– By Beth Green
Owner/Manager at Paws Pet Care
No no no no no. Let’s get this straight right out of the gate.
I always get a tinge of irritation inside when I hear someone say “I have allergies, so I paid $$$$$ for a “hypoallergenic” dog/cat.”
No, you didn’t. You were ripped off because there’s NO SUCH THING.
The truth is that actual scientific studies suggest hypoallergenic cats and dogs can cause just as many symptoms as the regular kind, says James Seltzer, MD, a spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. That’s because skin and saliva proteins, not just hair, trigger allergy symptoms.
The only pets proven to be hypoallergenic have scaly skin—like iguanas and snakes, he says.
Long hair, short hair NO hair….it doesn’t matter. That’s because it’s not the dog’s hair per se that causes allergies, it’s the saliva, skin, or other proteins. Allergens (particularly saliva proteins) can latch on to the hair, so less shedding in general—rather than the length of the hair—may be helpful.
In general, dog allergens are microscopic particles that can hitch a ride on other air pollutants, including cigarette smoke and particulate matter generated by traffic. Cutting down on ALL indoor air pollution can help stop the circulation of symptom-triggering allergens in your home, experts say.
Regular grooming and bathing of dogs can reduce, but not eliminate, allergens, says James Sublett, MD, section chief of pediatric allergy at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Dr. Sublett notes that if “you’re allergic to one dog, you’re allergic to all dogs.” There’s “not really any guarantee that an animal will be hypoallergenic,” he says.
While grooming a dog outside the home can help reduce allergens inside it, it can also help to “take a damp washcloth and wipe the animal down,” says Dr. Sublett.
A simple daily wipe down with a slightly soapy cloth can remove allergens as well as commercial sprays or other products that are sold as a way to reduce allergens, he says.
So….. SAVE YOUR MONEY and go pick a shelter dog or rescue from one of the many rescues here in Louisville that have many wonderful dogs that need a home!