Are Allergy Free Dogs a Myth?

There have been a lot of discussions about the existence of allergy free dogs or hypoallergenic dogs. Dog breeds tagged as hypoallergenic have been created; however, they are still causing allergies in humans. There may be dogs that may shed less dander and hair, causing fewer allergy symptoms, but presently, all existing dog breeds cause allergies in humans with a weaker immune system.

What Causes the Allergic Reactions?

For many years, dog hair has been believed to be the allergen causing negative reactions in people. According to this theory, dogs with short or no hair are considered hypoallergenic.

However, the main culprit allergen is actually a glycoprotein that is shed with dander and dead skin cells; as all dogs shed dander, all dogs may cause allergies.

The same glycoprotein may be found in the dog’s urine and saliva, so these may also be potential allergens. 

Are There Low Allergy Breeds?

Even if all dogs cause allergic reactions in humans with a weaker immune system, there are a few dogs that may shed less dander and cause fewer allergic reactions. These dogs may include the following breeds:

  • American hairless terrier
  • Chinese crested, also hairless
  • Mexican Xoloitzcuintli, hairless breed
  • Poodle or other curled haired or wire coated dogs
  • Italian Greyhounds and short haired breeds

These dog breeds may cause fewer allergic reactions as they have shorter or no hair, so they may be easier to groom. Some of these breeds may shed lower amounts of dander due to hereditary factors.

There has been talk about dogs that shed more dander, including breeds such as Spaniels or Pugs; however, this is still an undemonstrated theory.

Preventing and Managing Allergies

The allergic reactions may be prevented by administering frequent baths to the dog and by cleaning the house on a regular basis, this reducing the amount of dander that is present in the environment of the allergic person.

Presently, the only possible cure to dog allergies is the immunization treatment. The immunization shots work in 70% of people and in some cases, a lengthy administration of shots (3 to 5 years) can lead to a complete allergy treatment.

In addition to the allergy shots, allergic people may also get antihistamines and steroids.

The dog’s diet may also determine the amount of dander that is shed. Adding biotin, omega 3 and 9 fatty acids to the dog’s diet will improve the dog’s skin quality and result in lower amounts of dander.

Allergic people should make sure that they have a room where the dog is not allowed; this will be the allergy free room and ideally, this should be the bedroom.

Even if dogs that are allergy free are a myth, researchers are still working on finding a way to create an allergy free breed. Until this happens, humans with dog allergies may still own dogs, as there are a few ways to prevent severe allergic reactions and manage the allergies.