I have been thinking for the last couple of years about getting a cat, or a dog. I have no experience looking after either (so clearly if I do get a pet I'd ensure that I was properly prepared). My question, which depending on the answer, may mean that I can't have a pet is... what breeds of cats and dogs are low allergy?
I ask because I am allergic to cats (very badly) and dogs (not so badly). I believe that there are breeds which don't have the dander which triggers allergies. But that may be an old wive's (or old husband's!) tale.
a poodle is a brilliant choice as they don't shed hair, or if you've got money, bolognese or bichon frise!
i'm not sure on cats as i hate them with a passion, but there is one breed which is totally hairless called a sphinx .these type of cats are high maintenance as they love company but are very affectionate in return.
Thanks Calla Lily - that's given me a good start. I'm not too fussed on the tiny dogs, but a medium-sized poodle might be nice. But a hairless cat, poor wee thing, wouldn't be too happy in Scotland :-(
If you are allergic then don't even think about getting a cat or dog, your allergy will most probably get worse. The tests usually only testfor dander or the animals shed skin flakesbut its most likely you will also react to the fleas and flea treatments, the animals sweat and also their saliva and other 'wet bits'.
I've since done a fair bit of reading online about allergies, and pets. And well, basically all the medical sites say that there is no such thing as a low-allergy cat/dog. Pretty much for the reason that a few of you have said: dander, saliva, sweat. So it isn't looking good.
But thank you for your comments, because you gave me a way of searching for info. And that has helped a lot.
Sphynx cats are indeed the ones they say to go for if you have allergies, or the rex cats, neither are fluffy and snuggly like your regular kitties, which can be half the appeal. Wiry haired dogs as already mentioned don't shed in the same way. You can get sprays and things you can wipe on your pets coat, not sure how effective they are - boots sell them, they are meant to be good for allergy sufferers. Not sure how nice it would be for your pet though.. oh and if would be best to get your pet professionally groomed regularly or at the least outside the house by a friend, to reduce your own exposure to the fur.
Coming from a completely different direction now - and one which might influence your decision, you could perhaps try EFT, Kinesiology, NAET or some other tool which may help you to overcome your allergy, you could then safely try it out with a few friends pets and then work out if you should be ok.
I imagine if you did get a cat or dog, but realised you were allergic, it would break your heart to have to give it back and I'd hate you to go through this.
\"Sing Thou the sacred & simple song of love
And bring to all the solace of life, here & now.
The seer, the sight & the seen are no more three
In Thy triumph of truth, fearless & free.\"
Gussie, what synchronicity... I have just been looking at NAET for allergy treatment!
I've been reading that having a pet when you are allergic can really reduce your general immunity. So I'm going to really explore it properly... for the exact reason you mention - not getting a pet, and then having to return it. I do quite like the idea of a hairless cat. I know they look weird, but I like skinny funny looking animals (and men!). I'm afraid that Scotland (and my flat particularly) will be too cold for the wee thing.
[Edit - I was talking about a sphynx cat, not a skinny man. A skinny man would have to come equipt with his own thermal underwear.]
Not experienced NAET myself, but have heard excellent reports on it. Yes, exposing yourself to allergens over a long period can weaken the immune system, I found this to my cost a few years ago. It's not irreversible but at the time the consequences can be a real inconvenience.
I think labradoodles are medium sized, yeah... thing is though, I look at them and think they are little ragdolls. Cute though.
And aww to the poor wee thing, the cat, not the man, did make me chuckle lots!
If you go for a proper breed most breeders will show you around and what the pets are like and give you time to get familiar with them and see if you like their temperaments, which might also help with testing the allergy thing.. although walking out of any place which has pets ready for homes is hard.. I just want to say I'll take the lot!
Yeah I think they are medium size-although I think you can get minitures (as with poodles)
They just look like typical characture type cutey dogs. And they have the added bonus of the labs temperament (which from my experience with Cole is just the sweetest temperament ever![sm=love-smiley-009.gif])