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Posts Tagged ‘Old English Sheepdogs’

Human Allergies to Dogs

Monday, April 23rd, 2012


Do you suffer from human allergies to dogs?

Most people are surprised when told there are certain dogs that are considered the best pet dogs for humans suffering from allergies. Some of the dogs in this group are purebreds while others are crossbreeds. These dogs are often referred to as “hypoallergenic dogs,” because they make perfect companions for the more than 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies and want to own a pet dog.

There are a number of breeds and crossbreeds to choose from if you are one of the 50 million people suffering from allergies to dogs. The best dogs to choose as pets if you suffer from allergies, are dogs that shed less hair or skin (both of which are called dander) and dogs that don”t have a tendency to drool. There are dogs that seem to be slobbering all the time and it”s not just dog hair that causes an allergic reaction, but saliva and dander.

If you are allergic to the dander or saliva of dogs you still have a fairly extensive list of pet dogs to choose from.

Some of the best dogs for allergy sufferers are: Airedale Terriers, Basenjis, Bouvier des Flandres, Cairn Terriers, Chihuahuas, Chinese Crested Cockapoo (crossbreed), Italian Greyhounds, Labradoodles (crossbreed), LhasaPoos (crossbreed), Old English Sheepdogs, Poodles and most poodle mixes, Schnauzers, and Yorkshire Terriers.

In contrast, some of the worst pet dogs for humans with allergies to dogs are Afghan Hounds, Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds, and Springer Spaniels. These dogs tend to trigger allergy symptoms in sensitive individuals.

Dogs that don’t make good pets for most allergy sufferers are not bad breeds. It’s just that these dogs tend to produce an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals more often because they shed more, produce more dander, and their saliva often contains more of the protein produced by the sebaceous glands which causes an allergic reaction in some humans.

If you do have allergies to dogs, one of the most important things to consider when choosing a dog is to be aware that not all hypoallergenic dogs are 100% allergy free. You can’t be 100% sure that you won’t have a reaction to a dog until you have spent some time with it. In some allergic individuals, an allergic reaction can be immediate, while for others the reaction can be delayed. Try to spend several hours interacting with a dog before choosing to proceed with adoption. You can ask if it’s possible to take the dog home for several days to be sure your allergy is not affected by the dog you’ve chosen. Many breeders and shelters will allow potential pet adopters a chance to try out a pet.

Trying out a pet is not like buying a new dress or coat and then returning it a few days later because you don’t like the way it looks on you. You should only ask to take a pet home on a tryout basis if you are positive you would want to keep, and love, the dog if it doesn’t become a problem for your allergy or allergies. Think about the well-being of the animal as well as your own well-being. Taking a dog home and then returning it shortly thereafter can be traumatic for the dog and may make it skittish the next time a human shows an interest in it.

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