Many dog lovers are cursed with pet allergies that get between them and their furry friends. While they may never grab a tissue for you, picking the right dog can help alleviate your allergies immensely.
I’m living proof that you can have a life surrounded by dogs despite allergies. That’s right, the Ranch’s resident DogGirl is allergic to dogs! Here are my tips for getting up close and personal and sticking it to your allergies.
#1 Evaluate The Severity Of Your Pet Allergy
Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as an allergy-free dog. Even the dogs that create the least dander or shed the least fur will still produce allergens. These allergens come from a variety of sources, including:
- Body oil
- Dead skin (dander)
You can’t stop a dog from producing these. You can only control the amount produced. Here’s the good news: that’s good enough for most people with mild to moderate allergies.
However, if you have a severe allergy to dogs you may not be able to live with one. If you have to carry an epipen in case of a dangerous reaction to dogs, you probably shouldn’t own one.
Luckily, pet allergies are commonly mistaken for other allergies. Dogs track all sorts of particles inside your home, such as:
An allergy test can determine what specific allergen triggers you. After the true culprit is revealed, you just need to give your dog a bath to wash away the tag-alongs.
#2 Simple Precautions Can Reduce Allergic Reactions
Once you find out what kind of allergy you have, you can avoid it. Typically, people are allergic to dander, which dogs shed continuously. You can keep dander, saliva, and oils off of sensitive areas by washing your hands.
There are several ways you can reduce the allergens that reside on your dog and in your house as well. These include:
- Frequently bathing your dog
- Cleaning the floors/carpet
- Proper dusting
- Washing your dog’s bedding and your own
These methods will reduce the amount of allergens lurking on your pet’s coat and in the nooks and crannies of your home.
Another strategy is to restrict your pet’s access to sensitive places like your bedroom or laundry room. This keeps them from spreading allergens to areas that you spend a lot of time in. You’ll be much less susceptible to night-time reactions as well.
# 3 Find A Hypoallergenic Dog Breed That’s Right For You
While no dog is truly allergen-free, there are breeds with significantly lower allergen output. Some of the least allergy provoking dogs out there are:
- Poodles, and poodle mixes
- Bichon Frises
These breeds either manufacture less dander, don’t shed very often, or have a different fur composition that reduces allergens.
Many allergy-stricken dog owners, myself included, find that poodles don’t bother them at all. Most poodle mixes share enough characteristics to have this anti-allergenic trait as well.
On the other hand, there are some breeds that you should avoid at all costs. If you’re allergic to saliva, watch out for heavily drooling dogs, such as:
- Great Danes
If dander is your enemy, stay away from dogs that shed often and in high volume. There are also breeds that simply produce more dead skin than others. Dogs to avoid include:
- Golden Retrievers
- German Shepherds
- Cocker Spaniels
While having allergies may limit the dogs that you can room with, it does not mean you have to compromise. The hypoallergenic breeds are just as loving, playful, and energetic as any other. You’re guaranteed the full canine experience, minus the sneezes.
I deal with allergies every day at the Ranch, and I have zero regrets about choosing a life full of dogs. If you have questions about more hypoallergenic breeds, or more anti-allergy tactics, feel free to contact us today!
Hopeful Puppy by Mike Spasoff
Free Puppy by Ingo Di Bella
Running Puppy by Szlivka Robert