Are There Really Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds?
About 10% of the US population has an allergic reaction to dogs. If you’re one of them but you still want a furry companion, the idea of a hypoallergenic dog sounds highly appealing. But do these types of dogs really exist?
It’s commonly believed that dogs that shed less or have less hair are less likely to trigger allergies, but people who have dog allergies are actually allergic to a protein found in a dog’s urine, feces, and saliva. This protein attaches to the pet’s dander, which is composed of animal skin, not hair.
So while short-haired breeds may be more appealing to people who don’t want to invest in an expensive vacuum cleaner, they may still cause allergy symptoms. And we’re sorry to inform you that there is no truly hypoallergenic dog breed.
But there is good news!
For men and women with pet allergies, some dog breeds may be more compatible than others. The allergy specialists at AIR Care in Dallas have put together a list of dog breeds that may be compatible for you and your family, as well as a few lifestyle strategies to make living with a pet easier on your immune system.
Better breeds for allergy sufferers
While short-hair breeds still carry allergy-causing proteins, less shedding may mean that they don’t release as much dander into the air or leave as much on your couch or floor. The following breeds tend to be a bit easier on your allergies as well as your vacuum cleaner:
- Afghan Hound
- American Hairless Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Giant Schnauzer
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier
Whether you’ve found a breed you love on this list or there’s an adorable Pekingese or Pomeranian you can’t live without, there are a few lifestyle changes you can also make to accommodate your furry friend.
Lifestyle allergy management strategies
One of the best ways to keep your allergy symptoms at bay is to keep your canine companion outside as much as possible — but that’s not always possible or desired. When you do keep your pet inside, follow these five tips to lower your chances of dander exposure:
1. Keep your dog out of your bedroom
Make your bedroom or other places where you spend a good deal of time off limits to the dog, and be rigid about this rule — as much as those big brown eyes may beg to cross the threshold. You spend your whole night in your bedroom, and you don’t want allergies keeping you awake.
2. Choose your flooring wisely
If you can, ditch the carpet and stick to hardwood or tile floors. Don’t give the dander a place to hide and flourish. And keep them clean: if you must cover your floors, choose low-pile carpets or a throw rug and clean them regularly.
3. Bathe your pet once a week
By rinsing the dander from your dog’s coat as often as possible, you help to reduce your contact with it.
4. Change your clothes after playing with the dog
Of course, you’re going to play and spend time with your dog often — that’s why you got him or her in the first place! But try to change your clothes after you do, and stick the older ones in the wash immediately.
5. Use an air purifier
To help reduce allergens in the air, use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier and vent filter. Remember, this device only helps the air. You still need to clean and vacuum to get the allergens off of your furniture and floors.
For more information on how to live with a pet even if you have pet allergies, call the allergy specialists at AIR Care or make an appointment online.