The Perfect Solution for
Those with Dog Allergies...
Or Are They?
Hypoallergenic dogs are technically a modern day myth. However, many people with severe dog allergies can tolerate certain types of dogs, but the breed and level of tolerance is not the same for everyone.
Most people with dog allergies look first at the breeds of dogs that are non-shedding. These are normally a good choice because non-shedding breeds release a smaller amount of hair and therefore a lower amount of dander.
But this logic only works in theory and is only true for those who are actually sensitive to dander. What might be surprising to learn is that dander is not the only trigger for those who believe they are allergic to dogs. In fact, the most common trigger for sneezing, coughing and Other Allergy Symptoms is the protein in dog saliva and urine.
The reason we say hypoallergenic dogs are technically a myth is because any breed of dog can actually cause no symptoms for an allergy sufferer. Different body chemistry can make even a great big dog that sheds hair and dander like a tree sheds leaves 'hypoallergenic' to a person with an allergy to saliva or the proteins in saliva.
With all that being said, non-shedding dogs may still be the most hypoallergenic dogs for allergy sufferers. Whether sensitive to saliva or dander, dogs that shed a smaller amount of hair will still shed a smaller amount of saliva-contaminated hair and dander. But even if none of these breeds appeal to you, you may still have other options.
And if you haven't yet considered a mixed-breed, now might be a good time to think about it.
Unless you've been hiding under a rock, you've probably heard of hybrid dogs or 'so-called' designer dogs. These breeds like Yorkie-poos and labradoodles could actually be even more hypoallergenic than the "hypoallergenic dogs" listed on our non-shedding-dog-breeds page. But please don't get sucked in by the hype surrounding hybrid dogs.
Unless you're one of those people who just likes to be taken advantage of, don't let careless breeders trick you into paying high prices for dogs that are dying by the thousands in shelters every day.
If you've ever even considered a mixed breed or hybrid dog, adopt one! Save the life of a Shih-tzu/Chinese Crested mix and call it a Shih-tunese Crested or rescue a Schnauzer/Bichon Frise mix and call it a Schnau-chon Frise. It would be the same exact thing. A mixed breed dog is a mixed breed dog, period.
But could mixed breeds be even more hypoallergenic than purebreds?
The answer to this is yes and no... so maybe, and here's why...
A dear friend of mine who happens to have a pretty severe dog allergy (even to the so-called hypoallergenic dogs) recenly adopted a mixed breed dog that another friend was fostering for a rescue group.
She discovered this phenomenon very casually. Just being around this friend and even sitting in the car where the dog would typically ride didn't cause her to sneeze or wheeze and in fact, she had no allergy to this dog whatsoever.
The allergen or protein that caused her sympoms was cancelled out by the cross of DNA between the breeds, and this can actually happen for several reasons. So, don't give up! Consider all of your options.
...And there are several advantages to owning a mixed-breed. One advantage is they are much easier to come by and you could very easily test your tolerance with one at your local shelter or by contacting a rescue group.
Call the shelters and resuce groups surrounding you and explain your allergy situation. Once you've discovered the best breed for your lifestyle ask if there are any breeds, with even just a partial mix to the breed that interests you at the shelter. Let them know that you'd like 'alone time' with that dog, away from other dogs to avoid contamination with dander or saliva-contaminated dander from the other dogs. You would also need them to bathe the dog before your visit which they should be happy to do. I am positive that these caring volunteers would do their very best to find a way to accomodate you!
If you do find a breed that causes you fewer allergy symptoms or if you decide that owning a dog is worth the inconvenience, no matter what symptoms you might experience, there are actually a lot of ways that you can reduce these symptoms or even diminish them altogether.
Don't let allergies stand in the way of living your life to the fullest. Take charge of your allergies by educating yourself and discover a whole new world... even one that can include your favorite four-legged friend.
When you do decide on a breed, we sincerely hope you'll consider saving a life by adopting. Many people are surprised to know that rescue groups exist for every breed imaginable... and yes that means purebreds including the hypoallergenic (non-shedding)dogs listed on our site. Learn more about dog adoption and how you can help put an end to the torture of all dogs in puppy mills.