Individuals with pet allergies are not actually allergic to cat, dog, hamster, rabbit, or horse hair but to the dander that each animal sheds. Dander in furry animals is similar to dandruff in humans and even animals that do not shed fur shed dander into the environment.

Hypoallergenic Dogs

Most allergy specialists will recommend that individuals with pet allergies do not bring furry, dander-producing pets into their home. This is well-intended and sound advice - are dogs "good" for allergy sufferers? Physically, no. Allergy sufferers would likely be more physically comfortable not sharing their home with a furry pet. For allergy sufferers with mild to moderate reactions, the emotional benefits of having a pet trump the physical discomfort or a runny nose, sneezing, or itchy eyes. Individuals with severe allergic reaction should heed their allergist's warning and avoid adopting a furry pet.

If you're one who will not be dissuaded, there are breeds which tend to produce relatively low-allergen dogs. Generally, these breeds are characterized by an assortment of coat types - very curly coated dogs (ex. Poodles of all sizes, Portuguese Water Dogs , Bedlington Terriers , Bichon Frises ), hairless dogs (ex. American Crested, Chinese Crested Hairless ), corded dogs (ex. Puli , Komondor , poodles), and wirehaired dogs ( Wirehaired Fox Terrier , Broken Coat Parson/ Jack Russell Terrier , Wirehaired Dachshund , Rough Coat Brussels Griffon , etc.). These breeds tend to have less fur than other breeds, but more importantly, generally shed less dander.

The curly-coated and corded dogs require significant grooming commitments. Many of these breeds are high energy and can be challenging - they require a lot of physical and mental stimulation to live happily in a home. Many of them require experienced dog owners and are not good "getting your dog ownership feet wet" breeds.

If you choose to bring a pet into the home despite the inevitable allergy symptoms, consult with your allergist about appropriate air filters and vacuums - clean frequently and thoroughly. Keep your dog out of the bedroom at all times. Bathe your dog once every four weeks using anti-allergenic shampoos. Ask your allergist about cleaning products that can help reduce the allergens in the home.

Many allergists will recommend that the dog should live outside. Virtually every behavior expert would strongly disagree. Dogs are social creatures and desire companionship. Your dog would much rather live in your house than in your yard, and relegating him to the backyard may produce any number of unwanted behaviors, including but not limited to: barking, digging, destruction of property; and are also subject to injury, poisoning, attacks by other dogs or wild animals and even unscrupulous humans. If you get a dog, make him part of your family by allowing him to live inside.

Doodles And Poos

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