Is There Really A Dog That Is Hypoallergenic? Five Dog Breeds To Consider

Do you want a dog but find yourself with itchy, watery eyes, a runny nose and sneezing everytime you get around one? Join the crowd, as nearly ten percent of the population is allergic to dogs. Actually it’s the dander, tiny even microscopic flecks of skin, that cause people to react with allergy symptoms. These particles of skin cling to the dog’s hair, so a dog that sheds a lot, usually will cause an allergic person to have more symptoms than a dog that doesn’t shed as much, or is actually hairless.

While no dog breed is truly hypoallergenic, there are some breeds that are better for allergy sufferers than others. These include the hairless breeds and several other breeds that don’t shed as much as other dogs.

If you do decide to get a dog, keep allergens low by maintaining a regular cleaning schedule. Wash and dry your dog’s bed often, don’t allow him to sleep on your bed or co-sleep with you and have him groomed regularly. Hardwood or tile floors are better than carpeted areas, as they are more easily cleaned. Swap drapes for blinds, as the cloth in drapery material easily traps dander.
Here are some of the best dog breeds to consider if you are allergic:

Amercian Hairless Terrier – These friendly intelligent dogs are great companions and do well with children. As they don’t require as much exercise as other dogs, they are good with apartment dwellers. 

Chinese Crested – These small mostly hairless dogs are playful and alert. They are good with families and children who know how to be gentle. They shed very little to no hair.

Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless) – These dogs come in two varieties, hairless and coated. The hairless does well with people who suffer from allergies. Although their grooming needs are minimal, they have tons of energy and need a lot of exercise and activity to keep them happy.

Poodle – These dogs come in three sizes, Toy, Miniature and Standard, but all have the same curly thick coat, which necessitates regular professional grooming. 

Xoloitzcuintli (Hairless) – Like the poodle, this dog comes in Toy, Miniature and Standard sizes and can also be hariless or coated, with the hairless better for allergy sufferers. Think this Mexican breed’s name is impossible to pronounce? Here’s how: say “show-low-eets-QUEENT-lee or just call him “show-low” for short.

There are several other dog breeds that are suitable for allergy sufferers and they all have in common coats with low shedding coats.

Also, recent research has revealed something surprising about dogs and human allergies. Turns out that up to thirty percent of people who are allergic to dogs are not allergic to the dander at all, but to a specific protein produced in the prostate gland of male dogs. The solution for this subset of allergy sufferers would e, of course, to get a female dog. Problem solved!

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By Ellen Britt

Dr. Ellen Britt has loved dogs since she was a child. She is particularly fond of the Northern breeds, especially Alaskan Malamutes. Ellen worked as a PA in Emergency and Occupational Medicine for two decades and holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in biology.

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