You might have heard that there are hypoallergenic dogs. These breeds of dog are supposed to produce no allergens, and therefore be suitable for people with dog allergies. Can you be allergic to a hypoallergenic dog? Many people find themselves asking this, along with, “Why am I allergic to hypoallergenic dogs?”
To understand these questions, first it’s important to define “hypoallergenic dog.” In truth, dander free dogs don’t exist. There is no dog that is truly hypoallergenic, because all dogs produce dander and saliva that contain allergen proteins.
Low Dander Dogs
Though there’s no such thing as a dander free dog, there are dogs that don’t shed often. Not shedding isn’t the same as being hypoallergenic, though.
Many people mistakenly believe that dog fur is what causes dog allergies. From there, the leap of logic is simple: If the dog doesn’t shed, you can’t have an allergic reaction. But this simply isn’t true.
So-called “hypoallergenic” dogs don’t shed as much dander as other dogs do. Fur often catches dander and other allergens, so the lack of shedding means that less dander is released into your living environment. It’s inevitable that there will be some dander, though, which means that you can still have an allergic reaction to a hypoallergenic dog.
Hypoallergenic Carolina Dog
You may have heard that a Carolina Dog is a hypoallergenic breed.
Carolina Dogs have a low maintenance coat that’s easy to groom. You don’t have to do a lot of in-depth grooming and handling, since the coat nearly takes care of itself. Occasional brushing is required to get rid of dander and other allergens that collect in the fur. Make sure you always brush your dog outside.
Carolina Dogs are unique in that they only require bathing when absolutely necessary. However, for people with dog allergies, bathing might be necessary on a weekly basis. A bath helps remove any allergens from the coat. Between washes, it’s helpful to go over the coat with a pet-safe, hypoallergenic cleaning solution.
Allergies to Newfoundland Dog
Whether a Newfoundland dog is good for you or not will vary depending on the severity of your allergies. It’s also important to understand what causes your allergies. Are you reacting to dog saliva or dog dander?
Newfoundlands do not have coats known for irritating the skin or causing allergies, but their dander can cause allergies. A Newfoundland is also a breed that requires a great deal of grooming and maintenance.
Newfoundlands have a thick coat that traps most dander without shedding it. However, you’ll need to brush and rake the coat on a regular basis. The dogs undergo a seasonal shedding process that can be a major allergy trigger.
One brushing each week helps to get dirt and allergens out of the fur, as well as prevent mats and tangles. Failing to groom your Newfoundland on a regular basis can lead t swollen feet, weepy eyes, ear infections, and skin complaints. For this reason, Newfoundlands aren’t a good breed if you’re too allergic to do hands-on grooming.
Newfoundlands should also have frequent baths, as their coats can trap dirt, dust, and other allergens. For most pet owners, it’s not necessary to bathe them until they get that “doggy smell,” but allergic pet owners will want to invest in more frequent baths.
Allergies to Shih Tzu Dogs
Many people believe that they won’t experience an allergic reaction to a Shih Tzu dog because the breed’s flowing hair involves much less shedding than breeds with thicker fur. This is, unfortunately, a misguided assumption.
If you find yourself allergic to your Shih Tzu, you can follow a few steps to keep the allergy from becoming severe.
First, make sure the coat is clipped short rather than long. The fur isn’t the direct cause of the allergy, but short fur houses less dander and dust than long fur.
You should also get into a regular bathing routine, giving the Shih Tzu baths more often than typically necessary. For non-allergic pet owners, a bath is recommended every three weeks, but for allergic owners this time is reduced to one week. Overbathing a dog can cause dry skin and irritation, which increases the amount of dander. However, if you use a quality moisturizing shampoo along with a thick conditioner, you’ll mitigate this risk.
Get in the habit of brushing your dog outside and going over their coat with a wet washcloth. You should also train your dog not to get on the furniture. Limit their access to different areas in the house. At the very least, your bedroom should be a dog-free zone.
If you’re still experiencing allergy symptoms after doing all of this, consider investing in an air purifier to help clear dander and other allergens from the air.
Allergy to Dogs Boston Terrier
Most terriers are a semi-hypoallergenic breed. Unfortunately, the Boston Terrier isn’t among them. This breed is technically a non-sporting dog that isn’t in the official terrier family.
Boston Terriers are a breed that commonly suffers from allergies themselves. This may cause their eyes to water and skin to itch. When itchy skin presents, the dog may scratch itself, rub against your furniture, and shed a great deal more dander than other breeds. The watery eyes also have the potential to expose you to allergen proteins.
In addition, Boston Terriers often create an excessive amount of mucus. This can be unpleasant when you combine it with their short hair.
A Boston Terrier’s coat doesn’t require as much grooming and upkeep as a Newfoundland’s, but that’s not a sign that they’re hypoallergenic. If you’re experiencing allergies to your Boston Terrier, you should know you aren’t alone. Despite the “terrier” name, this breed has never been highly recommended for people with a dog allergy.