No one likes allergies. Waking up with watery eyes, a runny nose, itchy skin, or a rash is not the best way to start your day. Allergies can lead to a weakened immune system which can cause increased cold incidences or asthma symptoms. Allergies occur when an allergen (a harmless substance that causes allergic reactions) is mistakenly identified as harmful and foreign by the immune system, leading to the expulsion of the allergen.
The immune system’s response is what causes the unpleasant symptoms and weakened immune system. Unfortunately, the rate of allergies are increasing every year. Pet allergies are one of the most common allergies today. In fact, up to 30% of people in the United States are allergic to dogs and/or cats; people are allergic to other animals, but cats and dogs are just the most common household pets.
Regardless of allergies, many people are still obtaining household pets. The American Pet Product Association (APPA) national pet owners survey of 2015 and 2016 reported that 44% of American households own at least one dog, 35% own at least one cat, and 75% of all households own at least one pet.
It makes sense. Who wouldn’t want a furry friend to love unconditionally? Yet, this also indicates people with pet allergies are still getting pets.
Some breeds tend to be tolerated better by dog allergen sufferers than others. These dog breeds are considered to be ‘hypoallergenic’. However, no breed is 100% hypoallergenic.
The source of your pet allergy is the first thing to understand about getting a pet if you have pet allergies. A common misconception is that pet allergies come from the pet’s fur or hair, but this is not true. Pet allergies can derive from a variety of sources. Sometimes pet allergies come from pollen, mold, and other outdoor allergens that have collected on the dog’s fur.
People with true pet allergies are often allergic to the proteins in dander (the flakes of dead skin similar to human dandruff) urine, or saliva. These proteins are the allergen in this case. Allergic dander occurs regardless of short hair length or infrequent shedding. This is why no breed is 100% hypoallergenic. You may now be wondering: Are Yorkies hypoallergenic? Lucky for you, Yorkies are.
Reasons Why Yorkies are Considered Hypoallergenic
Yorkies are a small breed. On average, a Yorkie will weigh about 7 pounds. The size of a dog directly correlates to allergen exposure. The bigger the dog breed, the more allergy-causing proteins produced and released.
You may also be asking yourself: Do Yorkies shed? Fortunately, you don’t have worry about your Yorkshire Terrier shedding. A Yorkie’s hair grows similarly to the hair on a human head; therefore, the hair will fall off once it becomes old and needs to be replaced by a new hair.
The low amount of shedding is significant because allergy-causing proteins are attached to the hair, and thus heavy-shedders disperse the allergens more often.
As a result, low-shedding breeds tend to release less dander than heavy-shedding breeds. Furthermore, a Yorkie’s dander rate is determined to be low in general.
Reducing Pet Allergies
For those that have bad allergies or want to take some extra precautions, here are some ways to reduce allergic reactions:
- Train your Yorkie not to lick people
- Bathe your Yorkie regularly—preferably by a person without allergies. Once a week is sufficient
- Trim your Yorkie’s hair regularly
- Use an air filtration system—at least during the night when you’re sleeping
- Apply allergen-reducing hair products or shampoos
- A variety of household products reduce dander (ie: lime juice or apple cider vinegar)
- Use allergen-reducing home products
- Consider using supplements or a diet that helps reduce dander—make sure your veterinarian approves
- Habitually vacuum, sweep, and mop your home—once a week is suggested
- Avoid touching face or eyes after petting or playing with your Yorkie
- Avoid buying household items that can hold allergens (ie: rugs, fabric-covered furniture, carpets, etc.)
- Avoid letting your Yorkie sleep in your room, especially on your bed