Selecting Allergy Free Dogs: 6 Criteria for Sensitive Owners

Allergy free dogs can be a good choice for those suffering from dog allergies. After all, just because you're allergic to dogs, it doesn't mean you wouldn't enjoy owning one! There are many breeds of dogs which are hypoallergenic. Here are six tips for selecting an allergy free dog.

1) Choose A Low-Shedding Breed

Common belief holds that it's dog hair that causes an allergic reaction in dog allergy sufferers, but this isn't true. Many dog allergy sufferers are allergic to the dander produced by a dog's skin; others may also be allergic to dog urine or saliva. Dog hair, however, doesn't cause an allergic reaction.

Nevertheless, hairless dogs and low-shedding breeds produce less dander, and so will elicit fewer allergic reactions. A dog with a single coat, rather than a dog with a thick, heavy, multi-layered coat, will produce less dander. A hairless dog is even better.

This is because allergens tend to get stuck in your dog's fur, so he'll carry then around with him. It's also easier to bathe a dog with a single coat, or a hairless dog; you have a much better chance of cleaning the dander from his fur.

2) Choose A Smaller Breed

Smaller breed also elicit fewer allergic reactions. They produce less dander and spread less dander, simply because they are small. They are also easier to bathe; if you choose a very small breed, you can bathe your dog easily in the kitchen sink.

3) Consider The Needs of the Dog

As when acquiring any new pet, you should consider the needs of any allergy free dogs you're thinking of buying. A larger dog will need a lot of space; do you live in an apartment or a house? A dog with long fur, such as a Yorkshire Terrier, will require a lot of grooming; do you have time for this? An older dog might not be happy if you have young children at home; a very active dog will need a lot of exercise.

4) Find A Local Breeder

When buying allergy free dogs, it's a good idea to buy locally. Find a local breeder, and explain that you have dog allergies but would like to purchase a hypoallergenic dog. This way, you can spend some time with the dog, perhaps a few hours or maybe even longer, to ensure that this particular dog won't bother your allergies.

Remember, allergic reactions can occur on an individual basis, so that two puppies from the same litter can elicit very different reactions in a dog allergy sufferer. There is no all-around hypoallergenic dog, so it's important to spend time with the dog to make sure you aren't going to suffer later.

5) Don't Buy Plush Toys

An important thing to remember, when thinking of purchasing an allergy free breed, is that you shouldn't buy plush toys or plush beds for the dog. These items can retain dog dander, as well as dust, mold, and pollen. Every time your dog uses such items, he'll release a cloud of allergens that could affect your allergies.

6) Consider A Mixed Breed

There are plenty of mixed breed dogs that could be allergy free; don't be afraid to give one a chance.