Best dogs for people with allergies
Do dogs make your heart go thump, your eyes water, and your nose tickle? If you’ve got allergies, check out these hypoallergenic options.
No dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic
We hate to break the news to you, but even dogs that are considered hypoallergenic can set off some people’s allergies. What causes all of that sneezing and wheezing? It’s not usually an animal’s fur, believe it or not. The real source is often a protein found in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats, notes veterinarian Jerry Klein. “This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes from your pet’s skin, called dander,” he says. “Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic dog, but there are a variety of breeds considered less allergenic that allergy sufferers tend to do well with.”
Are your allergies more of the hayfever variety? Read our guide on how to survive allergy season.
What makes a dog less allergenic?
Hypoallergenic dogs usually have a predictable, low or non-shedding coat, which produces less dander. “Because these dogs don’t shed or shed very little, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to their fur doesn’t get released into the air or onto the floor as much as with a shedding dog,” says Dr. Klein. “Some individual dogs may even cause fewer allergy symptoms than others. In fact, two dogs of the same breed can each give off very different levels of allergens.”
Allergies or not, nobody wants a home full of animal hair, so discover how to keep your home animal-hair free.