The question of hypoallergenic vs. non-shedding has become a question of great debate in the dog world. Many people ask, “Isn’t hypoallergenic and non-shedding the same thing?” Yes and no….
These terms have been used interchangeably for over a decade. When thinking of allergens, it is commonly believed that dog hair is the biggest trigger for allergic reactions. However, the reaction is actually caused by pet dander. Dander is the flecks of skin shed by dogs and other animals that attaches to pet hair. Thus, allergens found on our pets are triggered by dander, not the fur. So whether a dog is hypoallergenic (low shedding) or “non-shedding” they can certainly still release dander into the air.
Further, allergens do not solely come from dander. Allergens can also originate in proteins found in your pet’s saliva and urine. The most common symptoms are red or itchy patches of skin after being licked by a dog. These proteins can also be carried onto your furniture, rugs, upholstery, etc., if your dog sneezes or if they climb on furniture or roll around on the carpet after coming inside from taking a “potty” break.
What are common signs of allergens towards pets?
Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person. Allergic reactions are determined by your own body’s chemical make-up. However, there are signs and symptoms that are common in most all allergy sufferers. They include:
• Itchy and watery eyes
• Sneezing or nasal congestion
• Wheezing, as a trigger of asthma
• Itching or redness of the skin
• Eczema or atopic dermatitis
Contributing factors that make a breed hypoallergenic or less likely to cause allergic reactions in allergy sufferers are considered to make a dog hypoallergenic. Let us be clear, no dog is totally hypoallergenic. Hypo means less, not non. Hypoallergenic dogs tend to shed less since they do not have an undercoat and have hair, not fur. But just like humans, these animals will still lose hair. Since these dogs have significantly less shedding they are deemed safer for allergy sufferers.
What are popular hypoallergenic dogs?
To begin, all dogs shed. Much like the term hypoallergenic this is a created marketing ploy. There are dogs that shed much less than other dogs and therefore drop less allergen creating dander into the environment. The ever popular Poodle is at the top of this list and has been bred with dozens of other breeds to create mixed “hypoallergenic or non-shedding” pups.
What are popular “non-shedding” dogs?
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