Allergy Friendly

By Lynette Carrington

Hypoallergenic friendly dogs present good option for sensitive pet owners

For some, allergies are a daily struggle. And for dog lovers, this reality can be heartbreaking! Constant shedding and dander can pose significant problems so severe that some people fear that they just cannot have a four-legged companion. The good news is, that with proper grooming, there are many dog breeds who make wonderful pets for those with significant allergies.

Some of the best dog breeds for people with allergies include the Portuguese Water Dog, Labradoodle, Maltese, Irish Water Spaniel, Bichon Frise, American Hairless, and believe it or not, the Afghan Hound. “The key is to get a dog that has longer hair, but doesn’t shed,” says Dr. Richard Turner,  DVM, who owns the Arbor Pet Clinic in Lodi and the All Creatures Veterinary Emergency Clinic in Stockton. With a little bit of research and consideration, there is usually no reason that someone with allergies can’t own a dog.

“Most of the time people’s allergic situations with dogs are mostly related to those that shed or that salivate and drool a lot,” says Dr. Turner. “I was talking with Dr. Andrea Cannon of Animal Dermatology and Allergy in Modesto and Rocklin recently and she said that a lot of people with allergies prefer poodles because they don’t shed as much. It’s still important to keep poodles well-groomed because they do grow a lot of hair in their ears and near their rear-ends.”

Dogs with longer hair tend not to shed as much as breeds such a Labradors. But, it is still important to properly maintain the coats of longer-haired breeds. Where a dog owner with allergies is involved, a regular pet grooming schedule at an off-site grooming facility or even a mobile dog grooming service where services can be done in a van or somewhere other than in the owner’s home is a good choice.

As with taking on the ownership of any dog, a potential pet owner must consider their available space, the time they can devote to a pet, the make-up of the household, and the temperament of the animal. Once someone with allergies does have a dog, it’s a good idea to do frequent vacuuming—and for those with more severe allergies, consider getting rid of carpet and going with tile instead to lessen areas that can capture pet dander and fur.