Buying a dog despite an allergy? If certain conditions are met, this project may even be possible.
In the past few years in particular, sooner or later you will come across so-called hypoallergenic dog breeds. The question is whether such a breed really serves the purpose of not causing any allergy symptoms in the owner. We clarify below which races are that everyone is talking about and, above all, why even they are no guarantee that the allergy will not appear.
What are Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds?
It is completely natural for a dog to lose hair. However, there are those who lose less than others. They are called hypoallergenic. These include, for example:
- Chinese crested dog
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Miniature Bull Terrier
- Portuguese water dog
- Scottish Terrier
- Italian greyhound
- Airdale Terrier
- Shi Tzu
- Border terrier
All of these dog breeds are original dog breeds that by nature do not lose much fur and get along reasonably well with allergy sufferers.
Hypoallergenic Designer Dogs
For a few years now, however, there has been a trend towards designer dogs among allergy sufferers. This refers to dog breeds that are specifically bred from two different breeds. So-called hybrid dogs, which are also known as allergy dog breeds and with which they are supposed to get along much better. Here are some examples:
- Schnoodel: Schnauzer and Poodle
- Goldendoodle: Golden Retriever and Poodle
- Pekeapoo: Pekingese and poodle
- Cockapoo: American Cocker Spaniel and Poodle
- Labradoodle: Labrador and Poodle
The original purpose of these matings was to combine the positive characteristics of both dog breeds. In the end, however, it is always a typical mixed breed, which is why the breeds have not yet been recognized by the Association of German Dog Breeders.
Why There are no Hypoallergenic Dogs
The term “hypoallergenic dog” is nice to look at and gives hope to those affected who want to buy a dog despite an allergy. However, if you look at it realistically, there is no breed of dog that can be classified as truly hypoallergenic. The reason for this lies in the allergy itself. Here is an explanation:
- The dog hair allergy, as it is also known, is not a real dog hair allergy.
- Because the allergy is not triggered by the hair secreted by the animal, but by the allergens that adhere to them.
- Typical allergens come from the dog’s saliva, urine, and flakes of skin, which are secreted with the hair.
- The resulting fact: every dog secretes saliva, urine, and flakes of skin, regardless of what breed it belongs to.
- The relevant allergens are difficult to distribute through the air and are mostly spread through direct contact.
As a result, it can happen that someone buys a so-called hypoallergenic dog and still shows allergy symptoms.
Is There Still Hope?
If you want to buy a dog despite an allergy, there is still hope for you despite the adverse circumstances. This looks like this:
- A dog for allergy sufferers must be found in which the symptoms do not appear, or only appear very slightly.
- Desensitization is sought.
Despite a significant allergy, there is still one phenomenon that hopeful animal lovers can fall back on: some allergy sufferers react differently to certain dogs than to others. It can look like this: An allergy sufferer looks at a pair of siblings at a dachshund breeder. He cuddles with one of the two dachshund puppies and there is no reaction. Then he picks up the other puppy and within five minutes he experiences coughing fits or starts sneezing.
The decisive factor here is how much dandruff the dog generally loses. Just like us humans, there are those who have noticeably strong dandruff and hair loss, while others have healthy and voluminous hair and are never confronted with dandruff in their life.
It is therefore important to find the right dog that has exactly those characteristics. However, it does not have to be a designer or hypoallergenic dog.
Unfortunately, it has to be said that this search is often unsuccessful and, if so, that it usually takes a long time. However, this is not a real guarantee that allergy symptoms will be completely absent.
Alternative Desensitization – What Is It?
If you don’t necessarily want to use dogs for allergy sufferers and instead want to face the allergy, desensitization is an option. One thing in advance: Such treatment usually takes several years, it is completed after approximately two to three years. Health insurance usually pays for this. However, it is only used if the allergy symptoms are particularly pronounced.
The allergist is responsible for such treatment. During an appointment, the person affected is given the allergens directly on the mucous membranes. This is done using tablets, drops, or an injection. The patient then remains in the practice for about 30 minutes in order to be able to take immediate action in the event of an allergic reaction.
The dose is increased from appointment to appointment. The effect of this treatment includes an increasingly better tolerance on the part of the immune system to the substances in question. However, the treatment is not always successful and may need to be repeated after a few years.
Accordingly, performing desensitization is a matter that should be considered carefully.
Purchased a Dog – Is There Any Kind of Prophylaxis?
If you buy a dog with an allergy, you should definitely take a few steps to avoid provoking the occurrence of the allergy. It would be recommended here:
Regular grooming of the dog: He should be combed daily and bathed twice a week. This is how most allergens can be removed. However, these tasks should not be carried out by the allergy sufferer himself.
Keeping your home clean: There are special vacuum cleaners that are suitable for removing allergy substances. The apartment should also be kept free of dust.
Avoid upholstery, carpets, and curtains: These are the things that allergens like to stick to. As a dog owner, it is, therefore, better to forego them and use alternatives.
Bed and couch are taboo: It should be clear to the dog that he is not allowed to go to bed or on the couch. It is here that they leave most of the allergens behind.
Change of clothes after intensive contact: After cuddling or playing with the dog, clothes should be changed in any case.
Don’t forget to wash your hands: The same applies here as for clothing.
It is true that not all harmful substances can be removed in this way, but they are good initial measures to avoid a possible allergy attack as best as possible. Even with these precautions, however, there is no one hundred percent security.