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Hypoallergenic Pets Part One: 11 Pets to Own if You Have Allergies

Love animals but hate allergies? (And worse - bugs?) We get it - and, believe it or not, we get asked about this from time to time. Since we’re bug specialists here at Sterifab, people assume that we know a lot about animals. Plus, there is a strong correlation between pets who cause sneezing and pets that bring in loads of pests. Mites, for example, are a tiny bug that can cause an oversized allergic response. So in a brand new topic this week, we’ve gathered a list of the 11 best hypoallergenic pets to own. Bonus: Less hair means fewer bugs.

Before we share our detailed list of which pets to consider, a word or two about dogs and cats. I love dogs and cats, but we’re going to save recommendations about the best breed until Part #2 of this blog, which will appear next month.

Note: If you do go with a more exotic pet, be sure to find the right vet just for them. While traditional vets are amazing for cats and dogs, more unusual pets like sugar gliders and parrots need some special TLC. There are excellent avian and exotic pet veterinarians in all 50 states.

Without further ado, here is our list of the 11 best hypoallergenic pets to own:

1. Hedgehogs

I confess that, from childhood onwards, hedgehogs have been a favorite of mine. It appears that these intelligent, very sociable creatures have little effect on people with allergies, largely because they have quills; as such they shed much less dander than, say, a cat. However, the Animal Health Foundation claims that “Owning a hedgehog does a disservice to the animals, which are nocturnal and may be forced to interact with owners when they should be sleeping.” It’s also worth knowing that some states (and local authorities) have made owning hedgehogs illegal. That said, a hedgehog is a wonderful pet, as long as you allow it to come out of its cage every day for exercise and social interaction. According to Wikipedia, “The most common species of domesticated hedgehog is the white-bellied hedgehog, also called African pygmy hedgehog.”

2. Guinea Pigs

If a hedgehog seems a little too exotic for your tastes- or you have allergies to a broad range of animals- then you might consider keeping a Guinea Pig as a pet. Some of you might think that Guinea Pigs are just for kids, but they’re not. They’re fun, and, more to the point, Guinea Pig hair and dander does not cause allergies, per se. But, truth be told, their fur can become