Humans love their pets; it’s estimated that last year in the United States approximately $58 billion dollars was spent on food, services and supplies. That figure has doubled in ten years and is expected to rise from there. Humans love their pets so much that they are not attempting to breed hypoallergenic pets for those who experience pet allergies.
Unfortunately for the hopeful, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. There are breeds which seem to produce much less allergic symptoms in individuals than other breeds, but to claim that they are hypoallergenic is disingenuous.
Many people think that the fur from a pet is the problem when it comes to allergies. Often times you’ll hear someone promise to vacuum or dust before an allergic person comes into the house. This may help with the symptoms, but is often not the actual cause of the allergy. Saliva and urine which contain protein are much more likely culprits to the allergic reaction, which in turn attach to pet dander, otherwise known as dead skin flakes.
There are some dog breeds which shed much less than others, which have caused the moniker of hypoallergenic to be attached to them. Smaller animals such as the Basenji, the Lakeland terrier, and the miniature Poodle are all dogs which shed very little. If you’re looking for a canine companion that’s a bit larger you may consider the Lagotto Romagnolo, the Peruvian Inca Orchid (which is hairless), or the standard Poodle.
No matter what the breed, keeping your pet fit and healthy is one way to cut back on allergies for both you and your canine companion. Brushing your dog out of doors will help to keep the pet dander to a minimum inside your home. Feeding your pet a healthy diet that doesn’t irritate their skin will keep the itching and scratching down, which in turn will keep the dander and fur from flying. Knowing which foods are good for your pet and which ones cause them distress will assist in keeping the vet visits to a minimum as well. Foods that contain dairy may cause stomach upsets and diarrhea. Raisins and grapes can cause kidney issues in dogs, especially when consumed in large quantities. Foods that should never be given to a dog include avocados, onions, garlic, alcohol, anything with caffeine, macadamia nuts, and anything containing Xylitol such as gum or candy. Xylitol is known to cause a spike in a dog’s insulin which in turn can cause liver failure.
If your dogs is in competition special care must be taken with their exercise regime; the more in shape the dog, the less injury they will experience. Playing tag or dodge ball, taking them on long walks with agility testing along the way such as walking along a curb or finding stairs to climb will all help your pooch to strengthen their muscles and teach them how to be agile. Every type of dog can benefit from regular exercise and should be walked at least 20 minutes, twice a day. If your dog lacks play time and exercise, it can lead to destructive behaviors such as digging holes in the yard or chewing furniture and shoes.
There’s a dog out there for everyone, even those who suffer from allergies. If you long for a dog but absolutely cannot have one in your home, consider volunteering at a local shelter where there are lots of dogs in need of loving attention.