Did you know that 3 out of 10 Americans have an allergic reaction to dogs?
You read that right: America’s favorite pet is responsible for 30% of the population’s allergies. That hasn’t stopped them from preferring Labradors over other breeds. Fortunately, dog lovers who have allergic reactions can take steps to minimize their allergies by choosing certain “hypoallergenic” breeds.
In this article, you’ll find out what a hypoallergenic dog is, how allergies affect people, and what types of breeds may be ideal if you’re interested in adopting.
What is a “hypoallergenic” dog?
If you are allergic, you are not allergic to pet hair. Pet allergies are caused by allergens that accumulate in loose hair and dander.
Dogs labeled “hypoallergenic” shed much less hair than other dogs (or not at all). Less shedding means less dander in the air, floor, or furniture, and therefore less risk of irritating existing allergies.
Knowing there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed is essential. All dogs have some level of hair and dander, even if it is at a microscopic level. A hypoallergenic canine is much less probably to motive an allergic reaction.
It depends on your sensitivity to allergies. Even hypoallergenic breeds may not be suitable for you.
What causes allergies in dogs?
Unfortunately, it’s the pet hair that makes life with dogs difficult for allergy sufferers. Once the hair is shed, the allergens can remain in the air and on furniture for years. When an allergic person encounters this dander, it can irritate their eyes, nose, and throat.
But humans have lived with dogs for thousands of years, so why are some people more allergic to dogs than others?
It all depends on each person’s specific immune system, which fights foreign substances. A standard immune system has no problem filtering out dander and allergens, even when dogs shed a lot. However, people with sensitive immune systems react to proteins in the animal’s urine, saliva, and dander.
Common symptoms of dog allergies
There are numerous signs of puppy allergies, including
Sneezing or runny nose
Itchy eyes, nose, or throat
Swollen face or facial pain
You should see your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms when you are around a pet. While pet-related allergies cannot be cured entirely, your doctor can help you treat them, making them easier to control when you are around pet dander.
Labradors are America’s favorite dogs. If you’re one of the thousands of people considering getting one in your home, you may have asked yourself, “Are Labradors hypoallergenic?” or “Are Labradors suitable for people with allergies?”
Are Labradors hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, Labradors shed frequently, which means they are not hypoallergenic. Since allergens accumulate in animals’ dander, it is almost inevitable that an allergic person will live in peace with an animal that sheds a lot.
How often do Labradors shed?
Although almost all dogs shed to some degree, Labradors shed heavily at two times of the year: spring and fall. As the weather begins to warm up, Labradors shed their dense winter coats to adapt to the warmer temperatures of spring and summer.
Later, when it gets colder, Labradors fill out their winter coats to stay warm even in freezing temperatures. Between these two months, Labradors also need frequent brushing and grooming.
How to manage Labrador shedding
All Labrador owners know the amount of shedding that comes with owning a Labrador, so much so that they may be tempted to shave.
(It’s important to know that shaving your Labrador’s coat can be very dangerous to his health, as the hair follicles in the double coat will not grow back correctly.)
) Fortunately, there are other ways to control your Labrador’s shedding to reduce dander in the home.
Simply giving your Labrador a warm bath every month or two is sufficient. However, bathing your Labrador more frequently during shedding periods will help eliminate dander, loose hair, and allergens.
Combined with regular shampooing and brushing, hot baths are the best way to reduce the amount of dandruff and Labrador allergens in your home.
Change in diet
Sometimes dogs shed excessively when their dietary needs are not met. Try to familiarize yourself with the main ingredients in your Labrador’s food and be able to identify whole ingredients, such as meat and vegetables.
In addition, making sure your Labrador receives enough vitamins, minerals, and nutrients can contribute to a healthy coat. A good food supplement can also help keep your Labrador’s coat healthy.
If you had to choose between vacuuming your Labrador’s coat several times or brushing it daily, you’d probably choose to brush.
And that’s a good thing: Labradors benefit from daily brushing to keep their coats clean, healthy, and debris-free. Plus, regular brushing reduces the need for frequent vacuuming.
Four alternative dog breeds that are suitable for allergy sufferers
While there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs, many breeds are well-suited for people who have allergic reactions to hair.
