Hypoallergenic Pets: Is it a Myth, or Not?
We’ve all heard the stories of hypoallergenic pets – dogs or cats who purportedly can live in harmony with pet allergy sufferers due to their lack of shedding/dander. Shying away from pet ownership due to allergies is a reality for so many animal lovers, but are hypoallergenic pets just another marketing ploy aimed at taking our money? The team at Schertz Animal Hospital investigates.
Are There Really Hypoallergenic Pets?
Pet allergies stem from an allergic reaction to an animal’s saliva, which dries and becomes airborne when fur or dander is shed. Even furless pets produce dander, so there technically aren’t any 100% hypoallergenic pets. There is anecdotal evidence that certain breeds can be easier to live with for some allergy sufferers, including:
- Poodle (all sizes)
- Bichon frise
- Schnauzer (giant and miniature)
- Irish water spaniel
- Portuguese water dog
- Siberian cat
- Cornish rex
- Hairless cat
Managing Pet Allergies
If you want to adopt a pet, or want to keep a pet you or a family member is allergic to, your first stop should be to your allergist. There you can have your allergy pinpointed, and receive advice on how to best manage it, whether that is through medication, immunotherapy, or other modality.
Keeping the allergens in your home and environment as low as possible is also key when it comes to dealing with pet allergies.
- Vacuum/sweep the floors and furniture, and dust regularly. Choose hard flooring whenever possible, and shampoo rugs and carpeting on a regular basis.
- Wash your pet’s bedding, and any pillows or blankets they come into contact with, weekly.
- Don’t allow your pet into your bedroom at any time.
- Use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) purifier and vent filters to remove particles from the air.
- Choose a smaller pet, as they will produce less dander than a larger pet.
- Brush your pet daily (outside only), and have them groomed regularly to reduce shedding and dander.
What is your experience with hypoallergenic pets? We’d love to find out. Post to our social media, or let us know the next time you’re in for your pet’s wellness exam. In the meantime, don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff with your questions or concerns about your pet.