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Monday, June 21, 2010

ASK THE VET: Dog Breed Choices that Minimize Allergies

© reader S.C. photo copyright on file, all rights reserved
Trevor and Flo: Lovable, but...
Not Your Best Allergy Choices
Hello Dr. Jacki:

My son has some allergies, but our family wants to adopt a dog. We have heard about some that are better than others for allergies, but would like to get some advice. Can you recommend a few breeds that are less likely to cause him problems? We could visit a breeder to see how he reacts to the animals there. Is that a good strategy?

Thanks, DG

Dear DG,

There are some breeds that seem to cause less allergic reaction in people.  These breeds would be Poodles and some terriers, Maltese, Boxers, Pugs and Bichon Frise just to name a few…..

People are not allergic to the hair of the dog but instead to a protein from the dog’s saliva (that is usually on the coat from grooming themselves).  So bathing a dog once a week or every other week really cuts down on the allergy issue. 

With that being said, it is also important to keep any dog well groomed.  Dogs can carry pollens on their coats from outside and they can bring them inside. 

While it is possible to get a response from your son if you take him to the breeder, it doesn’t always work that way.  Your son may be allergic to tree pollen that is on the dog’s coat and that is why he is sneezing.  It is tough to say.  It  may help to talk to an allergist as well.  Good luck!

Dr. Jacki, D.V.M.
ASK THE VET on All Things Dog Blog

For more information on Dr. Jacki and her practice, you may find her at 4 Paws House Calls. A personal appointment will likely provide more specific information on your dog and your specific questions.
Dr. Jacki's opinion or advice does not replace an actual exam with a veterinarian.

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Thanks to S.C. for sharing her beautiful Golden Retriever, Trevor, and her Sheltie, Flo, as today's 'cover dogs'. 


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