Hypoallergenic, Allergy-Free Dogs?


I feel so sorry for families and individuals who never get to experience the tender love and joy of having a pet share their lives. So many want a dog, but can’t tolerate the allergy symptoms of sneezing and itchy, teary eyes; or worst, allergies for children with asthma can be life threatening. In recent years there has been a lot of hype about ‘allergen-free’ breeds of dogs like Labradoodles, Poodles and Airedales, because they have a different coat than many other breeds. But are they sure to not trigger your allergies? Many allergists would say, no. Dogs marketed as “allergy-free” are misleading at best.

Regardless of which kind of dog you bring into your home, it’s not his fur, but a protein found in his skin (Canis familiaris allergen 1, or “Can f1”) that causes your symptoms. Some studies have even shown the so-called ‘hypoallergenic dogs’ can actually produce even more Can f1 than some mixed breeds or mutts.

So why are some people truly better around one dog and not another? Allergists say it’s that particular dog, not its breed, they are reacting or not reacting to. Meaning, a Labradoodle with excessive dander (flaking from skin) may trigger an individual’s allergic reaction, but a Labradoodle with little to no dander may not. Importantly, the amount of dander varies from dog to dog, not from breed to breed. Fortunately, there is a lot you can do to reduce the amount of dander a dog has, such as bathing, moisturizing, diet change and treating for low thyroid if that condition exists.

Most people who suffer around a dog are actually responding to the pollen, flea dirt or anything else the dog has rolled in or has collected on his fur. If you really want to know what’s causing your issues, I recommend seeing an Allergist and consider testing to see what’s really triggering you. It may not be your dog, but even if it is an Allergist can develop a plan for you to better tolerate or even overcome your symptoms. Allergy shots in humans often have an 85-90 percent success rate for reducing symptoms. There are also alternative treatments including acupuncture that have created great results for people I know. One you may want to consider is Nambudripad's Allergy Elimination Technique.

For now, try wiping down your dog with a damp cloth when he comes inside. This should lessen your allergies and his.

And by the way, even if they are not truly “hypoallergenic,” we think Labradoodles, Poodles and Airedales are awesome!