3 min read (Articles narrated by Mabel)
Most dog lovers have heard the term ‘hypoallergenic’ plenty of times before. Many people assume that this term means that it’s impossible to be allergic to these dogs, but that’s not really the case. I happen to be a hypoallergenic breed, but I recently learned that it is possible to be allergic to Shih Tzus like me.
The Truth About ‘Hypoallergenic’ Dogs
‘Hypoallergenic’ really just means that something is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Someone that’s extremely allergic to dogs might still have reactions even to a dog that barely sheds like me.
Dogs with hair are the ones that are usually considered hypoallergenic. That’s because instead of fur that sheds, we have hair like a human, so it’s less likely to cause a reaction for someone with allergies.
The main misconception with hypoallergenic dogs is that it’s impossible to be allergic to them. We do cause fewer allergic reactions for humans, but the idea that we never cause allergies is just a myth.
Can You Still Have a Dog if You’re Allergic?
However, just because hypoallergenic doesn’t mean exactly what you think it means doesn’t mean that you can’t have a dog. If you’re allergic to a dog, there are still ways to make your reactions more manageable so that you can still have your furry friend.
Dog allergies are not only caused by a dog’s shedding fur, but it is also most commonly found in their dander and saliva. These things can be hard to avoid even for hypoallergenic dogs, but like I said before, it’s more serious for dogs with fur.
Of course, there’s always medicine to help with your allergies, but I’m no doctor. I don’t know much about curing human symptoms. But what I do know is that there are ways to make you sneeze less around your pup.
Choosing a hypoallergenic breed is a great way to start, but it’s also a good idea to choose a smaller dog. A smaller dog means less hair overall.
Also, it’s best if you clean your home as much as possible. It might be better for your allergies if your dog doesn’t sleep in bed next to you, and if you have carpet, make sure you clean it often. This can help decrease the amount of dander and saliva around your home. Bathing your dog often can also help remove dander from their coat.
Which Dogs Shed the Least?
Any dog that is labeled as ‘hypoallergenic’ will definitely shed less. The best way to tell is by feeling their coat. Dogs with hair will have softer, silkier coats that don’t shed much while dogs with fur have rougher coats with hair that comes off when you pet them. By choosing a dog with minimal shedding, your allergies should be better.
Here is a list of some popular breeds that are ‘hypoallergenic’:
- Bichon Frise
- Shih Tzu
- Wheaton Terrier
- Yorkshire Terrier
And, of course, there are many, many more! There’s nothing wrong with dogs that shed, but many dog lovers have allergies. So, if you have allergic reactions to dogs, a ‘hypoallergenic’ dog might be the best choice for you even though they aren’t completely allergy-free.
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