Hypo-Allergenic Dogs: Fact or Fiction?
Adopt-a-Pet.com sets the record straight.
Therefore being "allergic to dogs" is actually a very general term. Before you consider adopting a dog, find out if your allergy is to pet dander, saliva or urine. If you're allergic to saliva and your doctor approves of you adding a canine family member, you can ask your local rescue groups to keep an eye out for an adult dog that doesn't lick people. You need a mature pooch, because you'll be able to tell exactly what the dog's licking behavior is—unlike with a puppy whose behavior has yet to become permanent. Make sure to wash your hands after playing with or petting your dog, especially if your hands come in contact with toys that have been in your dog's mouth.
While no dog is 100 percent nonallergenic, if you're allergic to dander, you may be able to tolerate a so-called "low-dander" dog. Several breeds are known as low-dander dogs. These types of dogs have coats that are more like hair than fur, and they tend not to shed much. They also usually require a lot of brushing and grooming, due to their constantly growing hair.
Get Adopt-a-Pet.com's list of low-dander breeds
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier (commonly called a Wheaten)
If you do adopt a dog, it's important to make sure you keep his or her skin as healthy as possible, whether he or she has hair or not. Dogs with dry skin tend to scratch a lot, which causes their dander to be released into the environment around you. Also, consider fostering a dog for a rescue group or animal shelter before adopting. This will give you time to make sure your allergies will tolerate the specific dog before you permanently add him or her to your family.
There are a few methods you can use to try to neutralize pet allergens. Look for a cleanser that you can wipe on your dog's coat once a week to fight allergens. Make sure you wash your bedding, your dog's bedding, rugs and curtains often to rid them of dander, saliva and dust. Give your dog a bath as often as his or her skin will tolerate. Some allergic dog owners have their dogs groomed once a week.
Above all, keep yourself healthy and consult your doctor before adopting.
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