Posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Finding a Happy Ending to Your Dog Allergies


For many folks, the dream of adopting a dog is ruined by severe and unrelenting allergies. If you’re one of those individuals who break out in hives practically at the sight of a dog, you know how bad these reactions can be. Combine that with a heartfelt adoration of all things canine and you’ve got an all-too-common sob story on your hands. Luckily, there are options out there for breed-savvy people who are looking for a pet that won’t shed allergen-rife dander quite so much.


Seeking out the right breeds – A dog-loving reader with intense allergies recently wrote in to the San Francisco Chronicle asking for advice. The source responded with a few sympathetic statistics – it turns out, 10 to 14 percent of Americans have dog allergies. And while there’s no truly non-allergenic breed out there, there are a few that come specially recommended for those who suffer reactions. The San Francisco Chronicle lists the Bedlington terrier, Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Irish Water spaniel, Kerry Blue terrier, Maltese, Poodle (all varieties), Portuguese Water dog, Schnauzer, Soft-coated Wheaten terrier and the Mexican hairless breed of Xoloitzcuintli (try typing that into Petfinder without copy and paste!). It’s important to note that the source recommends these breeds because they shed less, not because their fur lacks allergens. But with less fur around the house, the chances that sufferers are exposed to allergens in the fur decreases significantly. Still, there are no absolute guarantees.


Considering allergy shots – Many people with allergies to dogs or cats seek out immunotherapy treatment, usually in the form of a series of regular shots that expose you directly to exactly what it is you’re allergic to. How Stuff Works explains that doctors usually recommend allergy shots to those with severe reactions, where the benefits definitely outweigh the cost and time commitment of the immunization schedule.


According to the source, immunotherapy involves injections under the skin consisting of a small amount of dander and saline mixed together. Repetition of this process once a week and with increasing dosages allows your body, after about half a year, to become used to the allergens – meaning it won’t react when you encounter that adorable dog at your friend’s place or on the street. And who knows, with a little luck, a dog of your own might be in the future!


This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.