Living with a dog allergy can be tough so finding the right pet is crucial for first-time furr parents and also for those who are starting to become a registered breeder. While many people think that having a pet is out of the question, there are actually several hypoallergenic dog breeds that are perfect for families with allergies. These breeds have a low risk of causing an allergic reaction and can still provide you with all the love and companionship you expect from a pet.
To understand why these dog breeds can work for people with dog allergies, we have to take a look at how dog allergies actually work.
How do Dog Allergies Work?
Allergies are an immune system reaction to something that is typically not harmful to most people, such as pollen or certain foods.
Allergies occur when a person’s immune system incorrectly identifies a harmless substance as a threat and releases antibodies to fight it off.
The result of this reaction is inflammation, which can cause symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, itchy eyes, and skin rashes.
When someone with allergies comes into contact with an allergen – the thing they are allergic to – their body will produce immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibodies.
These antibodies attach to mast cells in the body, which contain histamine and other chemicals. When the allergen binds to the IgE antibody on the mast cell surface, it triggers the release of these chemicals which cause inflammation and other allergy symptoms.
The most common allergens include pollen from trees and grasses, dust mites, certain foods, and pet dander and saliva. It is this last item that causes dog allergies, as a person may be sensitive to the proteins in dog dander and saliva.
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5 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Here are five hypoallergenic dog breeds that are ideal for people living with allergies:
1. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is one of the most popular hypoallergenic dogs because of its small size, low-shedding coat, and friendly personality.
This breed is an ideal choice for those looking for an affectionate and cuddly companion. Its coat requires weekly brushing to keep it looking its best, but it does not shed much at all and rarely causes any allergic reactions.
Poodles come in several sizes, making them great family pets no matter what your home’s layout or size restrictions may be.
Not only are poodles highly intelligent and easy to train, but they also have hypoallergenic coats made up of tightly curled hair instead of fur, which means they shed very little dander and saliva, the two common triggers for allergy sufferers.
The Maltese is another small companion breed that is perfect for people with allergies due to its silky white coat and low shedding tendencies.
This breed tends to be gentle and loving towards both children and adults alike, making it an excellent companion for families and new dog owners.
Plus, their hair does not need to be professionally groomed more than once every few months so upkeep is minimal compared to other breeds.
4. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu is a toy breed known for its lovable personality and hypoallergenic coat of long, wavy hair that doesn’t easily shed or cause irritation in those who suffer from allergies or asthma.
With regular brushing and occasional trips to the groomers, this breed can look just as stylish as any other canine companion without any worry about triggering an allergic reaction in the process.
5. Chinese Crested
Last but certainly not least on our list of hypoallergenic dog breeds is the Chinese Crested – a unique-looking toy breed with fine hair on its head, feet, tail, and legs while being mostly hairless elsewhere on its body.
This makes them ideal for those who suffer from frequent sneezing fits since there will be significantly less dander produced by this particular breed compared to others.
They are also known for being loyal lapdogs who will never tire of getting attention from their owners.
No matter what type of hypoallergenic dog you choose, it’s important to remember that proper grooming habits can help minimize allergic reactions as much as possible – even if your pet has been bred specifically with low-shedding qualities in mind.
Additionally, keep in mind that while these breeds are generally considered safe options for those living with allergies or asthma, you should always spend some time with your prospective pup to see if you are able to tolerate their dander and saliva.
Some dogs will produce more of the allergy-causing protein than others, even if their coat traps most of it. Hopefully, with some patience, you will be able to find the perfect pup that you can live with, even with allergies.