Having an allergy shouldn’t deter you from getting the support you need. Emotional support animals (ESAs) can help sufferers of a wide variety of conditions, including PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Having an ESA can be a great way to minimize feelings of loneliness, and to increase levels of connection which are so beneficial for mental health.
If you have pet allergies, you can still have an ESA! There are many things you can do to help control your allergies, such as allergy-proofing your home, taking medication, and regularly washing clothes and materials in contact with your pet. However, making the right choice of ESA in the first place is the best way to ensure you benefit from everything an ESA has to offer. So what is the best pet for someone with allergies? Read on for a list of the best emotional support animals for allergy sufferers.
1. Hypoallergenic dogs
Chances are your dog allergy is aggravated by breeds such as German Shepherds and pugs, which can provoke more of an allergic reaction than their other canine counterparts. If you are keen to get an emotional support dog but suffer from an allergy, you may find other breeds more suitable for you. Stay away from shedding breeds, and instead lean towards more hypoallergenic types.
While no dog is 100% guaranteed to be hypoallergenic, the below breeds shed much less than other dogs, and are considered the most hypoallergenic emotional support dogs:
- Bichon Frise
- Yorkshire Terrier
Dogs make excellent ESAs as they are loving, loyal and friendly. If you have your heart set on a canine companion, but also suffer from a dog allergy, ensure you do your research beforehand and choose a suitable type for you. There are many options out there, and you will be rewarded with a loving and supportive ESA.
2. Hypoallergenic cats
Cats are great ESAs as they are cuddly but also independent. Most cats are relatively low-maintenance (not requiring huge levels of exercise) and can usually be kept in relatively small apartments or houses. If you would like an emotional support cat but suffer from a cat allergy, there are some hypoallergenic cat breeds out there. So what is the best cat for someone with severe allergies?
Cat allergies can either be caused by cat fur or, more commonly, by proteins excreted through a cat’s skin and saliva. For this reason, many hypoallergenic cats are hairless, but others are extremely soft and fluffy and merely secrete less problematic proteins. Examples of cat breeds that may be more suitable for those with a cat allergy include:
- Russian Blue
In general, light-haired female cats are usually a better choice for allergy sufferers, as they produce less dander. As long as you choose the right type for you, having a cat allergy should not get in your way of having an ESA cat.
Potbellied pigs are gaining in popularity as they are intelligent and affectionate ESAs. Though they are not low-maintenance (they can be very messy if bored and left to their own devices!), if you have the time to dedicate to them, they can be an excellent choice of ESA.
Potbellied pigs and miniature pigs are awesome and entertaining pets, but are also unlikely to trigger your allergies as they have skin and hair instead of fur. This makes them a great choice for those suffering from allergies who would like a unique and sweet ESA.
The great thing about ESA lizards for allergy sufferers is that they are completely hairless, so their scales are unlikely to cause any allergic reaction at all. Lizards can be very interesting pets; they may be a more unusual ESA choice, but they have a lovely, calm nature that can be soothing for those who are anxious or depressed.
Lizards don’t require much space and have a relatively long lifespan, so you have the chance to be with your beloved ESA for longer. Common types of pet lizard include the Green Iguana and the Long-Tailed Lizard.
Having an allergy certainly shouldn’t deter you from getting the support you need. An ESA can provide multiple benefits for mental health. Considering the ever-increasing range of hypoallergenic pets out there, you are bound to be able to find the perfect type of ESA for you. As long as you’re willing to do some research and find one that fits your needs, you’ll be sure to experience all the benefits of an ESA!