Pets, Emotional Support & Allergies
Childhood pets can be perceived to be nonjudgmental, confidential, and accepting sources of support. In addition, pets can be perceived as presenting their feelings authentically in the moment and being more forgiving than humans. For example, one study found that the mere presence of a family dog or cat during childhood can increase emotional expression and control in children, and research supports that even brief interactions with pets can lower stress levels in children.
For many children, however, a typical pet dog or cat is not a possibility. It can be heartbreaking for a parent to tell a kids who suffers from pet allergies that they cannot have a dog or cat. Fortunately, if your child suffers from pet allergies, you do have options.
Here are five perfect pets for kids with pet allergies:
- Hypo-allergenic dogs: Of course, for that classic pet experience, you can’t go wrong with a cat or a dog. There are so many wonderful hypoallergenic breeds–most notably, poodles– that shouldn’t cause problems for allergy sufferers (and even better, these breeds don’t shed). Whether you opt for a Bichon Frise, Maltese, Yorkshire Terrier (and most Terrier breeds), Shih Tzu, Portuguese Water Dog, or something else, there really are so many options for hypoallergenic dogs for kids that come in all shapes and sizes.
- Hypo-allergenic cats: Balinese and Siberian cats are just a few of the adorable breeds available that don’t cause the typical itchy eyes, runny nose, or sneezing brought upon by other breeds.
- Fish: Many pet-lovers young and old have found joy in raising fish in aquariums. Building an aquarium and taking care of fish is a good way to teach children responsibility. It also gives them something beautiful to view and show off to friends.
- Reptiles: Reptiles are another option for non-furry friends. If you are a brave sort, you can raise small snakes/lizards in a terrarium. For the less daring, turtles are cute and fun.
- Birds: Birds can be a fun and beautiful pet. Whether it’s a parrot or a canary, your children will be delighted by their feathered friend.
- Hamsters: Hamsters aren’t exactly hypoallergenic but they spend most of their time in an enclosed habitat that prevents dander from getting into the air and affecting allergy sufferers.
So whether you want something beautiful that lives in a tank, or an animal that can run, jump, and play, having allergies won’t prevent you from adopting the perfect pet for your whole family.