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Dogs for Kids Who Have Allergies

by Tania Cowling | May 20th, 2015 | Elementary, Social

greyhound (400x400)I love dogs but my nose says otherwise and the same with my kids who have allergies. But, this doesn’t always mean you can’t have a pet. We have been adopting Greyhounds and this dog is working well with us. The allergic reactions to pets can be anywhere from skin rashes to respiratory issues, but there are ways to combat these problems. Work with your doctor and veterinarian to find a breed that you and the kids may tolerate. Pets teach children about love and also to care for another being.

Now, there has been a question as to whether a shorthaired dog is safer from causing allergies than long hair. There are some dogs whose fur is more like hair and that don’t shed dander. These skin flakes can cause allergic reactions in people. So, it’s not actually the length of the fur, it’s the amount of dander and the health of the dog’s skin that pose the problem. And you can’t ignore the fact that dog fur collects pollen, mold, dust, and other pollutants outdoors that are brought inside the home. We have a rule to brush the dog’s fur before he enters the house after playing outside.

My doctor also says to be realistic about having pets. You may say no pets because of mild allergies, but yet your child can go next door and play with the neighbor’s dog. It’s best to just set down some house rules about Fido’s care in an allergic family. Make sure your dog is clean, bathed, and doesn’t sleep in the bedroom. There are even special shampoos and products for pets of allergic people.

There are claims that some dog breeds do not cause allergies, but there is no truth to this statement that I could find. Even some hairless dogs create dander. But, the AKC (American Kennel Club) names a few that may pose the least problems with kids who have allergies.

Speaking of hairless breeds, the Mexican Hairless and Chinese Crested do not shed obviously. They may not win in the cutest category, but their personalities will win you over.

Poodles are known by many for not causing too many allergic problems, as their fur is more like curly hair. They produce very little dandle and hardly shed. They must be groomed periodically to prevent the matting of their hair and to keep their coat in good shape. There are purebred poodles and mixed breeds such as a Cockapoo (Poodle and Cocker Spaniel), Labradoodle (Poodle and Labrador Retriever) and the Airedoodle (Poodle and Airedale Terrier).

The Portuguese Water Dog (a dog chosen by President Obama for his allergic girls) is a close relative to the Poodle and again somewhat non-allergenic due to low dander. Now, this dog is a larger, more muscular dog ranging from 35 to 55 pounds.

And a few other breeds that may work with your family are Terriers, Maltese, Bichon Frise and Schnauzers.

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