Hypoallergenic means that something is less likely to cause allergic reactions. It doesn’t mean that the food, pet, or rug never causes allergies. The word hypo means lower than normal.
So, are there hypoallergenic dog breeds?
Not really. There are hairless dogs and dogs that shed very little, but allergies aren’t necessarily connected to the pet’s coat. Most allergies are caused by proteins in a pet’s saliva and dander.
A study at the Henry Ford Hospital has analyzed dust samples collected from almost 200 homes. Sixty dog breeds were involved in the study, and eleven of the breeds are considered hypoallergenic.
The conclusion? There is no significant difference between breeds in how much allergens are produced. There can, however, be a difference between individuals of the same breed. Thus, a person with allergies can be able to have one specific pet, even if they’re allergic to other individuals of the same breed.
Most dog lovers will argue that pets are good for children. This is true when it comes to allergies as well; exposure to a dog early in life will provide a certain protection against developing dog allergies.
Some tips to battle allergies:
- Bathe the pet often. This reduces the amounts of allergen related proteins on both the dog itself and in the air. If a person in the household is allergic, bathing the pet at least twice a week can minimize the allergic reaction.
- Clean and vacuum often. Use air filters, and consider constricting the pet to certain rooms, so the allergic person can have a safe haven.
- Smaller dogs might produce less allergens than larger dogs.