Dogs For People With Allergies
There are dogs that are more suitable for people with allergies. People with pet allergies have supersensitive immune systems that react to harmless proteins in the dog’s dander (dead skin that is shed), saliva or urine. These proteins are called allergens. This page will offer explanations and suggestions about dogs for people with allergies that will help you enjoy your life with a dog.
Each person has a unique allergic threshold.
Allergens get in the air with petting, grooming, or stirring the air where allergens have
settled. Once airborne, the particles can stay suspended in the air for long periods of time. When it comes to people with allergies, since all dogs have saliva, if saliva is the trigger of your allergies then it will be difficult to live with even the most hypoallergenic dog.
Allergies to dogs or cats occur in approximately 15% of the population.
Reactions from dogs include skin rashes, watery and itchy eyes, sneezing and a stuffy nose. More serious reactions are wheezing, asthma attacks and being unable to breathe deeply. Children can suffer from some of these symptoms and may exhibit an increased incidence of colds and asthma symptoms.
There are dogs for people with allergies.
Dog dander is similar to dandruff in humans. If your allergies are related to dander and dust mites then you do have alternatives in choosing a dog breed. Hybrid designer dog breeds are being bred to cater to specific conditions as allergies. The Yorkipoo and the Cockapoo are examples of these new dog breeds that are well suited for people with allergies. Poodles are being bred with other breeds to make more breeds of dogs for people with allergies. Spend time with these new dog breeds at a breeder or pet store to see if you experience an allergic reaction. Being allergic to one type of dog does not mean that you are allergic to all dogs. Spend as much time as possible with the breed you are interested in, to make sure that you will be able to handle any allergies from the dog’s saliva or dander.
For people with dog dander allergies, single-coated dog breeds shed the least and hairless dog breeds do not shed at all. Brushing your dog once a day will greatly reduce unwanted hair on clothes, carpet and furniture.
Dog breed suggestions for people with allergies:
Bedlington Terrier, Basenji, Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Irish Water Spaniel, Italian Greyhound, Kerry Blue Terrier, Maltese, Mexican Hairless, Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
Solutions to lessen or avoid allergy symptoms and make your life with dogs more bearable:
Do not to allow dogs into the bedrooms or confine them to the hard floored areas. Try using baby gates on stairs.
Try to have hardwood flooring wherever possible – carpet tends to harbor pet dander and makes it difficult to remove. If carpet is a must, select a low pile and steam clean frequently. Better to use throw rugs that can be washed in hot water.
HEPA air cleaners in the house can help reduce the mold, pollen and dander present. Forced-air heating and air-conditioning can spread allergens through the house. Cover bedroom vents with dense filtering material as cheesecloth, or install an electro-static filter in the duct system.
If the dogs are allowed on the sofas then it is best to have slip covers or sheets. Use car seat covers when your dog is in the car. Vacuum the house regularly with a HEPA filtered vacuum cleaner.
Wash your dog twice a month to remove dander. Better to have a dog groomer do it at his parlor so you do not set off your allergies while washing your dog. Wash all dog bedding and toys regularly. Try using laundry detergents formulated for allergy control. Have someone who is not allergic brush your pet outdoors as frequently as possible. Wash your hands after handling the dog. Keep your dog’s skin healthy by feeding a good multivitamin and a fatty acid supplement. Some extra precaution will help people cope with allergies when it comes to their dogs.