Are you dreaming of adopting an animal to love, play with, and make memories with for years to come? If you suffer from allergies, this may seem like a far-fetched reality. But, have no fear! There are plenty of opportunities for pet adoption in Tampa that will not leave your nose running or throat scratchy!
Allergies are often a barrier to pet adoption and ownerships, but they don’t have to be. There are many dogs, pocket pets, and cats for people with allergies who would make for the perfect companion!
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is proud to support animals in our surrounding communities. See more about what types of pets you should consider adopting, as well as best practices for taking care of them when you have allergies.
Understanding Pet Allergies
If you love dogs, cats, and pocket pets but can’t be near them without sneezing, you’re not alone. Pet allergies affect 10-20% of the world’s population. Compared with the fact that around 86.9 million homes, or 66% of American households, have a pet, many people have symptoms of a pet allergy while living with a pet in their household.
Pet allergies occur when your immune system begins to react to a special type of protein that is found in an animal’s skin cells, saliva, or urine that can get caught on the hair and skin of your pet. Usually, pet allergy symptoms are triggered by the dander that many pets shed and, while harmless, can often make you feel like you have a cold.
Allergic symptoms can vary from sneezing and runny noses to signs of asthma. Some other common symptoms of pet allergies can include, but are not limited to:
- Red, itchy eyes
- Asthma-like symptoms, or worsening of asthmatic symptoms
- Nasal congestion
- Postnasal drip
- Itchy nose, roof of mouth, or throat
If you experience these pet allergies, don’t worry. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is here to help guide you in adopting your forever companion.
The Best Pets for People with Allergies
If you are interested in adopting a dog, it is important to note that while there are some dogs that are less triggering for people with allergies, no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic. But, there are certain characteristics to look for in a dog to find one that will not trigger your allergies as much.
When looking for the best dogs for people with allergies, look for dogs that shed less, like those with very long hair or very little hair. This is because pet dander and saliva are the factors that stimulate allergies.
Just as with dogs, there is also no cat breed that is 100% hypoallergenic. Male cats – especially non-neutered males – tend to produce more allergens than female cats. If you are looking to adopt a cat, you should look for long-haired cat breeds, as opposed to short-haired cat breeds whose coats shed dander more easily. These are ideal cats for people with allergies.
Pocket pets like birds, hedgehogs, chinchillas, or hamsters are other options for pets that may not trigger your allergies. You may also consider adopting a potbelly pig, guinea pig, gerbil, or rabbit. These pets are more likely to be hypoallergenic because many do not have shed proteins that can affect allergies. Additionally, pocket pets are usually kept in a contained environment, as opposed to free-roaming around the home, reducing the area where allergens are spread.
How To Best Care for Pets If You Have Allergies
If you have a pet that triggers your allergies, there are some crucial maintenance and care steps that you can take to help minimize the impact of your symptoms.
Managing allergies is best done through a consistent cleaning routine. HSTB recommends vacuuming using a specific pet-hair vacuum, like these pet-hair vacuums from BISSELL, to reduce the amount of dander in your home. Regularly washing bedding, blankets, and couch covers that your pet may lay on will also reduce the amount of dander that you are exposed to.
Additionally, changing your air filters regularly will help to reduce the floating dander particles in the air of your home.
In terms of caring for your pet, regularly brushing your pets outside of the home and increasing the frequency of bathing will help reduce allergens.
Contact HSTB to Learn About Pet Adoption
If you’re thinking of adopting a pocket pet, cat, or dog for people with allergies from The Humane Society of Tampa Bay, our team of dedicated animal lovers is here to help.
With the right type of pet, paired with proper care and cleaning, you will be able to enjoy one of the best gifts that life has to offer; the gift of pet adoption!