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Monday, December 14, 2015

Hypoallergenic dogs as real as unicorns

(Shutterstock image)

It's that time of year when many of us will be traveling to visit family during the holidays. 

The family stay with has a dog. Another family member INSISTS that there are certain dogs that are hypo allergenic 

She says there is NO WAY we can be allergic to her dog. Well, sorry, but we are. See those watery eyes and hear the sneezing? We aren't making this up you know!

There are is no such thing as a  hypoallergenic dogs!  Don't believe me? Here's a quote from an article in the Huffington Post 

"Contrary to the many marketing claims made to appeal to people with allergies to pets, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog," Franklin D. McMillan, a veterinarian and director of well-being studies at Best Friends Animal Society, told The Huffington Post in an email.

All dogs have saliva and skin, which Dr. McMillan says:

"The most common cause of pet allergies is the dead, dried flakes (dander) from your pet's skin and the protein in the pet’s saliva that sticks to these flakes," McMillan said. "The pet’s hair itself isn’t a significant problem -- it’s the dander that is attached to the shed hairs. The fur and dander then stick to carpeting, furniture, and clothing."

That explains it. We are having problems with the sticky proteins on the dog's hair. 

Some dogs may shed less than other dogs.  

But everyone has different allergies and asthma triggers too. So, what may not bother one person CAN and DOES bother another.

If you are having problems, the article suggests several ideas, such as: 
  • Give the dog a bath once a week
  • Wash it's bedding once a week
  • Have hard wood floors instead of carpet (the dog hair won't stick to wood floors like it does carpet)
  • Vacuum often (especially if there are places where the dog likes to lay down)
  • Shampoo your carpets often
  • Keep the pet our of your bedroom
  • And don't let the dog lick you!
The American Kennel Club recommends some dogs that have "predictable non shedding coats" - so, in theory - they aren't supposed to shed as much.
However, my daughter has had severe allergic reactions to a specific dog on their list.
So, just remember that everyone is different. If you are allergic to a dog.......well, then you are allergic - to it no matter what anyone else says! Work with your doc to find the best treatment. Once again, that's different for everyone. He may tell you to take over the counter allergy medicine. Or you may be WAY past that and need allergy shots.

Yeah, dogs are cute. But for us, it's not worth the miserable runny eyes, sneezing, running nose and asthma attacks.
Here's part of one last quote from the Huffington Post article (the last part of the quote has a link to the American Kennel Club and list of "predictable and no shedding coats" - but that link is above.) It was too funny, so I had to share!
"So while hypoallergenic dog breeds are as real as hypoallergenic unicorns -- or, if they exist somewhere, researchers haven't found them yet......"


  1. I am not allergic to dogs, I have a german shepherd as a service dog for autism. If I go to class and someone is allergic to dogs, we usually sit on opposite sides of the room. German Shepherds shed alot, but service dogs are trained not to engage others and she has never licked anyone else. How did you get a concussion??? It looks like I'll be going back to school in January!! I am on new digestive enzymes and they seem to be working much better. My insurance also agreed to cover pulmozyme, which is a nebulizer medicine that thins up thick CF mucus. I had to fight my insurance over it, but I won as frequent hospitalizations are more expensive. Needymeds has been helpful as well as the copay for kalydeco is $2300. They should really make kalydeco cheaper, cfers already are paying lots of medical costs and shouldn't have to pay astronomically for vital medical treatment. It reminds me of that guy that raised the cost of HIV medicine from $13 to $700. Greedy!

    1. Hey, glad to hear you have a service dog:) You're right - they are highly trained. It's not like going to someone's house and having their dog jump all over you and lick you.

      I fell on an icy sidewalk and ended up with a concussion. I don't know if I hit my head, but it was a whiplash like injury. Instantly, the left side of my head hurt and the left side of my neck. The dizziness and nausea were also instant.

      I spent 2 weeks in bed and am still having problems almost a month later. Sigh. :(

      Glad you are headed back to school! Yay!

      Yes, I wonder how they can charge so much for prescriptions. Did you know that guy was arrested for running a Ponzi scheme? Karma??

    2. I have never experienced that living in Texas. Sorry that happened! It is abnormally warm even for Houston! It was 75 on Christmas. And no I didn't hear that! Karma indeed