Many of us love dogs so much. In fact, there’s a dog in almost every household in the US. If you don’t have one currently, you probably had one at a time in your life. While dogs bring us joy, they also produce fur, which comes with dander that in turn, produces allergies.
People who suffer from asthma and other allergies are prone to pet allergies. Dander, urine, or saliva containing a certain protein (click here to read more about it) in dogs can trigger these allergies. Although the congestion, sneezing, and irritated eyes are frustrating, some people can’t stay without dogs.
So, if you suffer pet allergies, can you possibly get a hypoallergenic dog breed? Continue reading to find out. We also included useful tips for dealing with those allergies.
What Exactly is Hypoallergenic?
It means something that is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. It is the opposite of allergenic, something that has more chances of triggering reactions. People who use cosmetics or wear jewelry must have seen the term before.
Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Exist?
A lot of people think there are dogs that do not trigger allergic reactions, but AKC (American Kennel Club) thinks otherwise. It says there is no 100 percent hypoallergenic dog. But this should not perturb you because there are suitable dogs for allergy sufferers.
Such breeds are regarded as hypoallergenic because their coats hardly shed, so they generally produce little dander. This also means that you won’t have runny eyes, sniff, or sneeze regularly. However, there is a possibility that hypoallergenic dog breeds may trigger your allergies since we do not know for sure whether such breeds truly exist.
A study measured the number of allergens concentrations in both non-hypoallergenic and the acclaimed hypoallergenic breeds. The samples were collected from the coats and hairs of the dogs, as well as the homes of their owners.
The study discovered that the level of allergens was higher in the coat and hair samples that were collected from the supposedly hypoallergenic breed. Also, the concentration of home allergens for owners of both breeds was almost the same. Therefore, science has no clear evidence backing the existence of hypoallergenic dog breeds.
Suitable Breeds for Those Suffering Pet Allergies
It is not totally out of place to want a dog even if you suffer pet allergies. You can speak with your physician, an allergist, or a veterinarian. They will help you find out how to live harmoniously with your furry friends. After sorting it out with the experts, you won’t have to go through the A-Z dog breeds but can simply focus on the recommended ones.
The American Kennel Club regards the following dogs as the most suitable for those suffering from pet allergies:
- Standard Schnauzer
- Water Dog (Spanish and Portuguese)
- Water Spaniel (Irish)
- Wheaten Terrier (the soft coat variety)
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Hairless Terrier (American)
- Inca Orchid (Peruvian)
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Giant Schnauzer
- Coton de Tulear
- Chinese Crested
- Bichon Frise
- Bedlington Terrier
- Afghan Hound
Unsuitable Breeds for Those Suffering Pet Allergies
The following breeds are not suitable for people suffering from pet allergies:
- Siberian Husky
- Saint Bernard
- Labrador Retriever
- German Shepherd
- Doberman Pinscher
- Boston Terrier
- Basset Hound
Tips for Alleviating Pet Allergies
The following tips will help you cope with your pet and the annoying side effects:
Make it a habit to always clean your home. If you declutter, dust, vacuum, or even wipe down your walls as well as other surfaces regularly, sticky dander will not have enough time to settle down and accumulate in your home.
To trap these allergens instead of agitating them, you can get a vacuum cleaner that has an electrostatic disposable bag or HEPA filter. You should also steam-clean your carpets regularly.
Keep Pets Off Your Bedroom
We spend more time in the bedroom than in other rooms in the home. So, if you suffer pet allergies, keeping your pet away from that section of the house won’t be a bad idea. Ensure you clean your room regularly and wash the sheets once each week. You can also install a HEPA air purifier in the room.
You need to wash your pet at least once or two times each week. But if that is too frequent, you should make it a habit to wash your own face and hands regularly, especially after cuddling or touching your pet. You can also bathe your pet with shampoo that reduces dander. Your vet can recommend one for you.
Ensure you brush your pet’s coat once each week. You may want to assign the task to someone who is not allergic to pets. However, if you cannot get someone to do it, you should try to dislodge the dust buildup on the coat.
Consider Your Environment
If you are already battling pollen, mold, cigarette smoke, or dust mites, they may have triggered the allergies you experience. So, if you get a pet, you will increase your chances of becoming hypersensitive. Hence, it is advisable to reduce your exposure to allergens in your home in order to reduce your overall reactions. You can check out https://www.aafa.org/ to get tips for controlling allergens in your home.
Seek Medical Help
For some people, OTC (over the counter) antihistamines can do the magic whereas others would require prescription medications. You can also consider taking allergy shots, so your body can build immunity against allergies. Your doctor will recommend the best pathway to resolve the problem.
Allergies are already annoying as they interfere with our normal daily lives. Some of us love pets but how do we handle the side effects of hanging out with them? From the information shared above, we can see that no dog is a hundred percent hypoallergenic and even the recommended ones may trigger your allergies. However, the tips we shared will help to reduce the problem.