While dog and cat allergies affect 10-20% of the global population, this doesn’t stop all the allergy-sufferers from adopting a furry companion. Some people adopt a pet before they even realize they have an allergy, which unfortunately can result in the rehoming or surrendering of the pet.
If you suspect you have a dog allergy, it might benefit you to get tested by an allergist to discover the severity of the allergy — especially before adopting a dog. There are several allergy practices in Austin that perform a skin prick test which involves applying a drop of allergen to the skin and then pricking or scratching that spot. The patient is then observed for red, itchy bumps. A non-medical option to check for a pet allergy is to have everyone in your household spend time around the dog you plan to adopt before making the commitment.
Consider the Coat
The best dogs for people with allergies are dogs that don’t shed much, so that, in theory, their dander doesn’t get all over the house. This lack of shedding could be due to curly hair or long hair that needs to be groomed often. In addition to the type of hair, the size of the dog should also be considered. The bigger the dog, the more dander that will find its way around your home.
Reducing the Allergens
Once you find your new furry family member, take steps to eliminate as many pesky allergens as possible. Here’s how to manage them:
- Doggie bath time, even with just water, can reduce the pet dander significantly. And if you can’t get around to bathtime, brushing your dog’s fur can also help reduce dander and shedding.
- Conversely, washing your hands with soap and water after handling a dog can also reduce your exposure to dander.
- Dander often gets caught in cushions, carpets and pet beds. Keep these areas easy to clean by creating “pet-free” zones such as the bedroom or couch. Vacuum carpets often, and wash dog beds and blankets.
- Investing in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter can help remove pet allergens from the air.
- Finally, allergy shots can also be an option to mitigate pet allergies. Although they can be expensive, they might just be worth it for some pet-loving families.
Looking for a hypoallergenic pup? Here’s a list of 10 breeds to get you started in your search.
American Hairless Terrier
Temperament: inquisitive, energetic, playful
Weight: 12-16 lbs
Temperament: playful, affectionate, barks a lot
Weight: 12-18 lbs
Fur: white, plush, puffy
Temperament: active, loving toward children, devoted
Weight: 24-35 lbs
Fur: wooly, curly
Temperament: lively, funny, affectionate
Weight: under 7 lbs
Fur: long, silky
Temperament: extremely intelligent, strong-willed, loyal
Weight: 11-20 lbs
Fur: dense, wiry
Temperament: confident, loving, loyal
Weight: 10-15 lbs
Fur: crisp, curly
Temperament: active, proud, smart
Weight: 40-70 lbs
Fur: curly, wavy
Temperament: confident, agile, intelligent
Weight: 4-6 lbs
Temperament: sociable, alert, athletic, easily trained
Weight: 30-50 lbs
Temperament: energetic, feisty, domineering
Weight: 7 lbs
Fur: long, silky