Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
The term “hypoallergenic” is often used in reference to dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions. In the dog world, the general consensus is that these are some ways in which you can determine whether a dog would be hypoallergenic or not. While this list is not exhaustive, it is of a lot of help while determining the perfect breed for your health.
How do I know whether or not a dog is hypoallergenic?
Dog breeds that shed less are more likely to be hypoallergenic, since the dog’s dander and saliva stick to the hair and are not released into the environment. However, protein expression levels play a major role and amount of shedding alone does not determine degree of allergic reaction. “Even if you get a hairless dog, it’s still going to produce the allergen,” says Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, chair of the Indoor Allergen Committee for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in the newsmagazine U.S. News & World Report. “How hypoallergenic a particular dog is for a particular person may vary with the individual dog and the individual person.” If a person is allergic, they may be best able to tolerate a specific dog, possibly of one of the hypoallergenic breeds. Dr. Thomas A. Platts-Mills, head of the Asthma and Allergic Disease Center at the University of Virginia, explained that there are cases in which a specific dog (not breed) might be better tolerated by a specific person, for unknown reasons. “We think there really are differences in protein production between dogs that may help one patient and not another,” Dr. Platts-Mills said.
All dogs shed, and all dogs produce dander and saliva in some degree. As noted above, the amount of the allergenic protein present on the dander and in saliva varies by breed. Also, the amount of the allergen can be reduced or eliminated in individual dogs by treatments such as bathing. But for most breeds, when not regularly bathed, even a dog that sheds very little or has little dander can trigger a reaction in a sensitive person.
Size may be a factor in determining the most suitable hypoallergenic dog breeds. It is possible that the total body surface area of the dog is more indicative of reduced production of allergens than its breed. Smaller dogs will also leave fewer environmental pollutants containing dog dander and dog allergens (reduced fecal matter, urine and saliva). Small hairless dogs may be less likely to cause allergic reactions “because it’s so easy to bathe them and the dander falls off them. Dogs may leave behind urine, saliva and fecal matter as allergen sources. Dogs with access to the outdoors may introduce outdoor allergens such as mold and pollen with larger animals tracking in more of these allergens. It is well established that most individuals with dog allergy also suffer with additional environmental allergies. Individuals with dog allergy may also be at increased risk for human protein hypersensitivity with cross-reactivity of dog dander allergen and human seminal fluid.
Which are the best hypoallergenic dog breeds?
While no dog has officially won the “hypoallergenic dog breed” award of the year (yet), here is a list of some dogs that tend to be better fighters of allergens and related health problems. Again, no dog is “really” hypoallergenic. In reality, some are just less likely to cause allergic reactions. Here are the top ten hypoallergenic dog breeds:
The Samoyed is a sneezing owner’s dream come true. This breed does shed, but you’ll find no doggie odor or dander, making these dogs the perfect option for people with allergies. They’re known for being laid back, gentle and “smiley,” so they’re great around kids.