The myth of hypoallergenic dogs and cats

There is lack of evidence to describe any dog breed as hypoallergenic.  A recent article sampled dog hair and coat, settled floor dust, and airborne samples. It demonstrated that hypoallergenic dogs such as labradoodle, poodle, Spanish waterdog, and Airedale terrier, are no less allergenic than any other dogs. Can f 1 (dog allergen protein) levels are significantly high in hair and coat samples of “hypoallergenic dogs”.  A similar study in July 2011, demonstrated that dog allergen levels in homes of hypoallergenic versus nonhypoallergenic dogs had no significant difference.

High levels of Can f 1 are found in settled dust in carpets, upholstered furnishings, pillows and blankets in homes. Can f 1 is present in classrooms, airplanes, automobiles, hospitals and even households without dogs.

The main cat allergen, Fel d 1 is also widely dispersed in indoor environments. As the prevalence of household pets has increased, so has the incidence of allergic disease. 

Pet owners should train their pets to stay out of bedrooms and beds.  The most allergen exposure is while sleeping. Patients with dog or cat allergy should avoid getting pets as there is no such animal as a hypoallergenic dog or cat.

Author Saraleen Benouni, MD Dr. Benouni specializes in the treatment of asthma, allergies, atopic dermatitis, and immune disorders for both adults and children. She has presented and published research at national allergy meetings and has authored papers on drug allergies and skin conditions. She is a member of the American College and American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, and the Los Angeles Society of Allergy, Asthma, and Clinical Immunology.



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