8 tips for people who are allergic to dogs but still want one

Posted by Mike Trevena 07/07/2016

An allergy to dogs can be frustrating and heart-breaking for people who would like a dog, but an allergy doesn’t always have to mean that you can never have a dog.

A dog allergy is not actually caused by the dog’s hair. The allergy is caused by proteins which are present in the dog’s saliva, mucous and dander, which means that a hairless dog wouldn’t solve your problem.

When the dog sheds its hair and dander, it gets into the air and environment and can cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Despite some breeds being labelled ‘hypoallergenic’ no dog is actually hypoallergenic. In fact reptiles and fish are the only animals considered to be truly hypoallergenic.

Some sufferers find that there are certain breeds of dog which don’t give them a reaction or cause a very mild and manageable reaction which they feel they can deal with.

Unfortunately, some people will find that they are allergic to all breeds of dog.

When a customer tells us that they have an allergy to dogs, or a family member has an allergy, we recommend the following breeds:

  • Poodles and mixes, such as Labradoodles and Cockapoos
  • German Shorthaired Pointers
  • Greyhound
  • Bichon Frise
  • Cairn Terrier
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Schnauzer
  • Shih Tzu
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Whippet
  • Border Terrier

From our experience, we’ve found that Poodle mixes and German Shorthaired Pointers are the most popular breeds for clients with an allergy sufferer in the house.

The above list is not a definite list of breeds that are safe for people with a dog allergy as it varies person to person. If you are considering having a dog we highly recommend you spend time with the breed you are interested in to find out if it causes a reaction.

Earlier this year a client came to us with a son who had a severe dog allergy. We recommended a Labradoodle called Sway (pictured above) and our client’s son has had no problems with her at all.

Again, remember that because one person with a dog allergy doesn’t have a reaction to a certain breed it unfortunately doesn’t mean it will be the same for you.

If you find a breed you are not allergic to, or have a mild and manageable reaction to, there are some things you can do to help your allergy:

  • Hoover and dust regularly to get rid of any dander.
  • If you have carpet in some rooms, minimise the time the dog spends in that room as dander is harder to get out of carpets. It’s much easier to clean wood or tiled floor.
  • Do not allow your dog into bedrooms.
  • Keep dogs off upholstered furniture, such as sofas. If your dog goes into a room with upholstered furniture, make sure you clean it regularly.
  • Use a HEPA filter in air purifiers and your vacuum – HEPA filters remove things like pollen, pet dander and dust mites from the air.
  • Make sure your dog is brushed regularly, either outside or on a hard flood which can be cleaned easily. It’s best for someone who isn’t allergic to carry out the grooming.
  • Keep your dog’s skin in good condition by bathing and grooming them regularly, as dry skin or dandruff can cause them to produce more dander. Again, it’s best for someone who isn’t allergic to do this.
  • Wash your dog’s bedding frequently.

If you are interested in one of our dogs but suffer an allergy to dogs, or have a family member who does, please get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to talk about it with you and help you.

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8 tips for people who are allergic to dogs but still want one

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