If you have need to choose a hypoallergenic dog, then read these tips about what you should consider.
There has been a lot of hype in the last several months about some breeders developing hypoallergenic (dander and allergen-free) dogs, and many are charging thousands of dollars for a dog. If you have been tempted, consider this fact: there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, despite what some will tell you!! ALL dogs have dander and other allergens.
As stated in an article in Wikipedia:
Breeds that shed less are more likely to be hypoallergenic, since the dog’s dander and saliva stick to the hair and are not released into the environment. However, protein expression levels play a major role and amount of shedding alone does not determine degree of allergic reaction. “Even if you get a hairless dog, it’s still going to produce the allergen,” Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, chair of the Indoor Allergen Committee for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology is quoted … as saying.
Fortunately, though, there are several existing breeds that apparently have very minimal allergens, so do your research and save yourself some big money by getting one of them instead — they could very well have a lot less allergens than the “specially bred” hypoallergenic dogs.
Choose a Hypoallergenic Dog
The problem arises when many dog owners and people who want to own dogs sometimes find it hard to keep one when their number one allergy is sensitivity to dog hair and dander. However, there are actually breeds of dogs that are mostly hypoallergenic – meaning that they usually are safe for people that are allergic to dog particles. These breeds are usually single-coated, and thus, they do not shed much hair and dander into the air. Therefore, they do not cause allergic reactions in humans who are allergic to their hair. An American Hairless Terrier is a good example of a supposedly hypoallergenic breed. Also, these hypoallergenic breeds are most common small breeds. Anyway, here are several good breeds for you to choose from if you or one of your family members is allergic to dog hair and dander:
- Maltese – they are small dogs with long and white silky coats. They are usually very playful and energetic, and are also good and loyal companions. What sets the Maltese apart from other small breeds is that the breed does not seem to have genetically-passed health problems, unlike many of the other smaller breeds. Overall, you can enjoy being with this breed without the allergic strain.
- Yorkshire terrier – also called the Yorkie, this popular small breed is famous for looking like stuffed toys. They are also known to be a breed with a confident personality, and are the most active, outgoing, and energetic of all the small breeds. This is perfect for owners who want a sporty buddy as a pet, without the sneezing.
- Miniature Schnauzer – this breed is known for its intelligence. They are also full of energy yet with good temperament. Although they have double coats that come in black, silver, or salt and pepper, they do not really shed, unlike other double-coated dogs. Also, they are notable for being good watchdogs and are quite protective of their masters.
- Poodle – the poodle is another popular dog breed. They are mostly known for having soft and curly hair and come in different colors and shades. Poodles are also good at adapting to different environments, places and situations. You have a choice of three types: the miniature poodle, the standard poodle, and the toy poodle. Choose the standard poodle if you want to have a slightly bigger dog that is still hypoallergenic (and cute at the same time).
- Bichon Frise – like the Maltese, they also usually come in white coats, but theirs is a fluffy double coat that (of course) does not shed, helping to prevent allergic reactions for humans. These dogs are balanced when it comes to temperament so they are well-adapted to almost any kind of family, especially around children and women.
Aside from owning hypoallergenic breeds, here are a few other helpful tips that will help you to minimize the dog allergens in your house. The effort will be well worth it:
- Wash and clean up your dog’s area or house to remove dander.
- Groom and brush your dog regularly to avoid dander sticking onto furniture.
- Give your dog a bath as frequently as recommended by your vet.
- Clean up your house regularly. Vacuum as possible and open up windows to eliminate dander.
- One area most don’t think about: the walls of a house — give them a good cleaning, since dander is known to stick to walls. Just doing this one thing can reduce allergen levels significantly.
- If your dog has a bed, clean that up as well, or perhaps even get a new one and clean it frequently.
Are you allergic to dogs? You may be able to choose a hypoallergenic dog and successfully have man’s best friend with you.
Have you successfully been able to own a dog, even though you’re allergic? If so, please share your story below, and what you did that helped.