shed the same way golden retrievers do.  In fact, poodles do not shed, and require regular grooming as their hair continues to grow.  This means poodle owners tend not to develop allergies to their dogs.

Similarly, there are specific properties of your pet that cause certain allergies in some people and not in others.  This includes the Can f5 protein found in male dogs.  Humans who are allergic to this protein can live with a female dog without issue, while petting a male dog could send them into a fit of sneezing.

An allergy test with your family physician is the best way to determine your allergy type and severity. Visiting a vet for pet care through SRVC can also give you an idea about what might be causing your allergic reaction with your pet.

Opting for a Hypoallergenic Pet

Hypoallergenic pets are not an all-out cure for allergies.  Some humans still have trouble with hypoallergenic pets, but the risk of being allergic is far lower.  Recently, cats have become a popular species for hypoallergenic breeding.  You can ask any of our Little Rock veterinarians at Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic about these cats and whether they might be a good fit for you.

Some cats recommended by Little Rock veterinarians for those with allergies are:

  • Balinese
  • Cornish Rex
  • Sphynx
  • Javanese
  • Siberian

Some dogs recommended by vets for dogs in Little Rock, AR, include but are not limited to:

  • Hairless Terriers
  • Irish Water Spaniels
  • Chinese Crested
  • Poodles
  • Bichon Frise
  • Schnauzers
  • Yorkshire Terriers

These pets are not necessarily hypoallergenic but have a reduced risk of causing allergy symptoms in those allergic to pets.

Living with Discomfort

Despite making all the right choices regarding pet type and breed, some humans still have a reaction to their pets.  This is when it comes down to personal choice, whether you can live with the discomfort of allergies, or you need to find a new loving home for your pet.

Many Americans can take over the counter allergy medication during the day to interact with an animal but may prefer not to take it indefinitely.  Others develop something of an immunity as they get used to their pet.  If you need to rehome your pet due to allergies, take care in selecting a reliable and loving forever home for your friend.

Contact a Little Rock Veterinarian

Looking for more information on pets and pet allergies?  We can help.  Contact Shackleford Road Veterinary at 501-224-6998 and become a New Patient!

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