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Published: Apr 24, 2020

Dogs for people with allergies

Dogs for people with allergies

HYPOALLERGENIC DOGS

This short article presents important information which is sure to come in handy for those of you struggling with dog allergies. While dogs in general seldom trigger allergies, it is a good idea to check if you or your children are not allergic before adopting a four-legged friend to avoid the pain of having to give it back.

Let us begin with debunking the common misconception that there are dog breeds which do not induce an allergic reaction. Sadly, an allergy is not a reaction to dog hair, but to an allergen which is present on the animal's skin and in its bodily fluids. Therefore, if you ever see an ad claiming that a certain breed does not cause allergies (because it does not have a coat or never sheds, for example), take it with a grain of salt as EVERY BREED CAN CAUSE AN ALLERGIC REACTION.

ALLERGY AND SHEDDING

It is true that greater quantities of the allergen will be left around if the pet sheds a lot of hair compared to breeds which do not shed at all. Therefore, if you want to minimise the spread of the allergen, choose a breed which sheds as little hair as possible, and remember that, just as there are no dogs which do not trigger allergies, THERE ARE NO DOGS WHICH NEVER SHED!

Every single hair eventually falls out and is replaced by a new one. The shedding process is different for every dog, however, and depends on such factors as genetics, environment, climate and temperature, breed, type of coat, and gender. Some breeds shed a lot of hair during a particular season, other breeds shed very little at a time but all year-round, and some shed in barely noticeable quantities.

1. These dogs shed more:

  • females

– as shedding is controlled by hormones. Females shed more when in heat and after giving birth, which is independent of regular seasonal shedding. This can be reduced to a degree by spaying.

  • short-haired breeds and breeds which have an undercoat

– breeds which do not have an undercoat shed seasonally and in low volumes. This is not the case for breeds with a thick undercoat. Double-coated dogs which live indoors shed year-round to a varying extent. Such breeds include:

  1. Spitz
  2. German shepherd
  3. Labrador
  4. Pug
  5. Corgi
  • thick-coated breeds

2. These animals shed little:

  • breeds which do not have an undercoat
  1. Flat coat retriever
  2. Setter
  • dogs which have long hair on the snout, regardless of the type of hair
  1. Shaggy-coated dogs – Polish lowland sheepdog
  2. Wooly-coated dogs – poodle
  3. Rough-coat dogs – schnauzer, griffon, fox terrier; regular trimming is required to avoid shedding
  4. Long-coat dogs – Yorkshire terrier, shih-tzu, lhasa apso; regular brushing is required
  5. Coatless breeds or breeds with sparse coats – Mexican hairless dog, Chinese crested dog, Peruvian hairless dog, Maltese

SELECTED BREEDS...

Companion animal websites promote several dozen dog breeds which are said to be hypoallergenic. These lists are often compiled with marketing needs in mind, which should be taken into account when making the choice.

Below are 11 breeds selected by AKC as the safest for people with allergies:

1. Bichon frise

Bichon frise hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


2. Chinese crested dog

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


3. Maltese

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


4. Irish soft coated wheaten terrier

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


5. Poodle

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


6. Mexican hairless dog

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet

7. Schnauzer

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


8. Bedlington terrier

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


9. Kerry blue terrier

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


10. Irish water spaniel

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet


11. Portuguese water dog

Hypoallergenic dog worldpetnet

If you want to reduce the amount of allergens in your house, regular cleaning is required regardless of what type of coat your dog has – this applies both to your pet and your house. Depending on the type of hair, your dog may need to have its hair trimmed, cut or brushed on a regular basis, and it also needs to be bathed regularly – if possible, this should all be done in a different building or at least in a room which is not used by the person who is allergic to dogs. Use a special vacuum cleaner equipped with a special filter and allergen-deactivating agents made for people suffering from allergies.

If you neglect the hygienic aspect, even the least allergy-inducing breed will not help you!

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