One of the frequently asked questions about Emotional Support Animals is whether they can help people with allergies. Unfortunately, you may never come across an ESA that’s 100% hypoallergenic. If you have allergies and have been recommended to take up a support buddy to help with your mental disorder, you may need to be very picky about your choice of pet. The good news is that there are specific breeds of support animals that can help people with allergies.
Some of the common signs of allergies when around pets include; a rash, itchy eyes, a running nose, shortness of breath, among others. It’s essential to look out for such signs so that you can contain them in the earliest stages.
What Causes Pet Allergies?
You will find that some people are more prone to allergies compared to others. It all boils down to one’s immune system. When your body is exposed to allergens, it releases histamine, among other chemicals that present physical reactions. That’s why, in most cases, you have prescribed an antihistamine to get rid of the symptoms. While it’s not completely clear why some people are more prone to allergies than others, genetic composition plays a huge role.
It’s quite tricky to get an Emotional Support Animal when you are allergic to pet fur and dander. However, there are breeds of ESAs that are considered favorable though not completely hypoallergenic. Let’s have a look:
Of all the ESAs, cats are considered the worst culprits for people with allergies. They usually contain Fel d 1, which is the protein that causes severe allergies to pet owners. The protein is airborne and often clings to clothing. If you are prone to allergies, the following are the cat breeds that you can consider adopting as ESAs;
- Devon Rex Cat – Since this breed has less fur, the chances are of developing allergies are significantly reduced. While their physical appearance may not be quite appealing, they are great ESAs due to their playful nature and undying love for their owners
- Russian Blue – By now, you know that fur is a massive contributor to allergies. Therefore, Russian Blue cats are a favorite in this list since their coat has short hair. They are highly affectionate and form a solid bond with their owners.
- Balinese – This breed of cats is one of the most intelligent and social cats, which makes them excellent for ESAs. Their fur is long, but their saliva contains minimal traces of the Fel d 1 protein responsible for allergies.
ESA Dogs for People with Allergies
Two main types of dogs are a perfect fit for people with allergies are:
- Labradoodle – These dogs may not be 100% hypoallergic but are an ideal choice since they shed minimal fur and produce little saliva. Due to their free-spirited nature and warm personality, they are a perfect choice for an Emotional Support Animal.
- Schnauzer – Their short-haired coat requires minimal maintenance and is easy to groom. These furry friends are playful and energetic, making them great ESAs.
Other Animals for People with Allergies
When it comes to emotional support animals, most people go for dogs and cats. However, there are other types of animals that are also recommended, especially for people with allergies. Most of the following animals live in cages, which helps contain the allergens. They include:
- Rabbits – Choosing a rabbit as an Emotional Support Animal is great since they live in a cage, so there’s minimal contact. These furry support buddies are low maintenance and only need little food and exercise. They will keep you busy as you look after them but won’t expose you as much to allergens.
- Hamsters – An ESA hamster is also a good alternative for people with allergies. These tiny adorable pets shed minimal fur and can provide companionship without too much physical reaction by your body.
- Birds – Parakeets and cockatiels are a favorite choice of birds for ESA owners with allergies. All you need to do is ensure that you regularly clean the cage and get rid of any feathers. You may want to avoid the African Parrot if you have allergies due to their high amount of dander.
- Goldfish – For people who can’t stand anything with fur, then a goldfish is the best option. You may not get to walk it or cuddle with it, but it will always be there swimming, which is therapeutic. Better yet, they require minimal maintenance.
You don’t need to shy away from adopting an Emotional Support Animal due to allergies. The above options are available and will provide little to no reactions. Embrace these animals to help you overcome your mental disorder.
At EZCare Clinic, we are dedicated to helping you find the perfect Emotional Support Animal to help with your therapy. Book an appointment with our experts today and start the process of getting an ESA that will accommodate your allergies.