Dogs are one of the best companions you can welcome into your family. They are loyal, affectionate, and can help you guard the house. But what if you’re allergic to them?
Although there are some things to compromise, being allergic to dogs should not stop you from getting one.
Here, we take a look at which dog breed is best for allergy sufferers, dog breeds to avoid, and how to reduce allergens in dogs.
Are there Hypoallergenic Dogs?
There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed, but there are some that cause fewer allergy symptoms than others.
Many people think that pet allergies are caused by a dog’s fur, but the real source of allergy is the protein in the saliva and urine.
In certain cases, hypoallergenic dogs don’t shed at all or only a little. Because these dogs don’t shed, less allergen-causing dander gets into the air or onto the floor than a shedding dog.
Best Dog Breeds for Allergy Sufferers
Although not all experts agree on whether there is such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog or not, the best dogs for allergy sufferers have less dander and don’t shed a lot.
Here’s a list of those breeds you may want to consider.
This small dog breed has a soft, fluffy coat that is tightly curled, assuring you that dead hairs with dander will stay in place until grooming day when they are brushed out.
Irish Water Spaniel
Despite their curls, the Irish Water Spaniel has no undercoat and doesn’t shed a lot.
They are great for allergy sufferers if you have the time and energy to brush their coats regularly and have them groomed every few months.
This uncommon breed which looks like a lamb is covered in a wooly, tightly curled coat that barely sheds.
Bedlingtons will still need some grooming as his tight curly coat can become matted without daily brushing.
Practically as efficient in self-cleaning as a cat, a Basenji is a great choice as a hypoallergenic dog for people with allergies.
Aside from knowing how to groom themselves, the Basenji also has short hair that doesn’t shed as much as other dogs, leaving less dander and less effect on sensitive immune systems.
American Hairless Terriers
This breed is an intelligent, goofy, inquisitive, and sweet dog. Like most Terrier breeds, the American Hairless Terrier is feisty and fearless.
Eager to please, the American Hairless Terrier will respond well to training to curb that behavior.
Schnauzers may be hairy, but they produce less dander than other hairy dogs. This breed is known for being charming, intelligent, and devoted.
They are also affectionate, enthusiastic, and spunky, with a temperament similar to that of a Terrier. Daily walks help Schnauzers exert both mental and physical energy.
Dogs to Avoid for Allergy Sufferers
If you’re allergic to dog saliva, avoid dogs like Bulldogs and Saint Bernards. Both can drool a lot compared to other dog breeds.
Regardless of the breed, refrain from letting a dog lick you if you’re allergic. Other breeds that drool a lot are Bloodhounds, Bull Terriers, and Neapolitan Mastiffs.
Also, avoid dog breeds that shed a lot. These breeds include Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Akitas, and Chow Chows.
How to Reduce Allergens in Dogs
If you have allergies and are planning to get a dog, there are ways you can reduce your risk of an allergic reaction.
Allergy shots and medications can help control symptoms, but there are proactive measures you can take as well. Here are some of them:
Change Your Clothes After Contact
If you come in contact with your dog by petting or hugging them, wash your hands right away and change your clothes.
It is also recommended that you shower to remove the allergens and reduce the risk of a reaction.
Keep Them off the Couch and Bed
Train your dog to stay out of certain places like the couch, beds, or any upholstered furniture.
These pieces of furniture can be rich depositories for dander and may contribute to your allergies. Try purchasing allergen-resistant bedding and furniture so you can reduce the dander levels.
Brush Their Coat Regularly
Brushing will not stop the shedding but will remove loose hair in a controlled manner.
It’s better to collect hair than to have it all over your house. To be extra safe, wear a mask and gloves when brushing your dog’s coat.
Bathe Your Dog Frequently
Weekly baths will help reduce the amount of allergen-related protein on your dog’s coat and will also minimize the number of airborne allergens.
Use rubber gloves when giving your furry friend a bath. Or better yet, take your dog to a groomer to allow more efficient removal of dander.
Consult your vet before shampooing your pet. An over-bath may dry out the coat and cause skin concerns. A hydrating shampoo prevents dry skin.
Let Them Spend Time Outdoors
Dogs are social creatures and they do not do well away from the family for prolonged periods.
But here’s no harm in keeping them outdoors for a while. If you do keep them outside, remember to provide them with plenty of shelter, water, and protection from the elements.
If you don’t want to keep your pet outside, you can achieve a similar result by keeping them in a separate place when the allergic family member is in the same room.
Learn to train your rescue dog on a leash.
Being a Dog Lover With a Dog Allergy
Many pet lovers are allergic to dog dander, dog saliva, and/or dog urine, and can, therefore, find it challenging to live with a four-legged companion.
Although there are debates on whether or not there are hypoallergenic dog breeds, there are breeds that have a lower risk of causing allergic reactions.
Being a dog lover with a dog allergy should not stop you from getting a furry friend.
The Bichon Frise, Irish Water Spaniel, Bedlington Terrier, American Hairless Terrier, and other breeds can be great options for you.
Make sure to bathe your dog frequently, let them spend time outdoors, and brush their coat to reduce the spread of allergens in your home.
Check out this article to see if you are allowed to have dogs if you have asthma.