One of the biggest myths about dog allergies is that you’re more likely to experience allergic symptoms around long haired dogs. But, the truth is – you can be severely allergic to dogs with long hair, short hair or no hair at all! Here’s another myth you might not know about.
The Myth of Hypoallergenic Dogs
There are a few discussions floating around on the internet right now about “hypoallergenic” dogs. These are supposedly dogs that people who suffer from that awful allergic affliction can snuggle up with without experiencing severe symptoms. The thought does sound nice. Imagine being able to pet your furry companion without the sneeze attacks, itchy red skin and watery eyes. Unfortunately, there is not enough scientific evidence to support that these “hypoallergenic” dog breeds actually exist because there are so many variables.
What breeds are we allergic to?
Allergic protein production occurs in the dander and saliva of all dogs. Naturally, as the epidermis or outer layer of skin renews itself, it produces dander to be released into the environment. The epidermis of a dog is thin, and made up of many layers of cells that constantly push upward replacing the cells above. Every 21 days or so, during this renewal process, the dead cells flake off and leave dander behind – often lingering in the air.
At this point, I’m starting to question the logic. Multiple sources online have grouped dogs from the following breeds into the “hypoallergenic” category:
What is it that makes these breeds “hypoallergenic”?
This epidermal renewal period that every dog experiences is different depending on the breed. Dog’s that are groomed more frequently typically experience cell turnover every 3 to 4 days, as opposed to normal dogs who’s cell turnover occurs every 21 days. Wouldn’t that mean the 5 dog breeds listed above (renown for requiring regular grooming appointments) produce new dander more frequently than others? Based on the information I’ve read online, I might consider the Miniature Dachshund more hypoallergenic compared to the “extra flakey” Poodle (no offense poodles). Cocker spaniels also fall into the more appropriate category of “extra flakey”, prone to more dry skin afflictions.
Veterinarian’s reading this help me out here. Or if anyone has more reliable information please help me clear this up! I’m sure there are a lot of itchy folks out there with severe pet allergies searching for answers.
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