The Hypoallergenic Dog!?

From time to time I am asked what the best dog breed is for someone that is allergic to dogs. Long hair? Short hair? No hair? A mixed breed? A doodle? A dog with a thick undercoat? A dog with no undercoat? You get the idea. The bottom line is that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed.

Some dog breeds are less likely to shed fur and are thusly marketed as being hypoallergenic. However, the real source of an allergic response to people from dogs is usually a protein that is found in their saliva. This protein sticks to the dander from your pet’s skin. That said, if you have a dog that sheds less, less dander gets less released into the environment and is potentially less likely to cause an allergic response.

So, I offer these tips to you if you still want a dog despite being allergic:

  • Smaller dogs will shed less dander than a larger dog via sheer body volume – Choose a smaller dog.
  • Keep your pet out of the rooms in which you spend a lot of time.
  • Bathe your pet regularly to remove dander from its coat.
  • Choose flooring that is less likely to trap dander (i.e. no carpet).
  • Use an air purifier and/or filters to help reduce airborne pet allergens.

Written by: Rob Doucette, DVM



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