Have you always wanted to add a ferret to your home but are prone to allergies? No worries, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know when it comes to this adorable animal!
Ferrets are intelligent and curious animals that love to nap. When they’re awake however, they’re usually both active and lively mammals that have lots to offer. They’re also social animals and generally like to be in compatible pairs or groups.
In this article, we’ll dive into details of whether or not ferrets are hypoallergenic, and provide you with all the reasons as to why this may be the case. We’ll also talk a little bit about some things you should take note of when it comes to allergies.
Are Ferrets Hypoallergenic?
There’s no simple answer to this question. In most cases ferrets are hypoallergenic as those with cat or dog allergies don’t usually experience allergic reactions when petting a ferret. However, several studies have found that ferret allergies are usually caused by the protein present in the saliva, hair, feces, urine and bedding materials. This protein can lead to breathing allergies in some people.
Ferret Allergies Explained
Usually when it comes to allergies, there are two types – skin allergies and breathing allergies. It’s ideal for you to know which of the two you’re most prone to and what your specific sensitivities are.
While shedding is usually what triggers breathing allergies, those with skin allergies are usually more affected by dander and/or saliva.
With ferrets, they’re most likely alright for those with skin allergies as the dander from ferrets don’t usually cause a problem and they don’t produce large amounts of saliva. Ferret kisses are also much less aggressive than ones from dogs so you usually don’t have to be worried about an allergic reaction being triggered.
For those with breathing allergies however, there’s a chance that you may have an allergic reaction – especially if you have multiple ferrets.
While they’re not consistently shedding, ferrets do shed a little more around twice a year and this can increase or decrease depending on a few other factors. Their shedding process is also highly dependent on their exposure to light.
How Do I Know if I’m Allergic to Ferrets?
Some common symptoms of a ferret allergy include allergic rhinitis (aka hay fever), allergic conjunctivitis and asthma. Some people have also mentioned that they’ve got itchy skin and rashes after a ferret has touched their skin.
It comes down to your sensitivities and what your immune system is prone to reacting to. While ferrets are usually ok for people with mild allergies, if you’re hyper-sensitive you may be affected by their dander and saliva on contact.
Spending time around ferrets is the best way to know if they are likely to trigger your allergies or not.
Can I Get Treated For a Ferret Allergy?
The best way to treat a ferret allergy is to avoid ferrets. While allergy medications can help with controlling the symptoms, it can still persist if you choose to keep a ferret indoors or if you have multiple ferrets.
What if I Still Want a Ferret?
We totally get it! Ferrets are absolutely adorable and a great pet for children as well.
If you still want a ferret, you can reduce the amount of shedding by feeding them the right diet and limiting it to only one ferret in your home. Several naturally healthy, and hypoallergenic feeds are available for ferrets of all sizes and ages.
By feeding them hypoallergenic feed, it’ll reduce their shedding and make it much easier to live with them under the same household.
Best Hypoallergenic Ferret Food to Reduce Shedding
Here are the best ferret foods we have found which can help limit allergies and also control your ferret’s shedding levels.
Wysong Ferret Epigen 90 Digestive Support
Our top choice in ferret food options, Wysong offer a superb formula with no starch fillers. Filled with all sorts of goodies including probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, phytonutrients, nutraceuticals, natural antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and more. Committed to ultimate pet care and nutrition, this blend is certainly worth considering!
FAQS – You Ask, We Answer
Below are answers to some of the commonly asked questions we’ve received.
Yes, they can. Ferret allergies can shift and change in accordance with different phases of your life. Even if you weren’t allergic to ferret dander, saliva or fur before, there’s a chance that you may be allergic to it in the latter part of your life.
Not really. Allergies are mainly caused by several other reasons such as dander, saliva, urine and skin gland secretions. The fur itself also doesn’t trigger allergies, it’s more of the shedding of the fur that can trigger breathing allergies as it is loose and also releases airborne allergens into your home as well.
Yes, it can happen. Many individuals live comfortably with their own ferrets but can experience allergic reactions with other pets. This may be due to the fact that they’ve lived with their pet for a while and are naturally desensitized.
Not necessarily. Ferrets and small furry pets can still trigger allergic reactions. Some hypoallergenic dog breeds can even trigger less of an allergic reaction than rodents and small furry pets. It depends on your unique sensitivities.
Yes, taking your pet outdoors does help with reducing the amount of allergens indoors but it won’t get rid of it entirely. The best way is to learn how to “allergy-proof” your home by getting a HEPA filter, vacuuming frequently and grooming your ferrets properly.
Not really as allergens are often carried through the air. Hence, it can be carried into other rooms, on your clothing, and even spread through your heating ducts or air conditioners in your home.
No, you don’t. While symptoms may not disappear entirely, there are ways to manage them. Most individuals with pet allergies still live with their ferrets, they just take certain precautions to help with minimizing allergens around their home.
We hope that this article gives you a comprehensive overview of ferrets and their hypoallergenic properties. If you have pet allergies but still want to welcome a ferret to your home, just take the necessary precautions and you should be able to live harmoniously with your ferret under the same household!