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Allergies and Dogs

by Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH

Thinking of getting a high-priced pooch that won’t cause you or your allergic kids to sniffle and sneeze? You may be better off getting a lower-priced, equally lovable pound pet. Contrary to popular belief, so-called hypoallergenic dogs are not associated with lower household allergen levels than other dogs, according to the results of a recent study at Henry Ford Hospital.*

For the study, researchers set out to determine whether hypoallergenic dogs actually produce lower levels of dog allergens in their owners’ homes than other dogs. According to urban legend, hypoallergenic dogs shed less and produce less dander. After examining the data, the research team found “no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen.”

So much for that!

The good news is that having a dog—of any breed—might help reduce dog allergies in children. Based on previous studies conducted by researchers at Henry Ford, exposure to dogs early in a child’s life provides protection against the development of dog allergies. Even better, kids love dogs, and vice versa. If you’re thinking of getting a canine for your kids to love, you don’t have to wait till you can afford an expensive dog that supposedly won’t make you sneeze. Take your children on an adventure to your local animal shelter, and rescue an adorable, lovable pound puppy instead.

* Published in the July 2011 issue of the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy.


The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.