Chinchillas are a type of rodent that is well known for their soft fur and shy temperament. They make great house pets, which makes them popular among older children and adults. They are easy to maintain, especially if you haven’t had a pet before. Chinchillas can be a good start!
While some pet owners believe that these little rodents are hypoallergenic, others suggest that chinchillas can trigger your allergies, especially if you are asthmatic or allergic to dust. Therefore, we have brought a complete guide about what you must know if you are allergic to chinchillas.
So let’s get started!
Is Chinchilla a Hypoallergenic Pet?
According to some resources, chinchillas are a perfect pet to keep as they are considered to be hypoallergenic. On the other hand, many people have experienced allergies, especially pet owners while keeping a chinchilla. So, it is true that chinchillas aren’t hypoallergenic pets.
There are many reasons behind the allergies caused by a chinchilla. It can be their urine, hay, or bathing dust. If you are still not sure that your chinchilla is causing you an allergy or that the reason is something else, you can go for a test. It is a blood test that shows if you are allergic to your pet or not.
A doctor can test your blood and diagnose if you are allergic to chinchillas or other pets. Therefore, if you are an asthmatic person or have certain allergies, it is recommended to visit a doctor before keeping a chinchilla as a pet.
What are the Common Causes of a Pet Allergy?
Many people are sensitive to the proteins that are found in the saliva and urine of animals. Moreover, it is possible that a person can be oversensitive to the dead skin cells that their pets shed, also called dander. So, saliva, urine, or dander can cause an allergic reaction in many pet owners.
If you are keeping a chinchilla at your home, the possibility is that you can feel your allergies getting triggered, especially when you come in contact with your pet or its cage. Whether you are feeding them or cleaning their space, you might get an allergic reaction.
Should You Keep a Chinchilla if you are Allergic to Them?
Like many pets, chinchillas can also cause allergies by emitting certain protein substances that trigger a reaction. This can happen through the presence of saliva, dander, and urine. It is common in chinchillas, like many pets, to shed their fur every few months. Moreover, the hay and dust that come from chinchillas seem to be the biggest factor in people that have allergies. Therefore, it is not advisable to have a chinchilla for a pet if you are allergic to hay and dust from them.
In general, it is common to experience an allergic reaction, especially if your pet is furry. When these furry animals lick themselves to clean, saliva sticks to their bodies. After it dries, parts of the protein flutter about and end up on different materials in the home.
This is why even though people initially get a pet chinchilla, they have to give it away because the hay and dust prove too much for them to handle. This can be tough for the owner as well as for the pet. They don’t get the hay or dust bath they are supposed to get on a regular basis. When they have to return the chinchilla it’s called re-homing. So, the pet is sent to a new home, with a new owner.
Although chinchillas are tiny and cute little pets, it can get so bad for an owner of a pet who is allergic to hay and dust because they can cause severe breathing problems. In many cases, people with pets end up using inhalers in order to breathe properly.
What are the Risks if you are Allergic to Chinchillas?
The most common risk that you might face from getting allergic to your chinchilla pet is that there is the possibility that you might up with rhinitis. Rhinitis is a condition that involves the mucous membranes in your nose getting inflamed, In addition to that, there is also a mucous discharge.
You can get in contact with allergens just by touching the chinchilla. The transmittal of antigens from a chinchilla’s skin can cause itchiness. Therefore, you might feel the urge to rub your eyes or touch your skin.
The thing to keep in mind is that these allergies don’t always affect you right away. These can develop over a period of time. Depending on your immune system, it can take weeks months, or even years for the exposure to take effect.
In many cases, owners who have had a pet chinchilla for a while may also develop an allergic reaction to dust and hay over time. However, if you have become allergic to your pet’s allergy-causing proteins, you may have to consider re-homing (returning the animal so it can have another owner).
Common Symptoms Caused by Pet Allergies:
The symptoms can vary from person to person but the most common ones are:
- Many people experience runny noses as soon as they enter the space where the pet is around
- Another symptom can be nasal congestion, which can be severe and require medication prescribed by a doctor
- Most people also experience coughing as soon as they inhale allergens caused by a pet that is present in the air
- Postnasal drip is another symptom that you might experience if you are allergic to your pet
- Many people also get swelling on their face, especially under their eyes
- The most common symptom of all is the watery eyes
- The most severe symptom can be difficulty in breathing, especially if you are asthmatic. In addition to that, you can also experience shortness of breath.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to visit your doctor at your earliest. He might give you an anti-allergy shot that will calm down your allergies. In case your allergies are severe, the doctor will suggest you find another home for your pet.
Is there any way you can minimize your Allergies?
Yes, there are ways that you can minimize the allergic impact of dust affecting you. The most important thing to do is keep your pet’s cage covered ideally with a sheet. In addition to that, you can also keep the room door closed where you have kept your pet. When applying dust to your pet, it is recommended to avoid turning on any fans. The container should be your pet’s cage and don’t forget to place the sheet around it. After that, you need to leave the room for about ten to fifteen minutes for the sand to settle in properly. Do not forget to close the door while your way out of the room.
There are different brands of bath sands you can use to reduce the dust from flying all over the place. You may want to do your research and check it out prior to purchase. It’s been noted that it can reduce the amount of dust ingestion, but it may not be effective in cleaning your pet’s fur. Therefore, you may need to use more than one pack which affects the cost-cutting measures.
Moreover, you must place your chinchilla’s cage in a space or a room that is well-ventilated. But, you also need to make sure that your chinchilla is properly fed and doesn’t get sick because of a lack of water or food.
If you are planning to keep a chinchilla as a pet but are worried about your allergies, it is better to go for a test. On the other hand, if you are already keeping a chinchilla at home and experiencing some of the symptoms that we have discussed above, it is important to take measures to calm down your allergies and get proper treatment.
For more Read about Chinchillas, you should read What is a Chinchilla? A Complete Guide to Follow