Dogs for people with allergies – Part 1

Can people with allergies still have pet dogs? Well that depends very much on the type of dog and the severity of the allergy. My mum is allergic to dogs and we had dogs for years. She was not strictly allergy free during this time. A lot depends on, how much you want a dog and the type of dog.

Firstly, what is the type of allergy? Is it related to the hair that the dog sheds? Is it just the general doginess? or is it the dogs saliva? The question may sound silly but we found a dog that did not shed hair. My mum was still slightly allergic having to take anti-histamine tablets frequently. Just the mere presence of dog made her a bit allergic though it was tolerable. What used to exacerbate my mums allergies is when my dog used to bark at the window and spray his saliva. No dog is saliva free. There was something in the saliva that my mum was allergic to.

It makes sense for someone with a dog allergy to chose one that sheds very little hair, or even better, no hair at all. Our dog was a standard poodle as they don`t shed their hair. They have wool. The only drawback with a standard poodle is, they need clipping. This is necessary every 6 weeks and the dog needs to be well groomed in the mean time or they can become very tangled. This was alright but my mum still could not tolerate grooming his as he collected dust. It makes it sound as if we didn`t take care of him. I am actually talking about the dust that we cannot see, dead skin that he was shedding. Even though the dog didn`t shed, he still created a bit of an allergen for my mum. As I said, it was tolerable though.

There are other dogs that do not shed their hair. All types of poodles, lots of terriers, shih tzu, maltese. These dogs will still shed dead skin and apparently all dogs, even non shedding will lose a tiny bit of hair.

So you have decided to get a dog even though you know you have an allergy. You don`t fancy any of the non shedding breeds. It would then make sense to chose a dog that does not shed much hair. Dogs with thin, short hair would be more sensible than a dog with a long thick coat. Some dogs will shed all year round. Some will shed all year but will shed their hair in spring to avoid becoming too hot. These double coated dogs such as collies, huskies and shelties will shed their coat again in winter. They shed the summer coat and grow a winter one. Dogs like this may not be suitable for someone who is allergic due to the fact that they

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