Hypoallergenic dogs do not exist, but these breeds are the most allergic

Image for article titled Hypoallergenic dogs don't exist, but these breeds are the most allergic

Photo: Tamara80 (Shutterstock)

For about 15-30% of Americans allergic to cats or dogs, finding a four-legged friend can be tricky. And although you’re twice as likely to be allergic to cats than to dogs, in general, allergic reactions to dogs tend to be worse.

If you’re an allergy sufferer who’s at some point considered getting a dog and made the mistake of mentioning it to people, you’ve probably been told (repeatedly) about hypoallergenic dogs. Or maybe you heard about it back in 2008, when the The Obama family opted for a Portuguese water dog as a White House pet because of Malia’s allergies.

Anyway, you should know that Hypoallergenic dogs do not exist. That said, some races are less likely to activate one person’s allergies than others. Here’s what you need to know.

What makes a dog “hypoallergenic”?

The labeling of certain dog breeds as “hypoallergenic” is a relatively recent phenomenon, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC)and as their popularity grew, myths and misunderstandings about what the label actually means.

“Somewhere along the line, the fact that a dog does not shed has become synonymous with the word hypoallergenic,” says Dr. Tania Elliottallergist and spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “While some people may be allergic to dog hair, others may be allergic to dander (skin cells) and even their saliva.”

Indeed, according to Dr. Jerry Klein, AKC Chief Veterinarianmost people with dog allergies don’t react to the fur itself, but rather to the dogs. dander and certain proteins found in their urine, feces and saliva (which often end up in their dander).

Because fur carries dander and hair loss spreads it, breeds with little or no hair have been labeled “hypoallergenic.” But it doesn’t take in consideration other ways dander and protein can spread. For example, proteins can become airborne when a dog licks itself grooming. Additionally, your dog can transfer his dander and protein directly to you when you pet him or he licks you, Klein’s remarks.

Knowing this, it makes sense that two studies published in 2011 and 2012 found the same levels of the primary dog ​​allergen (Canis familiaris) in all households with dogs, whether or not the breeds have been classified as “hypoallergenic”.

The best dog breeds for allergy sufferers

So, as we saw above, while “hypoallergenic” dogs don’t exist, those with a decent amount of fur, especially those that shed a lot, have an additional way of transferring their fur. dander and protein to you. Considering all of this, these are the races that AKC recommends for allergy sufferers:

  • Afghan Hound
  • Hairless American Terrier
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frize
  • chinese crested
  • Cotton Tulear
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Lagotto Romagnolo
  • Maltese
  • Miniature Schnauzer
  • Peruvian Inca Orchid
  • Poodle
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • spanish water dog
  • Standard Schnauzer
  • Xoloitzcuintli

Finally, the AKC Notes that different breeds have different types (and levels) of allergens, so even if you’ve had an allergic reaction to one “hypoallergenic » dog, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will all be problematic for you.

Before choosing a particular breed, the organization recommends spending 15 to 20 minutes with that type of dog and paying attention to any allergy symptoms you develop during that time. Then test other breeds to see which is easiest for your allergies.

Comments are closed.