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Hypoallergenic dogs are more popular than ever before. From the white house to local pet lover’s house, everyone is talking about hypoallergenic dogs.
What are hypoallergenic dogs?
The common misconception is that hypoallergenic dogs are totally allergy free. The fact of the matter is, they are the breed of dogs that produce fewer allergens but are not totally allergens free.
There are no dogs that are truly one hundred percent hypoallergenic. Not yet anyway 🙂
All allergists and vet dermatologists agree that cross breeding of dogs to produce true hypoallergenic ones have not been totally successful.
Another common misunderstanding..
Another common misunderstanding about hypoallergenic dogs is that the fur is the source of allergies.
Many people think that dogs with certain kind of fur or no fur at all are less allergenic. This is a false perception.
The allergens are actually produced in the saliva, and sebaceous glands and dander or skin flakes are the real carriers of these allergens.
And as you know, dogs leave dander everywhere they go, and it gets worse when they are shedding.
Dogs shedding their hair can add to the number of allergens produced. If more hair is shed, more allergens are produced.
Dogs with short hair shed more because their old hair is replaced by new ones more frequently. Dogs with longer hair tend to shed less because their old hair is not replaced as frequently. Even though long-haired dogs may appear to shed more to you, this is just an illusion because you are more likely to notice the long strands of hair than you will the short strands.
The general rule is that breeds that need frequent haircuts tend to shed less. So if you think about it, it is wise to get smaller dogs with long hair as they shed less than big dogs with long hair (smaller body equals to less volume of hair and hence less hair shed) or any dogs with short hair.
How genetics play a role?
Some dogs have been genetically programmed to have longer coats so that instead of frequently changing hair, their hair grows out.
Some examples are Portuguese water dogs, Poodles, Schnauzers, Yorkshire Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers, etc. (Popular hypoallergenic dog breeds are listed at the end of this article.)
Keep in mind that these dogs are not totally hypoallergenic dogs. They just happen to shed less and hence produce less allergen.
A helpful tip: To keep these long haired dogs from picking environmental allergens, like pollen and dust, you can keep their hair trimmed and clipped short.
What if your dog is not hypoallergenic?
There is some relief for allergy sufferers who do not own hypoallergenic dogs. Anything you can do to help lower shedding can help tremendously.
The best thing you can do is at least bathe your dog once a week, groom them every day and keep them out of the bedrooms and couches. Washing pet’s bedding frequently is also recommended.
Brushing pet’s hair daily removes the hairs and danders that are ready to be shed onto the brush or comb instead of the surrounding furniture. While brushing, wear a mask if you suffer from allergies.
Even though you take all the above measures, some fur and dander will get away and stick to your furniture and carpets. Having a powerful vacuum with clean air filter is always handy while getting rid of the pet hairs and allergens off the carpet and other surfaces.
Electrostatic wipes can also be used to clean smooth surfaces. Sticky lint rollers work great for clothes. A damp sponge can also be used on many surfaces to get rid of pet hair and skin flakes.
Airborne allergies can be lowered by installing central heating and air conditioning units. If you have a bad allergy, you may need to consult your allergists for medication and treatments.
What about hybrids dogs?
Hybrid dogs are usually the most hypoallergenic. The cross breeding of the possible hypoallergenic dog breeds, tend to give out more hypoallergenic qualities in the pups.
Like I mentioned above, no hypoallergenic dogs are totally allergy free but only produce fewer allergens when compared to the non-hypoallergenic ones. Smaller hypoallergenic dogs shed less when compared to big hypoallergenic dogs (because of the smaller body; less surface area equals to less hair volume) or any non-hypoallergenic dogs. Therefore, hypoallergenic small dogs are the best options if you suffer from pet allergens.
Here are some of the popular hypoallergenic dog breeds:
- American Hairless Terrier
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Border Terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Puli (Pulik)
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Tibetian Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
If you know other hypoallergenic breeds, be sure to leave them in the comments!
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