For those of us that suffer from allergies to pets, the dream of sharing our lives with a furry companion can be elusive. Hypoallergenic dog breeds, those that shed less than traditional breeds, are rising in popularity as an alternative to life without a dog.
But is this concept of a hypoallergenic dog too good to be true?
Just the Facts
A hypoallergenic dog breed is defined as one that is thought to be more compatible with dog allergy sufferers. Although there are anecdotal reports of hypoallergenic dogs causing little or no reaction in some people, the science does not back up the existence of a truly hypoallergenic dog.
People with allergic reactions to dogs are actually reacting to the proteins found in dog saliva and dander. These proteins are often attached to hair that is shed throughout the home, but even completely hairless dogs will still produce the proteins.
Hypoallergenic Dog Hacks
Although there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic breed, some people report success with low-shedding dog breeds, such as poodles, Portuguese water dogs, or Yorkshire terriers.
Size may play a significant role in reducing allergens in the home; smaller dogs produce less saliva and overall dander than larger dogs. Daily brushing (outside, of course) and frequent bathing have also been shown to help dog allergies.
Breathe a Little Easier
In addition to adopting a smaller dog and grooming them regularly, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of airborne allergens inside your home:
- Vacuum, sweep, and mop often
- Dust all surfaces at least once per week
- Launder your pet’s bedding and anything else they come into contact with, such as couch pillows, weekly
- Don’t allow your dog to sleep in or hang out in your bedroom
- Use a HEPA air filter or air purifier
At Maywood Veterinary Clinic we adore dogs of all shapes, sizes, and breeds, and we sympathize with anyone who suffers in the presence of “Human’s best friend.”
If you are allergic to dogs, please pay a visit to your doctor or allergist to inquire about medications, immunotherapy, or alternative methods to help alleviate your symptoms before adding a new pet to your household. And as always, don’t hesitate to contact our team for more information.