How to own guinea pigs even if you're allergic

How to own guinea pigs even if you're allergic

We know how heartbreaking it can be when you want to own a pet, but you or someone you live with are allergic. There also tends to be a pattern—the people who can’t have a certain animal are the ones who want them the most! However, there may be a solution!

As long as your allergy isn’t something that can cause anaphylaxis, there are some ways that you can still own guinea pigs and still live relatively comfortably, as long as you take a few precautionary steps.

What to do

Are you actually allergic?

The first step you should take is figuring out whether it is actually the guinea pigs that you are allergic to! It’s actually pretty common that someone isn’t allergic to the piggies themselves, but something that goes along with them. 

To cover your bases, you can go to an allergist and get tested specifically for a guinea pig allergy, which you have to say when you’re scheduling your test. If guinea pigs are not what you are allergic to, you may be allergic to the hay that they’re eating as part of their diet!

Dealing with hay allergies

For hay allergies, we recommend trying not to handle the hay yourself and to have someone else do it if possible. If you have to handle the hay, you should do it using gloves and a mask. However, there is a simpler way to handle guinea pig hay! 

Try out the GuineaDad Orchard Hay Box or GuineaDad Orchard Hay Bar. These are meant to make feeding your guinea pig easier, and more rewarding for the guinea pigs themselves, but it can also help those of you with allergies.

It’s also good to note that people with allergies to guinea pig hay tend to be able to handle Orchard hay better than the Timothy hay that is common for guinea pigs. Timothy hay allergy is so common, and we know a handful hay farmers who are also allergic to Timothy Hay. Many of them are not allergic to other types of hay such as Orchard or Alfalfa!

The GuineaDad Hay Boxes GuineaDad Hay Bars can keep the hay contained and reduce the amount of dust that is created from the hay just lying around and getting bumped into and ran over by the piggies. This also reduces your contact with the hay itself.

You never have to refill the box or bar, as the piggies can eat directly from it, and munch on the box as well if they feel like it! When they finish one box or bar, break off the perforated openings of a new one, and you and your piggies are good to go until they need more.

Dealing with allergies to guinea pig waste

Another common allergen is also the guinea pig urine. For that, you can use some bedding that is fast absorbing and drying, which will reduce the amount of contact you have with these fluids as well.

We recommend using the GuineaDad Premium Liner for guinea pig cages, which contains a pocket of air that is meant to help the super absorbent layer dry quicker. When dealing with their poop, you can vacuum them up using a handheld vacuum to get them out of the way quickly.

Getting an air purifier

We recommend utilizing this to reduce the amount of guinea pig allergens that float around in the air, whether this is the hay dust or the particles of their waste. The air purifier could also help out the piggies themselves since they can suffer from respiratory issues themselves, from the dust from their own hair and other sources.

This is a given, but also make sure not to keep the cage in your room, but rather somewhere like your living room.

What now?

As someone who is sadly allergic to a lot of things in this world, whether it be plants, certain kinds of fabrics and, unfortunately, many kinds of animals, I know how you must feel. However, I am living proof that taking some of these steps greatly reduces and even eliminates allergic reactions to guinea pigs!

Recently, I went over to GuineaDad's home to participate in a piggy photoshoot with his two girls Siru and Julmi. I was a little worried, as I tend to have allergic reactions (sneezing, itchy and watery eyes, etc.) to many animals.

In the end though, I had nothing to be wary about! Of course Siru and Julmi were using the GuineaDad Hay Bar, which kept their hay contained without any dust floating about. We were also quick to vacuum up any poop that accumulated during the shoot so that it was out of the way. There were also some air purifiers on, and that definitely made a difference as well! I was perfectly fine.

Hopefully by taking these steps, you’ll be able to go through with becoming a piggy parent! We know how sad it can be when you want to own a pet, but are allergic to that animal that you want to love and care for so badly.

Doing these things might not completely solve all your problems, but it can help reduce the severity of your allergies enough to make them manageable and to have a piggy in your life!


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