Do you want to have a four-legged canine friend but either you or your loved ones can’t stop sneezing every time a dog is around? If that’s the case for you, here’s some good news: having allergies to pets doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t own a dog.
Those who are dealing with dog allergies are usually affected by a certain protein present in the skin, urine, or saliva of most dogs.
Fortunately, there are breeds that generate fewer allergens, and typically they’re called hypoallergenic dogs. These canines don’t shed their coats as well, so they spread less dander in their surroundings.
If you’re planning to own such a pet, know that many dog breeds are considered hypoallergenic, which makes choosing the right one quite challenging.
To help you out, here’s a compilation of tips you can follow when figuring out which pup to go for:
1. Be More Familiar With Hypoallergenic Dogs
A hypoallergenic dog is different from other dogs in the sense that it produces less dander. Keep in mind that no dog will be 100% hypoallergenic. No matter what breed you select, it’ll still produce some allergens, but specific ones come with non-shedding coats that have far less dander.
As mentioned, a hypoallergenic breed doesn’t shed as much as others. Since it sheds hair at a lower rate, it retains its coat better compared to other breeds.
Dander that’s attached to the dog’s hair doesn’t get released into your environment as often as that of other dogs that shed at a normal rate.
Also, know that hypoallergenic dogs do need a bit of work in order to maintain their coats. Since they don’t have shedding fur, they should be groomed regularly. In fact, without grooming, the hair of a hypoallergenic dog can get matted and overgrown.
2. Do Your Research
Before even looking at the options available to you, you have to research hypoallergenic dog breeds along with their attributes. Start by checking some lists of hypoallergenic breeds.
Once you find one that suits your needs, perform a more targeted search about that breed.
You can prioritize specific qualities over others. In that way, in case you can’t find a breed that meets all of your preferences, at least you can find one that’ll have the essential qualities you’re looking for.
3. Check Rescue Organizations Or Shelters
Are you concerned about the number of homeless dogs or pet overpopulation? If so, consider looking for a hypoallergenic dog through rescue organizations or in shelters.
You can find purebred dogs in such places, and you’ll be able to adopt a pet that needs a home. There are hybrid dogs that are considered hypoallergenic, especially those that are poodle mixes.
4. Work With A Breeder
If you have a specific dog breed in mind, you can get it by turning to a breeder. Look for a reliable and reputable dog breeder on websites focusing on the breed you want.
Make sure that whatever site or online group you check has comprehensive lists of trustworthy and responsible breeders offering the type of dog you want.
Before you commit to getting a hypoallergenic dog, talk to the breeder about their standards and practices. This helps you ensure that you’re working with an ethical individual.
5. Look Into The Costs Involved
No matter the breed, size, and temperament, a dog needs different kinds of supplies like crates, bedding, toys, water, and food bowls, treats and daily meals, and grooming essentials. You also need to consider the fees for licenses, boarding, and professional grooming.
A large hypoallergenic dog, for instance, comes with bigger food expenses, while certain breeds need more extensive care.
So before choosing a particular breed, it’s a must to take into account all the needs of the canine and gauge your financial commitment.
6. Spend Time With A Hypoallergenic Dog
Prior to selecting a hypoallergenic dog, spend some time with it to assess if your allergy is strong such that it’s triggered even if you’re around such a dog. If you know somebody who owns one, you can ask if you can interact for a while with their four-legged friend.
But if not, consider contacting local dog clubs focusing on hypoallergenic breeds and see if they’ll allow you to meet their pets.
To assess if you’re allergic to a hypoallergenic breed, you need to be with them indoors. This is because if you just hang out outside, you may not experience the effect it’ll have on you once you’re both in a contained space.
7. Consider The Dog’s Temperament
Another important factor you need to think about when choosing a hypoallergenic dog is temperament. Some are friendly, while others are more outgoing or more susceptible to showing aggression. The breed you should get would depend on your circumstances.
For example, if you want a more protective dog, go for a more aggressive breed like a Lakeland terrier. But if you prefer a calmer one, consider a Sealyham terrier or soft-coated Wheaten terrier.
8. Assess Its Size
This consideration will usually depend on your likes and dislikes or logistics, such as whether you prefer having a dog breed ideal for small spaces. But whatever size you would want, no worries because for sure there’s a dog of that size.
If you want a large breed that’s hypoallergenic, some of the options you can consider are an Afghan hound and a standard poodle. For hypoallergenic dogs that are tiny, you can go for a Coton de Tulear or a bichon frise Maltese.
While owning a four-legged friend is a pretty big commitment, especially if you have allergies, it’s also the start of a fulfilling relationship.
Nevertheless, all dog breeds produce allergens, including hairless ones. So even a hypoallergenic dog may affect a hypersensitive allergy sufferer. But a balanced diet and proper grooming may help in reducing the fur and dander produced by such dogs.
Thus, you shouldn’t allow the fact that you’re allergic to a dog to rob you of the chance to have one. And if you’ve decided to get one, hopefully, the above-mentioned tips will help you in choosing the right hypoallergenic dog for you.