Pet allergy: Are there hypoallergenic dog breeds?

There’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed, although some individual dogs may cause fewer allergy symptoms than others.

Many people think that pet allergies are caused by a dog’s or cat’s fur, but the real source of pet allergies is often a protein that’s in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats. This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes (dander) from your pet’s skin.

 

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Some dog breeds are marketed as hypoallergenic because they don’t shed fur or they shed very little. Because these dogs don’t shed, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to their fur doesn’t get released into the air or onto the floor as much as with a shedding dog. But while you may have less dog hair with a non-shedding dog, no dog breed is hypoallergenic.

If you’re allergic to dogs, but still want to have one, consider the following tips to reduce your allergy symptoms:

  • Choose a smaller dog, which will shed less dander than will a larger dog.
  • Keep your pet out of your bedroom and other rooms in which you spend a lot of time.
  • Keep your pet outside, if weather permits.
  • Bathe your pet weekly to remove dander from its coat.
  • Choose carpet-free flooring, or shampoo your carpet regularly.
  • Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air purifier and vent filters to help reduce airborne pet allergens.

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