Allergic dog owners may be barking up the wrong tree by buying pricey hypoallergenic dog breeds.
A new study has shown that hypoallergenic dogs, which shed less and have been thought to produce less nose-tickling dander, do not in fact cause fewer allergy problems than regular dogs.
“We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen,” said Dr. Christine Cole Johnson, author of the study.
The Hypoallergenic Hype
Hypoallergenic dogs have long been marketed as allergy-friendly companions that will cause fewer cases of sniffly noses and red eyes for their owners.
Even President Obama chose a Portuguese Water Dog, a breed that has been declared hypoallergenic, because daughter Malia has allergies.
To purchase one of these puppies, though, you need to pay up. The price of a hypoallergenic dog ranges from a couple hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, depending on the breed.
Is It Just Baloney?
Don’t lose hope in hypoallergenic. There are still a few benefits to having such a dog.
The real source of pet allergies is not the fur but a protein that sticks to flakes of the pet’s skin, known as dander. Because “hypoallergenic” dogs are breeds that naturally shed less, the allergy-aggravating dander that clings to the fur doesn’t get wafted into the air or onto the floor as often as it would with a dog that sheds frequently.
So even though you can’t truly call a dog “hypoallergenic,” some breeds may indeed cause fewer allergy symptoms, simply because they don’t shed as much. So go ahead and give your labradoodle a hug—he might still make you sneeze, but at least he won’t leave so much fur on your shirt.
Want to see some really pricey puppies? Check out the eleven most expensive dog breeds.
Dog owners, read about ways to save money on your new dog.