Which Pets are Okay for Children with Allergies?
Having a pet allergy is devastating for children, especially when they come to the age that they really want a puppy or kitten of their own. It is important that you explain to them that it is not their fault and that other siblings do not blame them because you cannot get a family pet. There are a few pets that are fine to have for those children with allergies. Give your children these choices and let them decide on the best pet.
Low Allergy Dogs
Unfortunately cats and dogs are usually the ones that children are most allergic to due to cat dander and dog fur. However, there are a few dogs that are okay for people with allergies, according to the American Kennel Club. Some of the breeds include Maltese bichon frises, Chinese cresteds and Schnauzers. When looking for a dog that is best for children with allergies look for a pup that does not shed and have dander. You can get a list of all good breeds from the American Kennel Club.
Keep in mind, however, that some children will still get the symptoms even if in the same room as the pup. Make sure you vacuum the hair up every day and that you look into other ways to remove the fur. You may need to keep puppy outside and let the kids play with him in the yard to avoid the risk of having your child stuffed up all evening.
Cats, Reptiles and Fish
You can also get hairless cats which can work for children with allergies. Of course, the problem with these special types of cats is that they are quite expensive and they are also a little terrifying in looks, especially for young children. You may want to re think your options for children with allergies and stick to other choices.
Reptiles, for example, are a great option. Reptiles remain in a cage but there are some that will be able to come out for a play every once and a while. Children will love the responsibility of feeding their reptile. You can put the cage in their bedroom and let them help with cleaning it and other aspects of reptile care.
There is always the option of fish as well. Fish make a great beginning pet and while they certainly cannot play fetch or cuddle you on the couch, they do make a great centerpiece and provide hours of entertainment, especially for little kids. Let your kids pick out the fish at the aquarium and let them name it and feed it. This makes it more like their pet, rather than just a decoration for the house.
There are several other things to consider when investing in a family pet. One is the chance of death, especially in fish which tend to not live very long. Make sure your children are capable of handling and understanding this part of life. Do what you can, such as having a pet funeral, to ease the pain and help your child overcome this sadness.
The above pets are okay for children with allergies but you need to be sure that your child is ready for this type of responsibility. Make sure they are prepared to help out as much as possible with walking, feeding, cleaning and other duties around the house. This is important for all children to learn and part of the reason why a pet makes such a great addition to a household with children.