Are Hamsters Good Pets for Kids With Allergies?
Many parents think that pet ownership helps to teach children responsibility and gives them the benefits of companionship. Unfortunately, for kids with allergies, some traditional household pets are not an option. Hamsters, however, may be a good choice for kids with allergies.
Advantages of Hamsters
Low Allergen Potential – According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, hamsters typically produce fewer allergens than other pet animals, such as cats and dogs. And, although some people may be allergic to their fur, it is a relatively low allergen potential when compared to other animals.
Convenient Pet – Hamsters require a smaller amount of space, and cages can be moved with relative ease. Furthermore, they don’t require daily walks and they have a relatively low maintenance care routine, making them an ideal pet for busy families.
Affordable – Hamsters are one of the most affordable pets, and their accompanying materials, such as cages, bedding, and food, won’t break the bank.
Considerations for Allergic Kids
Hypoallergenic pets – Some hamsters, such as Syrian, hybrid, and rex, may be less ideal for kids with allergies and should be avoided. Instead, consider breeds such as the Chinese, winter white, and dwarf, all of which are considered to be hypoallergenic.
Early Socialization– like any pet, hamsters should be socialized to their family and environment as early as possible. This helps to create a bond, reducing the number of allergens created.
Regular Cleaning– Hamsters should be kept in a clean, low dust, and non-pet-odor environment. Be sure to clean the pet’s environment, cage, and accessories, such as the wheel and water bottle, regularly.
To conclude, hamsters can be a great pet for kids with allergies, but, if possible, it is always a good idea to introduce the pet to the child with allergies in a safe, low-allergen environment, first, to ensure that there are no reactions, before committing to pet ownership.
Things to Consider When Owning a Hamster
- Low allergy potential
- Convenient, low maintenance pet
- Affordable, with inexpensive accessories and supplies
- Hypoallergenic, such as the Chinese, winter, and dwarf breeds, are recommended
- Early and consistent socialization
- Regular, thorough cage, accessories, and pet environment cleaning