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Hypoallergenic Dogs for People with Allergies – Myth or Reality?

We’ve all experienced it, that close friend or family member who wanted a dog so badly, but couldn’t because their dog allergy symptoms leave them with red, itchy eyes; sneezing; wheezing and coughing. Then one day, after spending extensive time on the internet, they emerge with a list of hypoallergenic dog breeds for people with allergies. “These dogs won’t flare up my dog allergy symptoms!” they proclaim.

Unfortunately, this isn't usually the case.

If you’re allergic to dogs, you’re allergic to ALL dogs. Yes, very sad information indeed for those with dog allergies—but it’s the truth. Dogs with "hypoallergenic fur" simply do not exist.

A person who is allergic to dogs is actually allergic to the saliva and dander of a dog. There are articles out there that claim that shorter hair dogs are better for people with dog allergies because they shed less. So with that in mind, you presumably could say less dander is spreading, but that’s a little far fetched. Why? Regardless of a dog’s breed or size, two similar dogs can give off very different levels of allergen, making it difficult to predict to what extent a particular dog will trigger someone's allergy symptoms. 

Those with dog allergies and sincere dog envy should meet with their doctor to determine if they are a good candidate for dog allergy immunotherapy. Allergy immunotherapy does have risks that include—but are not limited to—localized reactions including: pain at the injection site and rashes and swelling, as well as more serious systemic reactions including anaphylaxis. Dog allergy immunotherapy is the only treatment that treats the underlying cause of dog allergy instead of covering up symptoms, which, for many patients, may lead to:

  • An improved quality of life
  • An end to discomfort and feeling ill
  • Fewer problems having pets at home or vising family or friends with pets

Besides, how torturous would it be to have a little puppy running around and have to avoid their sweet puppy kisses because of allergies?