Thinking about a kitten or puppy, as a Christmas gift, that will not bring on an allergic reaction in an at-risk child?
Used to be, for lots of money (up to almost $27,000 for a kitten and $17,000 for a puppy), you could buy a pet genetically engineered to mitigate allergic reactions. Unfortunately, according to Genetic Engineering and Biology News, it's all hype.
Because of our strong focus on indoor air quality, and the removal, through improved janitorial methods, of allergens from our client facilities and indoor air, we get a fair number of questions about allergens, mold, pets and so on.
A case that comes to mind was that of a building manager whose tenant (who treated children with breathing issues) was finding that a number of his patients experienced breathing difficulties specifically when visiting his office. Not a good result for his business. We took air samples, searched for mold, checked lunchroom and restrooms for chemicals, all without results. I did learn, on interviewing the tenant, that he did bring his three dogs to the office with him, several days a week. Go figure.
But I digress. Turns out that hair vs. fur in pets, and specific genetic programming, doesn't accomplish much of anything. Allergic reactions come from shedding skin, and saliva, and another bodily fluid - nothing that one can easily breed out of Rover.
I can't help but think that, given the large number of stray cats and dogs that turn up in my neighborhood (that we work hard to find homes for), I should have gotten into the non-allergic pet movement whilst I could. If a genetically engineered pet is no less an allergy trigger than the garden variety (or the typical stray), I could have turned a buck, and placed our strays, by adjusting our target market.