Although many websites will tell you that some animals won’t cause allergic reactions, unfortunately this simply isn’t true. No animal has absolutely zero allergens, and even though some individuals will give off fewer than others, you’ll want to do your best to make sure that neither you nor another member of your household have any guinea pig allergies before you adopt or buy some. One idea is to ask a friend or neighbour if you can come and play with their guinea pigs before you commit, just to be on the safe side. Exercise caution when allergy testing yourself - if you’re allergic to guinea pigs, the basic symptoms will include sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose, but in extremely rare cases exposure can cause anaphylactic shock. Although this is very unlikely to happen, it’s best to be aware just in case. If you suspect you may have such an allergy, then we advise getting tested by a professional.
Most people think that allergies are caused by the guinea pig’s hair, but it’s actually the material that’s clinging to the hair that’s causing the problem. Allergies to animals come from materials such as skin secretions, saliva and urine - therefore, people often mistakenly believe that hair is the cause of the allergy.
Allergic reactions aren't caused by your pets' hairs
All haired or feathered pets make allergens, but if you find yourself coughing and sneezing around your guinea pigs, it might not necessarily be your pet that you’re allergic to. For example, being allergic to hay can cause many of the same symptoms as being allergic to your guinea pigs: sneezing, coughing, and wheezing. If you are allergic to hay, or a member of your family is, then you may find that storing your hay in a dry place outside the house, using a mask and gloves when cleaning out the cage, and using an air purifier may help alleviate the symptoms. If you’re still suffering from allergies after you’ve tried eliminating possible causes, have a look at our ‘How To Reduce Guinea Pig Allergies’ page for some more help and advice.