Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is the Obama's Portuguese Water Dog truly Hypoallergenic?

With all the talk about the new Obama dog being hypoallergenic, I thought
I'd try to define what they mean by hypoallergenic and what breeds seem
to be labeled as allergy-friendly. Just for clarification though:
The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) tried
Wednesday to correct misconceptions about the matter, with the announcement that there is "no truly hypoallergenic dog."

"It is a common misconception that people are allergic to a dog's hair, and
it is falsely believed that dogs that shed less will not cause a reaction,"
the academy said.

"However, allergies to pets are caused by protein found in the animal's
saliva and skin glands which gets deposited on the hair. These proteins are
carried on microscopic particles through the air as an invisible aerosol.
When inhaled, they trigger reactions in allergic people. As all dogs
secrete these proteins, there is no allergy-free dog.".

That said, there are dogs that lend themselves, if groomed correctly and in
a timely manner, to less shedding, less hair dander flying around, and then
, as a result, a reduced occurrence of the offending proteins and saliva in
the environment.

As a side note, these dogs do require more frequent grooming. Because many
of these breeds have hair that keeps growing like humans (versus falling
out once it reaches a certain length), it must be brushed or cut often or
it will get horribly matted.

Some of the breeds that are labeled as hypoallergenic are:
* Basenji *Poodle
* Bedlington Terrier *Portuguese Water Dog
* Bichon Frise *Puli
* Chinese Crested *Schnauzer
* Coton de Tulear *Shih Tzu
* Havanese *Wheaten
* Irish Water Spaniel *Yorkshire Terrier
* Kerry Blue Terrier
* Maltese

In addition, we now have the "hybrid" dogs like the labradoodle,
goldendoodle, etc. These dogs are a mix of the known "hypo" dogs and the
traditional dog. As with any mutt, it is impossible to determine how much
of each breed (parent) will be in the end result (puppy). It is
recommended that an allergy sufferer spend time with the breed considered
to check for an allergic reaction. Breeding for a hybrid is not a perfect
science by any means.

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