How to Choose a Hypoallergenic Dog

For people that love dogs, yet have allergic reactions to them, there is a simple alternative. If you cannot do without a four legged friend, choosing a hypoallergenic dog is without doubt the best alternative. For those who are scratching their heads wondering what one of those is, a hypoallergenic dog is not a special breed of dog. They are dogs that generate less (hypo) allergens (allergenic) in the air, which has a lot to do with both the physical size and the length of fur of the dog.

For allergy sufferers, finding an allergy-friendly dog is probably the most sensible approach or choice. This does not 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. The reality is that 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. Obviously these can be frightening reactions and choosing not to have a pet, for these reasons, clearly can outweigh the benefits of having one.

For dog lovers, who suffer with allergies that can be a very hard fact to accept. The reason some people suffer as a result of 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 hair picks up pollen and dust attaching itself to the hair follicle. With normal movements of your dog, 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 area around the dog to see how you react to it. If you have a severe reaction in that short amount of time, then you can be pretty confident that having it as a live-in would not be a good idea.

If you are choosing a breeder who lives a substantial distance away, then one thing to consider is sending a clothing item to the breeder and asking them to place it near the dog for a day. Then get them to send it back to you in a plastic bag. Wear the clothing item or breathe in the smell and see how you react. If there is no reaction, you might want to consider visiting the breeder in person. If you do get a negative reaction, then it is 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 be confident that you in turn, can meet their 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.

There are a few breeds you might want to consider: Bichon Frise, Irish Terrier and Poodles. These dogs enjoy being in family surroundings, they are considered to be excellent with children and they also make great watch dogs. Critically 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 in their surroundings. In that situation a couple of good choices might be Chihuahua or a Portuguese Water Dog. These dogs tend to bond with one person rather than several.

There are a few dogs that you really want to stay away from because of their high shedding ability. These are Cocker Spaniels, Irish Setters, Dachshunds, Basset hounds, German Shepherds and Afghan Hounds.

If you choose an indoor dog, it is best to choose one that can be groomed regularly or that you can bath easily. It is best to bath them at least one or two times per week. This will reduce the amount of pet dander. Taking care of their 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 finding the best one that suits you and also fits in with your lifestyle.

Paul P. Duxbury

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  • samosa_family

    How can I choose the right dog and convince my mom to get me a pup?
    I have like one friend! I need a dog a loyal, loving, sweet, puppy! If my mom said yes my dad would be up for it. But sadly my mom and brother wouldn’t accept the dog in a million years! So if you can give me a way to convince my mom to let us get a hypoallergenic/ non shedding (my dad has allergies) dog and choose the right dog for us I’ll give you the best answer vote! :)

  • Kat

    tell them tht u need a companion and that this will give you responsibility uur mom and brother might not want it now but once you get the dog there will be an unseparable bond… i suggest a poodle or a cocker spaniel
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  • Emily

    I have a Bichon Frise. She’s the CUTTEST little puppy in the whole entire world. She’s hypoallergenic too! She’s a lapdog, but definately not one of those yippy dogs that bark at every little noise they hear, if she was, I’d have to murder her hahah =P
    She was so easy too train, I’m not kidding you, it look less than a week. She’s so friendly, she loves everyone, she’s energenic but definately knows how to calm down. She’s just the sweetest thing.

    A friend from work convinced me to get her. He has one too and has the same great expierence with his. I got my puppy from a breeder for about 500$. It’s a lot of money but I’ve never had a better dog.

    Good luck!
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  • TK at TMDF

    You have school so you’ll be away from home for hours each day plus the time for after-school activities (clubs, sports, hanging out). During that time your new dog will have to be tolerated by the rest of the family. Think about it from the dog’s point of view, will this be a good home for him? Even if other people who live there don’t really want him around?
    How about making a difference in the lives of a lot of dogs? Go to animal rescues and shelters and ask about volunteering. You may be able to walk dogs, pet cats, groom. A nice looking dog has a better chance of getting adopted so why not help them out. It’s also a way to meet new friends.
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  • ~Desi Gurl~

    Get a shih tzu. It is hypo allergenic, doesnt shed, is realli realli realli cute. Loyal, playful, nice, and shih tzu are nice basically to everyone. I recommend you get a shih tzu. I got my shih tzu pup year ago. I had to beg my mom.. at first my mom was lyk no no no no no. My dad talked her into lettting us go and look. When my mom saw the shih tzu puppy she fell in love with it.. but still she didnt wanna get it.. i did the fake tear cry thingy and my dad convinced my mom lol. Now my mom loves my puppy. Its like her little baby lol. I am sure you will LOVE a shih tzu. They are adorable, nice, .. and even if you are allergic, you can have shih tzu. And shih tzus have long hair , but they dont shed, and are hypoallergenic. And if you dont wanna have to take care of the long hair and stuff you can always cut the hair. I have a boy shih tzu.. and his hair is not like long. He has a "boy cut" not to long, not to short .. perfect amount of hair lol… and gueess what we name it… Fluffy haha. i know its a stupid name but it suit him realli well. And when ever we say his name he always wags his tail. Oh yea thats another thing, shih tzus are always happy to see you. even if they r sleeping, they will get up and greet you and wag their tail like crazy. Trust me you will love a shih tzu.. here are some pics of shih tzus.
    and here are a couple of videos:
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    hope this helps:)
    i own a shih tzu and love it :)

  • Mutt for the Truth

    NO such thing as "hypoallergenic" – and person can have a reaction to any dog at any time. Low dander and non-shedding merely means there is less chance of a reaction.

    If the family isn’t happy, then accept the "no" and move on. You will eventually have school, a job, then school AND a job to think about. Who takes care of the dog then, you’re unhappy family members? Just imagine how hard that would be on the dog.

    If mom and dad can’t come to an agreement then the family as a whole is not ready. Period. Whining about it doesn’t really help the "mature" image you should be trying to portray….
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    Owned by Mutt