Can you be allergic to a Hypoallergenic dog? the truth is some animal lovers seem to like hypoallergenic dogs because this looks like an alternative to people who have allergies to certain types of breeds of dogs.
Now specific breeds of pups known as hypoallergenic do not shed fur, and because of these traits, many breeders give their word that these dogs are not prone to triggering allergies at all.
Why Are People Allergic to Dogs?
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is not actually a dog’s fur that is responsible for a human’s allergic reactions, but rather it is what is embedded on the fur that causes the human sneezing or asthma attacks. People who have an allergy to dogs, get allergic as a result of the protein in a dog’s saliva and urine which sticks to the dander (dried flakes) on a dog’s skin.
Now, when a dog sheds its fur (and dander), the allergy-inducing protein is released into the air. This why people go for non-shedding breeds which tend to lessen allergic reactions in humans. This is because no shedding means fewer of those allergen-inducing proteins are released. But then no dog can actually be said to hypoallergenic. Why do we say so?
This is because according to Melanie Carver, vice president of community health for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America “There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog”. The only differentiating term here is that they just happen to shed less hair.
Which Dogs Are Best For People With Allergies?
The question we should be asking which dogs are best for people with allergies? the simple answer is having a non-shedding breed. This will be totally helpful for people that have allergies and also want a dog too. The American Kennel Club reports that many “less-allergenic breeds” produce less dander. Now these paired with the fact that these dogs do not shed makes it several pure-bred and mixed breeds the perfect fit for people who are prone to allergies so here they are:
- Afghan Hounds
- Bichon Frise
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Irish Water Spaniels.
According to Carver, ‘Some people with a dog dander allergy may react less or have fewer symptoms to dander from certain breeds. Carver also says that “Allergy testing cannot determine which breeds may work better for you than others”. Thus the only way to determine if you can tolerate being around a certain breed is to have direct repeated exposure to a dog and see how your body reacts to it.
Now according to Mayo Clinic, while the typical signs of pet allergies may seem obvious, sneezing, scratchy throat or itchy eyes and several lesser-known symptoms can also come up. So if you are doing a test run with a pup, watch out for facial pressure and pain, swollen blue-tinted skin beneath your eyes, and excessive coughing.
Most of these symptoms are similar to allergies caused by hay fever and are caused by the inflammation of nasal passages. Now even though many pet allergy warning signs look like symptoms of a regular cold, the Mayo Clinic notes that symptoms that last beyond two weeks are likely allergies, and therefore pose a red flag.
How to Curb Allergies With a New Pup
When it comes to curbing allergies with new dogs, breed plays the biggest role and several other factors like dog size which can help or hurt allergy-prone owners. When it comes to size, big dogs produce more dander, and saliva and small dogs on the other hand are just easy to bathe and groom.
You can carry out frequent grooming which is needed for any non-shedding dog, in order to stay ahead of allergies. You can also set ground rules as regards lounge time. According to AKC, it is best to keep pets off the bed and washing their pet beds regularly.
It is also advised that you ditch heavy carpets and drapes which are known to trap and hold on to dander. Carver also advises that you brush and groom your pet outside, vacuuming regularly, and washing your hands and changing clothes after playing with your dog.
On the other hand, if you have a pet allergy, there are several types of medicines that can help owners further manage their allergy symptoms.
Over-the-counter antihistamines can help relieve itching sneezing and runny nose, while nasal sprays, can help reduce inflammation. According to doctors, stronger medications for patients with both asthma and allergies would be ideal. Other allergy treatment options also include immunotherapy (a series of allergy shots) and nasal irrigation like a neti pot.
So when next you do dog shopping, and you know you have a thing for dog allergies, watch out for these signs.