Most people love dogs, even those who are allergic! So how do you get the full experience of dog ownership when being near one causes a sneezing fit?
Take after the Obamas and adopt a hypoallergenic dog like Bo and Sunny. Dog breeds that are known to be hypoallergenic are said to be the best pets for allergy sufferers because they shed less than others.
As the most common chronic condition, allergic rhinitis (pet allergies) affects over 600 million people around the world. Over a third of these people also suffer from asthma, both of which experts in the field say are under-diagnosed and under-treated. This might be due to the fact that pet lovers would rather sneeze and itch than give up their beloved furry friend!
The majority of symptomatic individuals are allergic to the pet’s saliva or flakes on the skin (dander), not the actual fur. However, fur might still be part of the problem — indoor and outdoor allergens such as dust and pollen can build up in a dog’s coat and cause allergy symptoms upon contact.
Experts say that the hype over health benefits may be unjustified for some hypoallergenic breeds. If you’re looking for a pup that won’t leave you runny-nosed and teary-eyed, you should do thorough research and and an in-home trial if possible; this will help you figure out first-hand if your new pet will trigger any symptoms. Don’t let the fur factor scare you — less fur isn’t necessarily better, so give some shaggy dogs a chance too!
The best breeds for people with dog allergies
1) Australian Labradoodle
At the top of the list, Australian Labradoodles are the best dogs for people with allergies because of how easy it is to maintain their coats. In addition to being hypoallergenic, non-shedding, and super soft, Labradoodles with wool coats pick up less outdoor allergens than other breeds.
Tied with the Australian Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle is another great dog for those with allergies due to its low to no-shed coat. Also known as Curly Retrievers, Groodles, or Goldenoodles, their coats are longer, wavier, and shed a bit less than Labradoodles. Doodles with a more poodle-like coat are the best option, since dander will get trapped closer to the dog’s skin instead of floating around the house. If dander is the main issue, a Goldendoodle would be the perfect choice for your new companion.
3) Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is another breed known for its low maintenance coat. Their curly fur doesn’t produce as much dander as others, which makes them another viable option for those who suffer from allergies.
Getting rid of pet dander is a vital part of maintaining a healthy home environment for those who experience dog allergy symptoms. Carpets tend to trap and collect dander over time, so vacuuming daily can help keep allergen levels down. You can cut time off of your cleaning routine by replacing carpets with vinyl, hardwood, or tile flooring. Schnauzers are another breed that don’t produce as much dander, so choosing one as a companion could lighten the load of your daily chores.
You may find comfort in snuggling up next to a warm, fuzzy pup at bedtime, but this is actually one of the worst things you can do for your allergy symptoms. The bedroom of someone with dog allergies — especially the bed itself — should be totally off limits to your pooch. Setting up a separate sleeping area is an ideal solution, and smaller dogs make it a lot easier to do so. As a small toy breed, the Maltese would be a good choice if you like your canines fun-sized.
Xoloit-whatzitcalled? The Xoloitzcuintli — or Xolo for short — can be an unusual but great choice for those with dog allergies. Some Xolos have short coats while others can be mostly hairless. They don’t require much grooming, and they are one of the rarest and oldest breeds in existence.
7) Portuguese Water Dog
With the presidential seal of approval, Bo the Portuguese Water Dog was chosen to live alongside the Obama family in the White House since Barack’s daughter is allergic. These web-footed, waterproof dogs are built to be outside, so they are a viable option for the most severe allergy sufferers. The Portuguese will be perfectly happy living outdoors if you provide fresh water, shelter, and plenty of room to play.
The worst breeds for people with dog allergies
1) German Shepherd
Regular grooming and bathing will reduce dander’s allergic effects. There is a delicate balance to this, however: insufficient washing can result in more dander, but so can excessive washing. Too much bathing may also result in dry skin, which will trigger scratching that leaves skin dust floating through the air. German Shepherds are a breed that is more prone to dry skin, so they may not be the best choice for an allergic owner.
2) Bulldog and Saint Bernard
What do these breeds have in common? Slobber! If saliva is your allergic trigger, avoid dogs that are known for their excessive drooling. Regardless of which dog you choose, discourage them from licking. You can also soak toys in soapy, hot water every week to reduce the amount of saliva getting rolled, dragged, and thrown around the house.
A Pekingese pup tends to be harder to potty train than other dogs. Of course having accidents all over the house is an undesirable trait, but it’s even worse for those with allergies. Dog urine is another allergic trigger that not many people think of. When you find an accident, clean it up as soon as possible. Be sure to wear gloves and use an enzyme cleaner or bleach to remove all traces of urine and sanitize the area.
4) Boston Terrier
Humans aren’t the only ones with allergies! Boston Terriers are popular pets, but they tend to have allergies that give them watery eyes and itchy skin. You may want to avoid these dogs due to their own allergic symptoms and excessive mucus.