Finding a hypoallergenic dog requires a lot of research. However, it’s essential to stick to dog breeds that don’t shed much and are, therefore, less likely to produce allergens.
Some of the most popular dog breeds and sub-breeds are perfect for allergy sufferers.
Breed #1: Terriers
Because of their rough, wiry coats, terriers are excellent breeds for allergy sufferers. Not all terriers (like Jack Russells) are hypoallergenic. So here are some sub-breeds of terriers that are less likely to cause allergies:
Bedlington Terrier: They were initially bred for hunting, but that doesn’t show in their affectionate, good-natured personality.
Kerry Blue Terrier: The Kerry Blue Terrier is a robust and dedicated dog bred initially for small games. These lean but muscular dogs make an adorable family pets because they are patient and gentle.
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier: With its silky coat, the Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is an intelligent, playful, and affectionate dog that loves to play a lot.
Breed #2: Schnauzers
Schnauzers come in all shapes and sizes and make excellent hypoallergenic pets. Schnauzers hardly shed at all because their hair is constantly growing. The only care they need is bathing, brushing, and haircuts.
If you’re considering adopting a schnauzer for your hypoallergenic home, take a look at these sub-breeds:
Giant Schnauzers: Giant schnauzers are large, energetic, loyal, obedient, and hard-working dogs, which means they’re great for exercising and protecting the home.
Standard Schnauzers: A combination of their giant and miniature cousins, standard schnauzers are playful, lively, and devoted dogs that make excellent pets.
Miniature Schnauzers: Miniature Schnauzers are very small in comparison to their large cousin, the Giant Schnauzer. They are intelligent, obedient, friendly, and energetic animals.
Breed #3: Poodle
Poodles may seem characterized by their thick, curly coats, but they are excellent dogs for new owners with allergies. Because their coats don’t shed, this dog breed is ideal for allergy sufferers. On the other hand, poodles have constant hair growth and require frequent grooming, such as haircuts.
If you’re interested in adding a poodle to your home, take a look at these breeds:
Standard Poodle: the largest of the breed, the Standard Poodle makes an excellent pet and is very alert, brave, and protective.
Miniature Poodle: Like other miniature dogs, miniature poodles are much smaller than their standard counterpart but have very similar personalities.
Toy Poodle: Toy Poodles are the smallest of the breed, making them the perfect pocket-sized breed for allergy sufferers who want a small dog.
Breed #4: Hairless breeds
Although limited in number, some hairless breeds in the United States provide less hair than other hypoallergenic dogs. However, it is essential to remember that hairless dogs do not mean they will not have allergic reactions, as allergies can be triggered by dander and saliva.
For those who want to minimize the risk of allergies when around a dog, it may be wise to opt for hairless breeds, such as:
American Hairless Terrier: These small dogs were initially bred in the 1970s in Louisiana to hunt pests such as mice and rats. Today, these small to medium-sized dogs are known for their hairless bodies, making them allergic pets for many dog lovers. American Hairless Terriers are known for their affectionate, curious, and alert personalities.
Chinese Crested Dog: The Chinese Crested Dog is a unique, hairless dog that can be bred with or without hair around the face. These affectionate, gentle-tempered dogs are excellent for those who want a small, hypoallergenic puppy, as they usually weigh no more than 4.5 kilos.
Xoloitzcuintli: Xoloitzcuintlis, or simply Xolos, are one of the oldest dogs in the world. The Aztecs bred them in Mexico nearly 3,500 years ago. Today, they are independent, calm companions weighing anywhere from 13 to 55 pounds, depending on their genetics.
Labradors are lovely pets, so when allergy sufferers want to add one to their family, it’s a good idea to ask, “Are Labradors hypoallergenic?”
Adopting a Labrador may not be a good idea if you suffer from pet-related allergies. Because of their thick, double coats and constant shedding, these dogs produce allergens that can trigger a reaction.
Even if a Labrador isn’t the right choice for you, you shouldn’t lose hope: depending on the severity of your allergies, you can still have a dog without problems if you adopt a hypoallergenic breed. Although hypoallergenic means the dog still has some hair, his allergic reaction to dander will be less severe or less frequent. Better yet, his allergies may not even appear.