Do you suffer from a pet allergy?  Do you wish you could have a sweet cuddly furry friend, only to find out when you get close to them that you start itching, sneezing, and coughing uncontrollably?  Many people don’t find out they are allergic to dogs until they have one of their own.  Sadly in many cases these pet owners have to give up their dog after finding out that they are indeed allergic to their pet. 

Allergies from dogs tend to come from the pet dander, not the fur, the dog’s saliva or urine. 


Pet Allergy Symptoms

Symptoms of a pet allergy are sneezing, runny nose, facial pain, coughing, chest tightness, skin rashes or hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, and nasal congestion. 

If you suffer from these allergies, but wish you could still have a dog there is still a way.  There are more than 20 different hypoallergenic dogs that come in variable sizes, temperaments, and colors.  


What is a hypoallergenic dog?

Hypoallergenic dogs are dogs that carry less allergens.   They have less allergens because they spread less dander, they salivate less, and their urine carries less allergens. 

The main difference between a hypoallergenic dog and a breed that isn’t is the difference between fur and hair.  Hypoallergenic dogs have hair, much like human hair, rather than fur which everyone associates with a dog having.  There are some differences between fur and hair. 

Fur is thicker and shorter.  Fur grows faster.  Fur usually gets thicker in the winter as well as it sheds regularly.  And usually dogs with fur have a double coat, or an undercoat.  Fur sheds when new fur grows in. 

Pet hair is much like human hair in the sense that it grows out long.  The growth cycle of pet hair is longer than fur growth.  Hair seldomly sheds.  This hair instead of fur allows the hair to be thinner with no undercoat, this means that there are less opportunities for allergens to accumulate on the hair, as well as these hypoallergenic dogs with hair shed very minimally.  When hairs do fall out they fall to the ground like human hairs, instead of being blown around like pet fur that can swoosh allergens, dander, and dust onto anyone.  

Hypoallergenic dogs tend to need extra grooming.  They usually have to be groomed regularly, to shave their hair since it doesn’t shed.  This eliminates the house cleaning with less dog hair shedding.  It also prevents dog fur from covering your clothes, blankets, and furniture.  Grooming costs can add up, so you will want to be mindful of this when choosing a hypoallergenic breed


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Does a hypoallergenic dog cost more?

There are many different hypoallergenic breeds.  Just because these dogs are hypoallergenic does not make them more expensive.  Hypoallergenic dogs can range from $500 to $5000.  Much like any other regular breed.  They do tend to be around the $1200 mark when getting from a breeder. 


What are the popular hypoallergenic dog breeds?

Some of the most popular hypoallergenic dog breeds are Poodle, Portuguese water dog, Maltese, Bichon Frise, Schnauzer, Chinese Crested, Irish water dog, Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Cairn Terrier, and Italian Greyhound.  All these breeds differ in size and temperament.  Some are better with families such as the Labradoodle, and Goldendoodle.  Some are small in size such as the Bichon Frise, and the Cairn Terrier.  You will want to do your research on what breed is best for your lifestyle.  

It is important to remember that even though these dogs are deemed hypoallergenic they could cause some allergens.  They will not be the cure all.  They do however give people with allergies a chance to be pet owners with less likelihood of having an allergic reaction.  They can also allow someone in the family who has pet allergies to enjoy the dog in the same manner as the rest of the family.  Hypoallergenic dogs cause fewer allergic reactions due to their coat type.