What common pets can cause allergic reactions?

Birds, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, rats, bunnies and horses can all cause allergic reactions in people who are sensitive to their dander and, with some animals, their saliva. But good news for frog and snake enthusiasts: Amphibians and reptiles aren't allergenic.

Fish seem to be relatively free of allergens, given that they generally don't shed in our living room. However, just because they don't have dander doesn't mean you're in the clear: Aquarium owners should be on the lookout for mold spores growing around the fish tank.

Dander (flaky, dead skin cells), not pet hair, is what causes allergies in individuals. Since all dogs have skin (and thus dander), there are not any allergy-free breeds.

However, that does not mean that all dogs are equally likely to cause an allergic reaction. There is quite a bit of breed-to-breed difference in dog allergen. One person may tolerate a certain breed better than another breed.

In cats, however, the most common allergen accounts for about 90 percent of the allergies. If you're allergic to one cat, then you are most likely allergic to all of them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.