So, you’re allergic to dogs and cats but dream of the day you get to burry your face in their fluff and receive those wet kisses that everyone keeps telling you about! You want one of your own, despite your allergies, and decide to Google lists of different breeds that are hypoallergenic. You trust Google and begin to shop for your new family member that’s supposed to give you unconditional love instead of a scratchy throat. But when you bring your pet home, you begin to realize that a few allergy symptoms are still present. How can this be? Well, truth is, there is actually no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog or cat. However, have no fear, because this does not mean you will never have a furry feline or a charismatic canine to keep you company! Below, we explore the hypoallergenic myth and offer alternatives for those who long for fur friends but experience allergies.
Debunking the Myth:
Most people think that pet’s fur is what causes allergies and in fact, this is the most common misconception of hypoallergenic pets. Every breed of dog and cat emits allergens not through their coat, but through saliva, dandruff, and urine. Therefore, if someone suggests you get a dog that has hair instead of fur, keep in mind that you may still experience wheezing, stuffiness, or itchy skin, as allergens will still secrete from places other than their coat!
While there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic companion animal, there are a couple things you can do to help narrow your search for that perfect fit!
- Look for smaller breeds that shed less than larger breeds. Less shedding causes less dander and can lead to better breathing quality. “Dog’s with double coats, such as German Shepherds, should be out of the question for people with allergies”.
- Steer clear from dogs who love licking as the allergens in their saliva causes allergies!
- For cats, pay attention to gender, as male cats who are not neutered, tend to produce more allergens than their female counterparts!
- Visit a friend who has a dog or cat that is considered to be hypoallergenic. This will help you gauge your symptoms and how much you can handle, without having to commit!
- If you have a pet already, keep him out of bedrooms and other spaces where you spend most of your time.
- Bathing your dog or brushing your cat weekly can also help reduce the amount of dandruff emanated.
- If you don’t have carpet, keep it that way! Wood or other hard surfaces are easier to clean and won’t cling on to dander or fur!
- Consider powerful air purifiers and vent filters to rid your environment of your pet’s natural allergens!
Breeds to Consider:
As stated before, there are no specific breeds that are truly hypoallergenic. However, there are breeds that are considered to cause their allergic owners less runny noses, and more happy smiles due to size and how much they shed!
- Dog Breeds with Minimal Shedding
- Poodle Hybrids
- Tibetan Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- West Highland Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Scottish Terrier
- Cairn Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
- Australian Terrier
- Border Terrier
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Cat Breeds with Minimal Shedding
- Oriental Shorthair
- Cornish Rex
- Russian Blue
- Devon Rex
Know any other companion breeds to help those with pet allergies? Comment below!