Approximately 10% of the United States population suffers from pet allergies. As much as 25% of U. S. residents suffer from asthma brought on by allergies. Allergic reactions can include itchy, watery eyes, sneezing or congestion.  People with asthma can have  difficulty breathing and may even  suffer a severe asthma attack.  If you and your family are dog lovers, but have a member of the household with pet allergies, there is a good chance you can find a dog that everyone can live with. 

It is important to understand exactly what causes an allergic reaction in some people. You may think it is just the dog’s fur, but allergens are produced by a  protein found in a dog’s  dander, which is skin cells, saliva, and even urine. The allergens can end up on everything in your house. Naturally , if you have a dog with a long coat, or that sheds frequently, these allergens will be almost impossible to eliminate. There are many dog breeds or cross breeds that do not shed, or shed less often. This does not mean they don’t produce allergens. There is no dog that is truly allergen free.

Keep in mind that everyone will have a different reaction to certain allergens. This means that, while you don’t have an allergic reaction to your poodle, you may be terribly allergic to your friend’s Mexican Hairless. Here is a list of some of the dog breeds or cross breeds that have been determined to be suitable for people with pet allergies:

Affenpinscher – doesn’t shed

Bedlington terrier – doesn’t shed

Bichon Frise’ – does not shed, but hair will come out when brushed.

Boston Terrier – short hair and  minimum dander.

Chinese Crested – very little hair, does not shed much but still produces saliva and dander.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier – doesn’t shed

Greyhound and Italian Greyhound – short, single coat

Malteses – doesn’t shed

Poodles – doesn’t shed, low dander

Portugese Water Dog – (the Obama’s dog) – doesn’t shed

Yorkshire Terrier – doesn’t shed, low dander

This is only a partial list of dogs considered to be hypoallergenic. There are some other, less common breeds, like the Puli and Samoyed. If you want a cross or mixed breed, you have to make sure the pup inherited the no shed coat or low dander characteristic. A Goldendoodle, a Golden retriever, Poodle mix can be hypoallergenic if he inherits the coat from the Poodle. If the pup inherits his coat from the Golden retriever, he will be a problem for allergy sufferers. It’s best to be able to visit a breeder and spend time around the dogs to see how you or your family member will react. This will prevent you from getting attached to a dog you can’t live with.

Another thing to consider when looking for a new addition to your family is, the size of the dog. A smaller dog will produce less, hair, saliva, dander and urine than a big dog. No matter what type of dog you choose, some common sense things to do to keep allergens to a minimum include, regular bathing or grooming of your pooch, keeping the dog off the furniture and beds, and vacuuming every day with a cleaner with a hepa filter. With a little research and armed with some knowledge of how pet allergies work, you should be able to find the perfect pup for your family.

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