We hear people talking about hypoallergenic dogs all the time. Everybody wants one. They’re the Holy Grail for dog lovers with allergies. Unfortunately, the hard truth is that there is no dog completely free of allergens. There is a specific protein secreted by all dogs through their saliva and urine that is allergenic, and their skin cells are allergenic as well. So, why are some dogs hypoallergenic? I will explain. =D
True Hypoallergenic Dogs are a Myth
There are no such things as hypoallergenic dogs. So why are some dogs hypoallergenic? They aren’t. Those breeds that are considered hypoallergenic are breeds that either shed very little or not at all. One of the biggest contributing factors to allergic reactions to dogs is their shedding. When a dog sheds, it not only loses hair, it loses the skin cells attached to that hair as well as any saliva or – gross as it sounds – urine that may be on the fur. That’s when the allergies flair up. All of that hair coated in saliva and skin cells is flying through the air and going up our noses, getting in our eyes, and even in our mouths. Many times we don’t even notice.
Hypoallergenic dogs are dogs that simply don’t shed as much as other dogs, or they don’t shed at all. This lack of shedding means that there are far less allergens just floating around in the air to irritate an allergic person’s system.
So Why are Some Dogs Hypoallergenic
They don’t shed as much. I’m making this its own section, because this is super important. Just because there is no true hypoallergenic dog, that doesn’t mean you can’t have one. I am severely allergic to dogs, but I’ve had them my entire life. Hypoallergenic dogs, although they are a myth, ARE less irritating to my allergies than a regular pooch. I stick to dogs like the Maltese, West Highland Terrier, and Shih Tzu. They don’t shed, so although they still secret the allergenic protein in the saliva and urine, I don’t have to worry about hair and rogue skin cells getting all up in my nose, eyes, and mouth. It really is a big help. I’ve had little to no problems with my allergies. Just make sure you dust and vacuum, and you’ll be good!
The main takeaway from this should be that although hypoallergenic dogs are a pure myth, you can still have a dog. Just pick a breed that is considered hypoallergenic and be smart with your housekeeping and you’ll be fine. For me, a life without dogs is no life at all, so I’m quite content to just vacuum and dust a little more often. If you make the decision to adopt a dog in spite of your allergy, I think you’ll find that most breeds of hypoallergenic dogs are very doable, and most of them have incredible personalities. I’d strongly consider it. Dogs are the ultimate best buds.
Do you have any questions about hypoallergenic dogs? Ask them in the comments!