It is all too common for a dog lover’s desire to have their own pup be damaged by their own allergic reaction to canines. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as much as 10% of the population in the U.S. is allergic to dogs. Fortunately, there is some hope to be able to own a dog of your own thanks to the existence of hypoallergenic breeds.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Before we can understand the term hypoallergenic, we must first know what an allergy is. Allergies occur when your immune system tries to fight off an unknown pathogen. Dog allergies, specifically, are a reaction to a protein found in canine saliva and skin cells, which can be found in the animal’s dander. This dander shakes loose as the dog moves about and is the primary cause of contactless allergic reactions.
Hypoallergenic dogs, on the other hand, may be the answer for those who suffer this affliction. Such breeds are low-shedding, meaning there is less hair and dander released into your environment to aggravate your allergies. However, it is important to note that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic as all dogs must shed some of their fur. However, hypoallergenic breeds offer some relief.
Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, if you had your eye on a Cocker Spaniel as your hypoallergenic pup of choice you will be disappointed to learn that this is not a hypoallergenic breed. In fact, the Cocker Spaniel’s flowing coat is one of the reasons it is such a popular breed. It is a silky, flat coat that is somewhat wavy and comes in an array of colors including black, cream and deep red. However, this gorgeous fur tends to shed significantly more than average and requires frequent grooming in order to stay healthy.
Other Hypoallergenic Breeds
Fortunately, there are a number of breeds to choose from when it comes to finding a hypoallergenic companion. These breeds include:
- Afghan Hound
- American Hairless Terrier
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Coton de Tulear
- Giant Schnauzer
- Irish Water Spaniel
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Miniature Schnauzer
- Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Spanish Water Dog
- Standard Schnauzer
There are also a number of ways you can minimize the effects of the allergens your dog produces. First, be sure to regularly wash your pet’s bed and any blankets he lays with. You will also want to clean your home often and you may find it helpful to remove heavy rugs or curtains which can trap dander.
In addition, keep up with your pet’s grooming. This is true for both regular and hypoallergenic breeds as it will help to minimize the presence of dander. Finally, as tempting as it may be, do not let your furry friend sleep in bed with you. If you do, your bedding will be covered in dander that is the source aggravating your allergies.
While living with a dog allergy can be disheartening for canine lovers, it is still possible to own a dog despite your sensitive towards them. It is true that hypoallergenic breeds help to minimize allergic reactions, however, if your dog allergy is mild, you may be able to own a non-hypoallergenic breed by being diligent in the care of your home and pup. To be clear, your hopes of owning a Cocker Spaniel are not completely dashed if you suffer from dog allergies.