Dog Breeds – None Are Hypoallergenic

There is a myth that some breeds of dogs are hypoallergenic.  I wish this were true, but sadly it is not.  One common view  is that dogs with continuously growing coats like poodles and bichons are less antigenic than other breeds.  Although this has some conceptual appeal, there is no scientific evidence to support it.  

As a veterinarian, I see how serious allergies are for both the animals and people involved.  Consider the following example;  A family brings a reportedly ‘hypoallergenic’ breed of dog into their home.  Initially, the allergic child experiences mild allergy symptoms.  As time goes by, the symptoms become more severe until the family is forced to get rid of the pet.  Of course, the child feels terrible and view this turn of events as being their fault.  The dog is obviously traumatized when they lose their family.  The parents also feel guilty for bringing the dog into their home in the first place. 

So, I have more to write on the topic of allergies but wanted to take this moment to discuss the notion of breeds and hypoallergenic traits.  Clearly, this is a tough condition for everyone involved.

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.