Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds for Households with Allergies
Being a dog-lover with allergies can be incredibly frustrating. Almost 10% of the U.S. population experiences an allergic reaction to dogs, which is why an increasing number of families are turning to hypoallergenic dogs to fill their doggy needs.
What Is A Hypoallergenic Dog?
A hypoallergenic dog is one that does not shed and therefore does not leave allergy-causing dander around the home. There is actually no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, because no amount of breeding can prevent dogs from losing some hair and skin through the natural course of their day, but there are breeds that shed significantly less than others and make the lives of their owners with allergies much easier.
Pros and Cons of Hypoallergenic Dogs
The pros of owning a hypoallergenic pet if you have a family member with allergies are obvious – fewer flare-ups, less allergy aggravation and more room to love your pet. Hypoallergenic dogs are also a smart bet for those with very young children as allergies may not always present right away and can develop over time. There is some research that suggests, however, that hypoallergenic dogs are not worth their hype. Cross-breeding and selective breeding to achieve the hypoallergenic requirement can cause genetic defects that lead to serious medical problems later in the dog’s life. They also cost a lot more than other dog breeds because of their specificity and demand.
Some breeds have been bred over time to become more hypoallergenic, and some are naturally shed-free. The most popular hypoallergenic breeds are:
- Bichon Frise
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Chinese Crested
- Giant Schnauzer
- Afghan Hound
- Kerry Blue Terrier
There are many other breeds (over thirty) that don’t shed much at all, from tiny to very large dogs, and are considered hypoallergenic, so whatever your budget, color, size or breed preference you are sure to find a furry friend that does not aggravate your allergies!
Picking The Best Hypoallergenic Dog For You
Picking your dog is a very important process, especially if you have an allergy to them. Here are some steps to help:
- Research the available hypoallergenic breeds.
- Narrow the list down to your favorite several, focusing on size in particular.
- Research the behavioral and medical needs of your chosen breed(s) to find the one best suited to your family’s requirements and abilities.
- Talk to someone with a dog of this breed (online resources can help).
- Research breeders and local breed-specific rescues.
- Get references and meet potential dogs before choosing one.
- Pick a dog that best suits your family.
After choosing your dog, you must continue to care for it to ensure they and you stay as healthy as possible. In particular:
- Feed the best possible pet food.
- Groom frequently and speak to your groomer about using hypoallergenic products.
- Wash your hands after petting your dog.
- Vacuum frequently.
- Clean air ducts and filters to assist in cleaning the air of even the smallest amount of dander.
Even those dog-lovers with the worst allergies can find a dog that’s right for them with a little time and research. And once you have your furry friend home, making sure they stay healthy and clean is vital. Take a look at a free pet insurance quote here to cover your fur-baby against unexpected veterinary costs.