Whether you’ve read every book on them and would love to own one yourself, or you just can’t get over their adorable faces appearing throughout the internet, it can be incredibly annoying when you discover you have a fur allergy. While some people choose to accept the negative symptoms when choosing a dog or a cat if they are allergic, for others the reactions are so severe that this is not possible.
However there are a number of pets which are safe for people with allergies, although they often tend to be the hairless kind! Even so, a cat is a cat and a dog is a dog and whether or not they have hair will have no bearing on how they act or how much they love you. If you are dead set on getting a pet, why not try these breeds – as advised by London based veterinary surgery Vale Vets.
The Sphynx Cat
The Sphynx is a social breed who will certainly pick favourites in his household and will not be afraid to show it. They get cold easily, so love snuggles or cuddling underneath a warm blanket. They have a pretty fast metabolism as they burn heat very quickly, so don’t be worried about overfeeding as they find it hard to gain weight.
They are a robust breed with very few genetic problems and are in general very healthy cats. They are however, rather susceptible to sunburn, so you’ll need to buy some special cat sun cream or limit exposure during sunny days!
It is important to be aware that the dander of the sphynx cat could set off some people with allergies but this can be easily remedied with frequent baths, which are an essential part of looking after a sphinx because their skin secretes natural oils to prevent it from chafing.
Similar to Siamese cats, Oriental cats are also social creatures and will meow loudly if they are not paid enough attention. They love play time and interacting with humans, but can be annoying to other cat breeds.
With over 300 different colours and patterns available, you’ll be spoilt for choice with an oriental shorthair. While not entirely hairless they are better for people allergic to fur, as they moult far less and produce less dander than other breeds of cat.
American Hairless Terrier
A relatively new dog breed, the hairless terrier produces all the happiness, love and energy of a normal terrier, just without all the fur! They are a sturdy, healthy breed with few genetic problems. The completely hairless terriers have no hair at all, excluding eyebrows and whiskers and very minimal dander.
With soft skin coloured in piebald patches of pink, brown, gray red and even gold. Like the Sphynx, the American Hairless Terrier is more liable to get sunburn, so you’ll need sun cream in the summer and a warm jacket for the winter, as they get cold easily!
Pronounced ‘show-low-eats-queent-lee’, although that is still certainly a mouthful, the Xolo for short originates from Mexico and comes available in three sizes; Toy, Miniature and Standard. An energetic, intelligent and affectionate dog, Xolo’s excel in formal obedience and make very good therapy dogs.
They do however, need a lot of exercise and need to be shown firm boundaries, but they are incredibly loyal and will stay by your side. Like many hairless breeds, the Xolo will need sun cream in the summer and a nice warm coat in the winter.
Try a Reptile!
If you’re not sure a dog or cat is for you, why not try a reptile? With lizards, geckos, frogs, toads, bearded dragons and even snakes available, there are hundreds of species to choose from. They are a little less active than a cat or dog and they won’t be able to express their affection in quite the same way but they make very good stable pets.
Regardless of what you end up choosing, if you give your new pet the love and attention it deserves, they are sure to love you in return. Pets are not about looking pretty, or being small enough to fit into a handbag, which is something that people forget surprisingly often. They are living, breathing creatures that have their own likes, dislikes and needs. Treat them with respect and have fun! You’re sure to love having a pet.