In the past, it was thought that people who were allergic to animals could not own pets. But thanks to recent findings, that notion has been proved wrong. Although people who suffer from pet allergies may not be able to mingle with pets as much as other people, they can still own a pet and take care to see that they health is not adversely affected by this. In a previous post, I wrote about pet allergies and how to take care of them. In this post, I shall go one step further and talk about which hypoallergenic breeds are best for pet lovers with allergies.
Pet allergies in humans are caused by the allergens that come off from the animal’s dead skin, saliva, feces, urine, blood etc. While there are no breeds that are completely allergen free, some breeds of cats and dogs have been found to shed less allergen. These are called hypoallergenic breeds and it is these breeds that most people go for, if they suffer from pet allergies. The best example would be the first dogs of the United States of America, Bo and Sunny. These are the hypoallergenic dogs of the Portuguese Water Dog breed that President Barack Obama opted for since his daughter Malia suffers from allergies. Some other hypoallergenic breeds are as follows:
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
- Portuguese Water Dog
This is a dog which is very well known for being an exceptional swimmer and diver. It is a medium sized dog which is physically active and intelligent. It can make a great pet as it responds well to obedience training and is good with children. But it is necessary that these dogs receive constant exercise to keep them calm.
Poodles are not only proud dogs but also smart and physically active. Thus they make good runners and walkers as they always like to keep themselves busy. They are excellent at obedience training. There are sub breeds of poodles which come in three different sizes. Just like the Portuguese Water Dog, even Poodles need regular and proper exercise and grooming.
- Irish Water Spaniel
These dogs are the tallest in the Spaniel family. Known to be a ‘family dog’, the Irish Water Spaniel can be good with children and other dogs if it is trained properly. Otherwise, it appears to be a little reserved and quiet, barking only when needed. It always has the desire to please and that makes it a quick learner of tricks. It is also a good swimmer.
Maltese are small sized dogs with a long silky coat of fur. They are extremely lively and playful and they prefer to be around their master at all times. Although they are gentle and loving on one hand, on the other hand they are very smart and brave. They like to remain outdoors and their coats need to be brushed daily. They are termed as the perfect companion dog.
Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds
Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. Even among cats, there are different factors that determine allergies. For example, males produces more allergenic secretions than females, dark cats produce cause more allergenic reactions than light colored cats and also, intact cats are more allergenic than neutered cats. Therefore it is always a safe bet for people who suffer from allergies to get a light colored female cat. Otherwise, hypoallergenic breeds can be adopted, namely,
- Russian Blue
These are medium sized, very good looking cats with a muscular physique. They are playful and do not tire easily. They are also quite well behaved and gets along well with children. They like the company of human being and may appear to be hurt when they are ignored. However, these cats do not respond well to change and tend to overeat. Therefore, such things should be taken care of.
Ranked as one of the most intelligent of cat breeds, the Balinese are quite active, playful and good natured. They make very good hypoallergenic pets as they shed less of the Fel D1 protein, which is an allergen. Not only do they gel well with children and elders but also with other animals. They liked to be around their master and are said to be able to sense their emotions.
Having a striking resemblance to the leopard, the Bengal cat is muscular and athletic in its build. It is good at hunting as it is of wild lineage. It is highly energetic and prefers to be in the company of children more than that of adults, as it enjoys playing a lot. It is also easy to tame although it is not one to be petted at all times.
These hypoallergenic breeds come as a boon to the pet crazy people who have allergies to animals. Although they might not be completely free from allergens, they certainly are safer than most other breeds. Thus, people with allergies prefer to own such breeds rather than others.