Some studies suggest that exposure in infancy helps safeguard babies from future pet allergies. However, adults who already have allergies to dogs may always get some effects and the hypoallergenic label may be no guarantee.
So, what is it that triggers allergic reactions to dogs? The culprit is a protein found in their fur, dander, urine or saliva which infiltrates the atmosphere. Any sufferer within its reach will soon begin to feel the negative effects. All dogs secrete this protein, so there is no truly hypoallergenic breed. However, there are ways to prevent or reduce the chance of reaction by regularly washing your dog’s bed and ensuring that they are groomed often. It is also imperative to keep carpets and rugs regularly vacuumed as carpeted areas may harvest dog hair. Depending how serious the allergy is, it may be necessary to replace carpets with wooden or vinyl flooring.
The list of hypoallergenic dogs is surprisingly extensive and includes:
- Bichon Frise
- Portugese Water Dog
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Giant and Standard Schnauzer
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Tibetan Terrier
- Afghan Hound
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Bedlington Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Maltese Terrier
- American Hairless Terrier
- Coton De Tulear
- Chinese Crested
- Mexican Hairless Dog
Of course, some of these are more common than others. It’s important to research the pros and cons of each breed before making any decisions. Dogs are sensitive and rehoming due to a lack of research on your part is irresponsible as it can destabilise them indefinitely.
Some things to consider before choosing a hypoallergenic dog
Size – a smaller dog is going to produce less dander than a lager breed. This will reduce the risk of allergy symptoms.
Temperament – Some breeds, such as terriers, can be more vocal than others. This is worth considering as a dog who barks a lot will release more saliva particles into the air, meaning there’s a higher concentration of the allergy-causing protein that can trigger symptoms.
Mixed breeds – If you opt for a mixed breed, be sure they are not crossed with a shedding breed. This will increase the amount of fur that may become embedded around the home, increasing the risk of allergy attacks.
Online research, as well as discussions with owners and breeders, would definitely be recommended to determine which would suit your family’s lifestyle. Where possible, it’s a good idea to spend some time with a hypoallergenic dog before making one a part of your family, just to check that your allergies don’t flare up.