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Are there hypoallergenic dogs?

Q:

Hi. I love dogs, but am allergic. Are any of your dogs hypoallergenic?

A:

Many dogs are marketed as hypoallergenic but, there are no dogs that are completely free of allergen causing dander. Many people think that pet allergies are caused by dog or cat fur, but the source of the allergy is usually a protein that is found in the salvia of dogs and cats. When they lick themselves, the protein attaches to the dry skin or dander that can cause the allergic reaction. There are some non-shedding dogs that do not release allergy causing dander in the air or on inanimate objects. A good rule of thumb is that if the dog requires a haircut, it is not a shedder and there should be fewer allergic reactions. I do have a few suggestions to help you determine whether or not getting a dog is the right choice for you.

  • Make sure you check with your doctor before bringing a new dog home
  • Spend a couple of hours with the dog to gauge the reaction you have before you bring him or her home permanently
  • Consider dog sitting for a friend for a few days
  • Choose a smaller dog with hair, which will shed less of the allergy producing dander than a larger dog
  • Give the dog a bath monthly and use some of the commercial conditioning products that help to reduce the dander
  • Carpet-free floor is the easiest to clean, but if you have carpeting, vacuum and shampoo it regularly

Submitted by Anonymous
Answered by Joanne Yohannan

 

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