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Cats and Dogs for Allergy Sufferers

Hairless breeds produce less allergens

Sphynx Cats are great for allergy sufferers as they are a hairless breed which produces less allergens.

Bringing a new cat or dog home can be bitter sweet for allergy suffers. A simple stroke of your new pet can leave your eyes watering, set you off on a sneezing fit and see you spending a fortune stocking your medicine cabinet with allergy medication. At least 15% of the population suffers from allergies related to dogs, cats and other furry critters and it is important to understand what triggers these allergies. The most common allergen produced by pets is dander. Contrary to popular belief, dander is not the fur or hair of the animal rather microscopic skin cells. These skin cells are often coated in saliva from your pet (usually from grooming) and saliva is what most people are allergic to.
Many people claim that there are breeds of cats or dogs that are hypoallergenic, this is not completely true. No pet is completely hypoallergenic, but there are some breeds that produce less allergens than others and incite fewer reactions in allergy sufferers.

Cats best for Allergy Suffers

  • Cornish Rex & Devon Rex cats have a very fine and soft coat that requires very little grooming. This means that there tends to be less dander released into the environment.
  • Russian Blue cats are an elegant and silky cat. They have a very dense coat that traps allergens closer to their skin, meaning less allergens are released and less allergic reactions for you!
  • Siberian cats aren’t an obvious choice with their shaggy and fluffy fur, however many allergies suffers vouch that they are indeed a great option. These cats are very intelligent and get along well with other children, dogs and cats. A lovely lap cat too.
  • Sphynx cats have a bit of a bad rap thanks to Austin Powers! Sphynx cats are very sweet-natured, affectionate and loves being the centre of attention. This hairless breed produces less allergens than most.

Interesting Note: Dark cats tend to produce more allergens than light-coloured cats and males produce more allergens than females!

Dogs best for Allergy Suffers

  • Bergamasco dogs on first appearance look like a lot of work. Their thick matted locks actually do not require too much work other than a wash every now and then. Their thick mats keep dander from being released into your home.
  • Bichon Frisé dogs need frequent grooming to prevent skin issues which also helps to prevent a lot of dander being released into the home environment. They also have a tightly curled coat that makes it harder for dander to escape.
  • Kerry Blue Terriers have a wavy coat of black and blue fur, which lacks an undercoat which means that they don’t shed a lot. These medium sized dogs are energetic and fun-loving pets that will easily fit into a family however being natural hunters that may not love living with cats.
  • Poodles have a curly coat which is hair rather than fur. Their hair lacks an undercoat and has a long growth cycle which means they shed less. Their tightly curled hair prevents dander from detaching and floating into the air.
  • Portuguese Water Dogs both look like and have a similar intelligence to poodles. Their coat grows even slower than poodles which means they don’t require frequent clipping but grooming will prevent matting and skin irritation. The Obama’s have a Portuguese water dog to accommodate Malia Obama’s allergies!

A few tips & tricks

  • Keep your pets out of rooms you spend a lot of time in, i.e. your bedroom
  • On sunny days let your pet play outside to reduce dander released in your home
  • Shampoo your pet often to reduce dander left in their coat
  • Leave the grooming to another family member
  • Wash pet bed and toys to reduce the number of allergens lurking in your air
  • Wash your hands after touching your pet.