Surprisingly, females tend to produce fewer allergens than males. So do smaller dogs. Specific breeds that are better for people with allergies include the basenji, the soft-coated wheaten terrier, the bichon frise, the poodle, schnauzer, and the Chinese crested.
Labradoodles and other poodle mixes have been touted by many breeders as causing fewer allergies. However, it's best to spend some time with one first to see how you react.
The Siberian, Devon rex, Cornish rex, and sphynx (a mostly hairless breed) are the best bets because they shed very little.
Tips to reduce reactions
- Keep the pet out of the bedroom. Designate one place for your pet to sleep and cover the area with a towel. Wash the towel weekly.
- Buy a HEPA-equipped (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter) vacuum cleaner. Also try putting cheesecloth over your child's bedroom vent to keep out allergens.
- Bathe, brush, and groom your pet regularly.
- Have your child wash their hands and face after petting or nuzzling your pet.
- If you get a pet early enough in a child's life, it may prevent the same allergies it causes. Some studies have found that kids exposed to indoor pets from infancy were less than half as likely to develop common allergies than kids who weren't exposed to pets. "It's almost like childhood immunizations," says Marty Becker, a veterinarian, and author of The Healing Power of Pets.
This article originally appeared on www.bhg.com.
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