Hypoallergenic Dogs Produce Less Dander
Hypoallergenic dogs are the logical choice if you long for a canine companion but worry about it triggering an allergic reaction or asthma attack.
So why is it that some dogs can have asthma sufferers reach for their inhalers?
The answer is it all depends on the amount of dander on the dog’s coat. You see dogs that don’t shed as much hair produce less of this substance which can cause an allergic reaction in asthma sufferers or others who are sensitive to allergens.
What Does Dander From Dogs Consist Of?
Put simply, dog dander comprises pieces of skin that dogs shed naturally. Some of these particles of skin are so small that they are suspended in the air. And these particles can be inhaled by a dog’s owner. The result – an allergic reaction in some people due to minute protein particles left on the skin from sweat, urine, or saliva.
How Can You Reduce The Amount Of Dander Shed By Your Dog?
Feeding your dog on hypoallergenic dog food can help. Some non hypoallergenic dog foods can cause an allergic skin reaction in dogs. Typically the dog tries to relieve its itching skin by scratching then much more dander is shed. This increases the risk of an allergic reaction in any asthma sufferers at home.
Regular grooming can help too and shampooing with a dog shampoo designed to remove dander.
How Can You Reduce The Amount Of Dog Dander In Your Home?
You can reduce the dog dander by adopting the following regime:
- Keep your dog out of the bedroom of anyone who has asthma or allergies.
- Don’t allow your dog to walk on any carpets which could then harbor dander.
- Keep your dog off furniture especially upholstered sofas and armchairs.
- Vacuum and clean your home often. This prevents the accumulation of dust containing dander and other allergens.
Hypoallergenic dogs do exist but no dog and no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic. Bear in mind too that the amount of dander shed varies from dog to dog within the same breed so for example two Afghan Hounds may shed different amounts of dander. It’s also possible that individual dogs within a breed not generally recognised as hypoallergenic such as the Cockapoo may shed less dander than a dog of a breed recognised as hypoallergenic.
N.B. Some research indicates that the make up of sweat, urine and saliva deposited on the dander varies from dog to dog and therefore affects allergic reactions.
That said, choosing a hypoallergenic dog can protect you and other family members susceptible to allergic reactions. So here’s a list of hypoallergenic dogs breeds that are least likely to trigger asthma attacks:
Coton de Tulear
West Highland Terrier
Portuguese Water Dog
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Hypoallergenic dogs that are 100% hypoallergenic don’t exist.
- Individual dogs within a specific dog breed can shed different amounts of dander.
- In some cases individual dogs within a specific dog breed (even from those breeds not generally recognised as hypoallergenic) can shed less dander than individual dogs from dog breeds recognised as hypoallergenic.
- Allergic reactions to dogs are triggered by dander which is small particles of skin.
- It is not the small particles of skin that are shed that can cause an allergic reaction but the tiny protein particles left on the skin from sweat, urine, or saliva.
- The chemical composition of the sweat, urine and saliva deposited on the dander varies from dog to dog and therefore affects the kind and severity of any allergic reaction.
- Non hypoallergenic dog food can cause your dog to have an allergic reaction causing skin irritation. This can lead to your dog scratching his skin which means more dander is shed.
- Feeding your dog hypoallergenic dog food can reduce the amount of dander shed by your dog.
- Keeping your dog off upholstered furniture and carpets helps as does keeping your dog out of bedrooms used by asthma sufferers.
- Regular cleaning and vacuuming of your home helps to “mop up” dander.
- Grooming your dog and shampooing regularly with an anti dander shampoo will also reduce the amount of dander in your home.