Day after day, allergy-suffering animal enthusiasts comb type descriptions in search of their Holy Grail: a hypoallergenic dog or cat– one that doesn’t produce sniffling, sneezing, wheezing, itchy eyes, skin reactions or an asthma attack.
All Pets Produce Allergens
Though an Internet search will emerge all kinds of animals said to be hypoallergenic– from hairless creatures to those with curly or wiry coats to animals with hair instead of fur and those who don’t shed greatly– the reality is that animals produce irritants, states Dr. Oren P. Schaefer, an allergist at Mass Lung & Allergy in Worcester, Massachusetts. “The impression of a hypoallergenic family pet is one that does not produce allergy, and that doesn’t exist,” he states in a sympathetic tone. “There are some animals that are less allergenic, however they all make the irritant that can cause trouble. It’s a matter of how much they make.”
Dogs, for instance, make six allergens, which are discovered in differing amounts in their dander (skin flakes), saliva and urine, explains William H. Miller, VMD, a dermatology expert and professor of medicine at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, New York. “You can be very allergic to one dog and not another. This can be within the very same type or in between types.”
But what about breeds developed to be hypoallergenic, such as Labradoodles, Goldendoodles and other Poodle mixes? They were reproduced with the idea that the Poodle’s curly (and apparently hypoallergenic) coat would diminish the possibility that they would cause allergies. Like other animal, nevertheless, they vary in the quantity of dander and irritant they produce. Reliable breeders do not guarantee their animals will be hypoallergenic.
How to Find a Pet Less Likely to Cause Problems
If you’re allergic however still want to add a pet to your household, these ideas can help you discover one that might be less most likely to leave you sniffling, sneezing and wheezing.
- Do a test run. To discover if a specific breed or hybrid sends your allergies into overdrive, Dr. Miller suggests checking out someone who has just that breed in his or her home and see if your symptoms flare. “If they do not, that does not imply that type is OK for you, however it increases the likelihood that you might be able to reside in harmony with that [type of] dog,” he states.
- Look for particular functions. Smaller animals and those that shed less tend to spread fewer allergens in their wake. However somebody who is delicate to a specific irritant might still respond to it.
- Refuse lickers. “If you’re allergic to dog saliva and the dog is a licker, you’re likely to have concerns with him,” Dr. Miller states.
- Think about gender. If you have a mild allergy to cats but still want to embrace one, gender might be something to consider when making your option. Male cats, particularly those who are not neutered, make more allergens than females.
Coping with Pets If You Have Allergies
How allergic reaction sufferers respond to allergens differs, but a few simple methods can help relieve the burden. Lots of people discover that taking medications or getting allergic reaction shots helps them much better endure the presence of animals. Likewise clever: having your animal groomed frequently, either by a professional or someone in the family who does not have allergic reactions.
One caveat from Dr. Miller: If your pet allergies cause asthma attacks, which can be harmful, you’re better off not attempting to deal with a dog or cat.
Though it’s true that no animal is really irritant free, there are breeds or hybrids that may be less likely to stimulate level of sensitivities because of their kind of coat or the quantity of irritants they produce.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Dog breeds: Italian Greyhound, Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frise, Coton de Tulear, Goldendoodle, Irish Water Spaniel, Chinese Crested, Labradoodle, Maltese, Maltipoo, Miniature Schnauzer, Poochon, Portuguese Water Dog, Shih Tzu, Toy or Miniature Poodle, Silky Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, or a Toy or Miniature Xoloitzcuintli.
Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
Cat breeds: Russian Blue, Balinese, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Javanese, LaPerm, Bengal, Oriental Shorthair, Siberian and Sphynx.