A dog can be a fantastic addition to the family, but sometimes new owners can find that they are allergic to their latest family member. This can often cause first-time dog owners to refrain from getting a dog in the first place. Those with allergies can suffer symptoms ranging from the occasional throat tickle all the way up to difficulty breathing when around dogs. However, if you are allergic to dogs, all is not lost! For those that find themselves able to cope with certain breeds of dog, with the exception of the occasional sneeze, there are dogs that could work well for you. James Wellbeloved looks at the best dogs for allergies….
SYMPTOMS OF DOG ALLERGIES
Usually allergic reactions to dogs are mild, and symptoms can easily be managed. However, for some people the allergies can be crippling, and they may find themselves taking any measure possible to avoid dogs in order to prevent an allergic reaction. The most common symptoms of dog allergies are:
- Sneezing/having a stuffy nose
- Nasal congestion
- Watery, red or itchy eyes
- Coughing, wheezing, or shortness of breath
- Skin rash
WHAT CAUSES DOG ALLERGIES?
Most people assume that allergies occur because of the dog’s hair, but this is only partially true. The main cause of the allergic response is actually the dander that is found attached to the pet hair. Dander are flakes of the animal’s skin that attach themselves to the hair of the dog and as the dog sheds, the dander spreads. This is where hypoallergenic dog breeds come in. The term ‘hypoallergenic dog’ refers to the breeds of dog that shed less, and so they are believed to be more compatible with allergy sufferers than other breeds.
THE BEST DOGS FOR ALLERGIES
When searching for your perfect furry friend, it is well worth giving these guys a look-in if you have allergies, as they have been proven to shed less dander, which will help with your allergies.
BICHON FRISE The Bichon Frise is a super fluffy, small, puffy-coated dog that is full of energy, loves activity and is extremely gentle. Their continually-growing hair means that they require regular grooming to prevent matting. Although the dog doesn’t shed, dead hairs and dander can be brushed out and washed away with regular grooming and maintenance.
PORTUGESE WATER DOG The athletic, web-toed, intelligent Portuguese Water Dog requires spirited daily exercise and works best as part of an active family. This breed is on the larger end of the scale and therefore they do shed a little bit. However, their waterproof coat is rich, curly and single-layered. By keeping the dog well-groomed, allergy symptoms can be greatly reduced.
KERRY BLUE TERRIER The Kerry Blue Terrier has a single-layered coat that is extremely soft to the touch. This breed is eccentric and fun-loving and enjoys exercise. Their slightly wavy coat grows year-round and only sheds once every three weeks. The curls retain much of the allergy-causing hairs, which can then be removed during a regular grooming session.
POODLE The Poodle is well-known for the minimal shedding of its coat, as they are regularly trimmed and brushed to minimise the amount of fur that is shed. The light and curly coat of the poodle holds dead hair and dander, which can easily be removed with regular grooming, keeping your cute little pal smelling and looking their best. To maintain the best quality coat for your poodle, seek regular professional grooming.
BEDLINGTON TERRIER These lamb-like dogs have a woolly, curly coat. The Bedlington Terrier doesn’t shed, making it perfect for those that find themselves reaching for allergy medication when they’re within ten feet of a dog. They are kind-natured, calm and extremely playful dogs, but they do need some upkeep with their coat. To prevent their coat from becoming matted, they require daily brushing and occasional professional grooming. These are just a few examples of the many dog breeds that work well for those with allergies. It is also important to note that allergies may also be reduced through cleaning the house, grooming and giving the dog a bath regularly. Routine cleaning of carpets around the house will reduce dander, while regular grooming for your dog ensures that any excess dander is collected and removed at source before it is able to spread.