If you are one of the 10 percent of Americans who are allergic to cats and dogs, there is a high chance that you have spent your whole life avoiding places that have pets. Being allergic to pets oftentimes hinders individuals from certain experiences, such as going to a relative or friend’s house, going in a pet store, or petting a dog at the park. Just because you have pet allergies doesn’t mean you have to live a life evading animals. There are many breeds of dogs and cats that are hypoallergenic, which means that they are free of traditional pet allergens, limiting the allergenic effect that you would experience from a normal pet.
Beginning with smaller dog breeds, some of the best hypoallergenic canines you can find include:
- Bichon frise
- Shih Tzu
- Toy poodles
All of these miniature sized pups rarely shed or don’t shed at all. They are extremely playful and love to cuddle too.
When it comes to medium sized dogs to larger dogs, the best breeds for those with allergies are:
Additionally, there is a wide variety of terriers that are hypoallergenic, making them one of the most versatile hypoallergenic breeds. Terrier breeds include:
Talk with your vet about the best grooming techniques for your specific dog, as some of them require different levels of attention and work.
When it comes to cats, dander is oftentimes not the source of someone’s allergies like it is with dogs. Instead, their saliva is actually the culprit. Cat saliva contains an additional protein (Fel d 1) that triggers the allergic reaction in humans. In fact, it lingers in the air longer than average molecules, which allows the proteins to stick to carpet, fur, furniture, etc. much easier. Fel d 1 has no proven function in cats, so it is a mystery as to why they produce it. It is important to note that there is technically not a 100 percent hypoallergenic cat, however there are breeds that produce far less of the harmful protein. The breeds of cats that are best for people allergic to their saliva include:
- Sphynx (better known as hairless cats),
- Devon & Cornish rex
- Oriental shorthair
Most of these brands either possess one coat of fur (which leaves very little room for shedding) or they produce less of the protein Fel d 1.
Now that you have learned about several different hypoallergenic pet breeds, we hope that you consider adopting one of the millions of cats or dogs looking for a furever home. If you are susceptible to allergies and are pursuing adopting your first hypoallergenic pet, you can rely on Dogwood Vet to guide you through the process, give you tips, and perform annual checkups for your pet.
Give us a call at (919) 942-6330 or visit us at 51 Vickers Rd in Chapel Hill, NC to get started.