Around 10% of humans are allergic to dogs, and this number increases to 15% to 30% for those with asthma or other allergies. Since Wally Conron’s first Labradoodle-seeing-eye dog for allergy-free dogs, hypoallergenic dogs have been touted as the solution to dog allergies.
Current scientific research shows that allergies to dogs are often specific to each individual dog and person. Good news is that allergy sufferers are likely to be successful with their chosen breed. You can easily test any new pet (dander, urine) and find out if there is a chance for a good match.
Hypoallergenic dogs have a haircoat, not a fur coat. They are usually available in one of three styles: curly or wirehair, which hold more dander in between grooming sessions, luxurious long coats that have less dander, or hairless hounds that have very little dander.
The unique characteristics of dog breeds with hair include a slower growing coat and less overall shedding. They also require constant grooming which eliminates allergens and dander (preferably at a groomer’s salon, not your home).
It is hard to determine who belongs on the hypoallergenic dog list. An allergy sufferer is not only affected by the amount of hair and dander that a dog has spread around, but also the level of protein allergen in their saliva, dander, and waste. These traits are more varied by person than by breed.
For mild allergies, antihistamines or allergy shots may be sufficient to keep your breathing clear. It can make a huge difference in your ability to tolerate dog allergies by washing your hands after each interaction and avoiding touching their faces.
Hypoallergenic Dogs are Just the Beginning: Tips to Reduce Dander
To reduce dander, feed your dog high-quality food containing fish oil or an omega fatty acid supplement. Brewer’s yeast is recommended for trace minerals.
Regularly bathe and groom your dog. If you don’t have the time, take it outside.
Regularly vacuum with a HEPA filter to clean surfaces. This chore can be made easier for allergy sufferers by using a dust mask.
You can use hypoallergenic pillows and mattress covers to cover your regular sheets. This will ensure that allergens are washed away and won’t be lingering in your bed to disturb you during your 8 hours of sleep. Even better is keeping the dog out of allergy sufferers’ bedrooms.
All dog-related items should be washed with hot water or bleach.
All furnace filters, air conditioner filters, and air filters should be upgraded to HEPA certified versions and changed frequently.
You can open your windows often to let in fresh air and improve air circulation.
Allergens can be held onto carpets, rugs and drapes. You might consider moving from wall to wall to hardwood flooring with fewer washable rugs for rooms that pets frequent. Consider moving to leather if your dog can be sat on the couch.