If you are among those who are allergic to animals but that love dogs, knowing about hypo-allergenic breeds can help you to find your perfect furry match and enjoy the benefits of dog ownership while minimizing problems.
The American Kennel Club lists the top ten recommended breeds for people with allergies: Bedlington Terrier, Bichon Frisé, Chinese Crested, Irish Water Spaniels, Maltese, Poodles, Portuguese Water Dog, Schnauzers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, and Xoloitzcuintli.
Allergies to dogs is a health problem that generally stems from reactions to saliva, urine, coat or dander, and their cause varies from one individual to another according to the person and the dog. In other articles, we already talked about the new researches being conducted in the field of human and animal interactions, which found that early exposure to dogs protect children against future allergies, but there is no scientific evidence of non-allergenic dog breeds.
Nevertheless, even if there is no guarantee that a breed will be innocuous for a given individual in terms of allergies, it is possible to consider some dogs’ characteristics to be associated with a reduced production of the most common allergy agents.
Despite the generalized belief that dog hair is the most common cause of allergies and health problems, the real allergens are the dead cells separated from the skin and retained in the hair, which is a very common occurrence with dogs with dense fur. Therefore, less shedding breeds will produce less dander while those with seemingly matted hair as in curly or wired, will reduce considerably the allergen spreading.
As a general rule, hairless as well as non-moulting dogs with single coated hair are the preferred breeds for those who suffer from allergies. Curly and cord coated dogs naturally form cords that better retain hair and dander reducing the distribution of allergenic agents.
The following are some examples described as the best pets for people with dog allergies because they tend to shed less than other breeds:
Chinese Crested Dog, Xoloitzcuintli, and Peruvian Inca Orchid, Poodles, Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese and Spanish Water Dog, Puli, Bergamasco, Bichons, Terriers, Schnauzers, Italian Greyhounds, Basenji, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apsos, and Chihuahuas.
Conversely, some breeds, known for their high dander production, are not advised for allergic people.