When one thinks of hypoallergenic pets, chances are cats, dogs, and other animals with hair are typically not at the top of the list. If a family member suffers from allergies, the family pet may be a lizard, fish, or other animal without this feature. This doesn't have to be the case though. Some dogs and cats are considered to be hypoallergenic. It's just a matter of getting the right breed.
The fur is actually not the cause of allergies. Dogs secrete a material through the skin glands. The purpose of this secretion is to keep the fur smooth. In order to find a truly hypoallergenic dog, one must find a breed that does not produce this secretion. As this is not going to happen, one should look for a dog that sheds less as the fur carries this secretion along with it when it sheds.
Here are some breeds that fall into this category:
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Italian Greyhound
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Schnauzer to include Giant, Standard, or Miniature
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Xoloitcuintli or Mexican Hairless
Cats, on the other hand, transmit an allergen though their saliva. Hair length and shedding patterns are less of a problem as they are often unrelated to the personal grooming of the cat. Some breeds appear to produce less of this allergen though and these are the breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic. If you dream of having a cat, you may wish to purchase one of the following breeds:
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Russian Blue
As people differ in terms of their allergies, it is best to spend time with any animal before introducing it into your home. This will give you time to determine if the pet will be a good fit for you and your medical condition. Once the animal has come into your home, you can take further steps to reduce the chances or an allergy or asthma attack. Have him groomed regularly. Grooming should include bathing, brushing, and trimming to be of the most use. Speak to your medical practitioner to see if he feels any other precautions need to be taken to reduce your risk. Having a hypoallergenic pet may be possible, but only if you follow the above steps.
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