With President Obama and his family struggling with this choice right now, here’s a timely post…
For people that love dogs, yet have allergic reactions to them,
there is a simple alternative. If you can’t do without a four
legged “friend,” choosing a hypoallergenic dog is the best
alternative. For those who are scratching their heads, a
hypoallergenic dog is not a special breed of dogs. They are dogs
that generate less (hypo) allergens (allergenic) in the air, which
has a lot to do with the dog’s physical size and length of its fur.
For allergy sufferers, finding an allergy-friendly dog is the most
reasonable choice. This doesn’t mean that the dog will be
completely allergy proof, but it does mean that this type of dog
tends to generate less amounts of allergy causing elements. It is
impossible to find a dog that causes no degree of allergens.
Allergy reactions from dogs can consist of skin rashes, watery and
itchy eyes, sneezing and a stuffy nose. More serious reactions are
wheezing, asthma attacks and not being able to breathe deeply.
These can be frightening reactions and choosing not to have a pet,
for these reasons, out ways the benefits of having one. For dog
lovers, who suffer with allergies, this is a hard fact to accept.
The reason some people suffer from simple pet hair is because of
their immune system. They are hypersensitive to the components
found on the dog hair. Many people think it is the animal hair that
causes the problem, but in reality it is what attaches itself to
the pet hair. The dog’s hair picks up pollen and dust attaching
itself to the hair follicle. With normal movements, the elements
are distracted on whatever it comes across. Hence, larger and
longer haired dogs have a tendency to generate more allergens than
smaller and shorter haired dogs Therefore, the bigger the dog, the
more allergy components it will distract.
If choosing a dog from a breeder, try spending at least 30 minutes
playing with the dog and being in the dog’s area to see how you
react to it. If you have a severe reaction in that amount of time,
then you can be assured that having it as a live-in would not be a
good idea. If you’re choosing a breeder who lives a substantial
distance away, send a clothing item to the breeder and ask them to
place it near the dog for a day and send it back to you in a
plastic bag. Wear the clothing item or breathe in the smell and see
how you react. If no reaction, you might want to consider visiting
the breeder in person. If you do get a negative reaction, it’s best
not to waste your time visiting in person. The allergic reaction
would probably be worse if you were around the real thing.
Another thing you might want to consider when choosing a dog is the
temperament. You want to choose a dog that will meet your needs,
and you in turn, can meet its needs as well. Not only do you want
to choose an allergy-friendly dog, but if you have a family, you
want one that is family-friendly as well. Here are a few breeds to
consider: Bichon Frise, Irish Terrier, Poodles. These dogs enjoy
family surroundings, they’re excellent with children and they make
great watch dogs. They also have low shedding levels. If you are a
single adult, you might want to consider a dog that is happy with
minimal people surroundings. A couple of good choices would be
Chihuahua or a Portuguese Water Dog. These dogs tend to bond with
one person rather than several.
Here are a few dogs to stay away from due to their high shedding
ability. They are: Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, Dachshunds,
Basset hounds, German Shepherds and Afghan Hounds.
If you choose an indoor dog, it’s best to choose one that can be
groomed regularly or that you can bath easily. It’s best to bath
them at least 1-2 times per week. This will reduce the amount of
pet dander. Taking care of your dog’s hair is an important part of
reducing the components that cause allergies. You can even choose a
hairless dog such as the Chinese Crested, American Hairless Terrier
or the Mexican Hairless.
Some people claim that certain breeds bring out the worst in their
allergies than others. In choosing a breed, be open to find the
best one that fits your lifestyle.