It is crucial to find out whether you are allergic to Hamsters or not before getting one for yourself. A few years ago, when I was deciding to get a Hamster, the first concern that struck my mind was allergies. Are Hamsters hypoallergenic? So, I did some research, and here is what I found out!
Hamsters are not hypoallergenic animals. In fact, none of the breeds of Hamsters are hypoallergenic. The fur, saliva, urine, and dander of these little animals might cause an allergic reaction to some human beings. Some owners are also known to have an allergic reaction to their pet’s bedding material.
Certain websites even claim that hairless Hamsters are hypoallergenic, which is totally untrue. Each breed of Hamsters can cause an equal amount of allergies.
You might have a lot of questions in your mind. So, let us get right into it without any further delay.
Are Hamster Allergies Common? Should I Be Worried?
A very few people are known to have allergies to Hamsters. On the other hand, allergies from mice, cockroaches, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, or even horses are far more common.
Unlike other large pets, such as dogs and cats, possess more risk of spreading allergies. This is because they roam around in our house freely and stay very close to us. On the other hand, Hamsters spend most of their time in one corner of our house in their cage.
There is nothing to worry about the allergies unless you are a sensitive person or have some kind of serious health problem. Although you might have an allergic reaction to your pet, this does not mean that you cannot own one.
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Can You Be Allergic To A Hamster?
Any individual around the globe can definitely be allergic to Hamsters. If you have had any health conditions, such as asthma, hypersensitivity, etc., then you might develop an allergy to Hamsters.
Also, if you have a family background of any of these health problems, then you might have an allergy to Hamsters. However, such cases are extremely rare.
Many owners often have a misconception that their pet Hamster might be their source of allergy. However, this is not the case all the time. There might be a possibility that when you brought them home, they had something attached to their body, which could have caused the negative reaction.
The best advice in these cases would be to visit a doctor first and then come to a conclusion. Also, sometimes, certain individuals are allergic to the smell of Hamsters or the smell of their cage. So, you must look into it too!
Reasons For The Allergy!
Let us now understand the basic reasons for being allergic to a Hamster. The main reasons for the allergy includes:
Dander is of the most common causes of allergies by Hamsters in human beings. Dander is basically the dead skin cells which animals shed at a regular interval.
Despite the age, breed, sex, or size, most warm-blooded animals o produce dander which eventually spreads in the surroundings leading to certain allergies.
The saliva of Hamsters contains certain proteins, which are the major allergens. These proteins might lead to several allergies in human beings.
Hamsters love to groom themselves. They are naturally clean animals. They are often known to use their own saliva to groom their coat. During this process, the saliva protein gets all over their skin.
Whenever we come into contact with them, the allergens then get transferred from their skin to ours. This then leads to severe allergies.
Just like the saliva of the Hamsters, their urine contains certain proteins too. These proteins are known to cause allergic reactions in us.
As pet Hamsters spend most of their lives in a cage, they have restricted space to move around, eat, poop, and pee. This often leads to their fur getting covered with urine.
Besides this, if you do not maintain your pet’s cage in a proper manner, then the chances of getting infected further increase.
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Can You Be Allergenic To Hamster Bedding?
Being allergic to Hamster bedding is quite common among Hamster owners. Therefore, it is important to use good quality bedding in your Hamster’s cage. Make sure that the bedding you use for your Hamster is free from dust and any kind of smell.
How To Tell If You Are Allergic To Hamsters?
The intensity of an allergy caused by a Hamster differs from person to person. However, there are some common allergic reactions that most of the individuals show. Listed below are some of the common symptoms:
- Itchy skin and eyes
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
It is important to understand that these reactions are different for different people. Also, some people might have visible reactions, while others don’t.
The allergies from an animal might even result in some severe infections or negative reactions. If you are unsure about the same, look for the way your body reacts when you are near your pet. If you are not feeling well, the best advice would be to consult a doctor.
What To Do If You Are Allergic To Hamsters?
If you are sure that you have an allergy to your Hamster, you must take a few steps to stop the allergy or decrease the allergens. Listed below are some of the steps that you must take to decrease the level of your allergy:
- Avoid keeping your Hamster in your bedroom. Dedicate a separate room for them, if possible. If not, keep them in a well-ventilated area, where the spread of allergens will reduce.
- Store your Hamster’s bedding or hay outside your house in a cool and dry place. A storeroom or a garage would work the best.
- Clean the room in which you have housed your Hamster regularly. Clean the entire room, including the floor, curtains, or any specific furniture present in the room. This will help to keep the room allergen-free and away from all the dust and dander.
- Hire someone or request a member of your family to clean your Hamster’s cage as well required. Using a vinegar-water solution will help to disinfect the cage thoroughly.
- Use good quality bedding in your Hamster’s cage. Kaytee Clean & Cozy, Small Pet Select Natural Paper Bedding, News Paper Small Animal Bedding, and Kaytee Aspen Bedding are one of the best choices.
- Serve your Hamster with good quality hay. Make sure that the hay has not become moldy and is dust-free. The best option would be to ask someone else to work with the hay. If not possible, use a pair of gloves and a face mask while handling the hay.
- Do not bring your Hamster too close to your face while handling them. Also, do not bring them near your bed. The best option would be to play with them on the ground level.
- Do not forget to wash your hands before and after touching your Hamsters.
- Consult your doctor for the necessary medication to relieve yourself from the negative reactions. Also, consume a diet high in Vitamin C. This will help you to keep your immune system strong.
To be honest, there is no precise cure for the same. However, a proper blend of a hygienic living environment and medication works for the majority of people who want to own a Hamster despite their allergy.
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Are There Any Hypoallergenic Hamster Breeds?
There is no such particular breed of Hamsters that are considered hypoallergenic. It is important to understand the fact that no warm-blooded animals that have hair, fur, or feather are hypoallergenic. There is a possibility that some aminals might lead to more allergies than others: hypoallergenic animals are just a myth.
Also, many individuals often think that hairless Hamsters are hypoallergenic. However, this is totally untrue. Hairless Hamsters can cause allergies the same way the regular Hamsters do.
In most cases, the fur is not the cause of allergy, but it is just a carrier of allergen. Major allergies are caused by the dander, saliva, and urine of the pets.