Pet allergies are extremely common. According to Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Research, 10 to 20 percent of the world’s population is allergic to cats or dogs. If you are one of the people affected by allergic reactions to animals, you know how awful they can be. You might get hives, your eyes may water or swell, or you may even have trouble breathing. If you are a pet lover and want a dog, you’re liking looking for a hypoallergenic breed. Samoyeds are frequently listed on lists of allergy-friendly dogs, but is a Samoyed hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, no. Samoyeds are not hypoallergenic. However, they may be less likely to trigger a reaction than some other breeds. Continue reading to find out more.
What causes allergic reactions with dogs?
As reported by the Mayo Clinic, a pet allergy is a reaction to an animal’s saliva, skin cells, or urine. Pet allergies are usually the result of being exposed to small, dead pieces of skin known as pet dander.
People who are allergic to cats and dogs have overly sensitive immune systems who react to foreign substances, like dander or saliva, triggering your immune system to produce antibodies. That response is what causes your hives, itchiness, or wheezing.
All dogs produce some levels of dander, and it can become airborne or collect in furniture or carpets.
Are Samoyed dogs hypoallergenic? What the research shows
Many pet shops and breeders will say Samoyeds are hypoallergenic; it’s a great selling feature. Many people are afflicted with allergies but love dogs, so the Samoyed can seem like a great fit. However, the research shows that those claims aren’t accurate.
Unfortunately, Samoyeds are not hypoallergenic. They produce dander like any other dog, which can stimulate your allergies. And because they shed so much, their hair can filter through the air, gathering dust and other allergens.
However, Samoyeds may be a good fit for you if you aren’t very sensitive, or if you only have a reaction to dog saliva rather than dander.
With their thick double coats, the dander stays closer to the Samoyed’s body. And, the Samoyed was specifically bred not to drool, so you aren’t likely to have an allergic reaction to their saliva. For people mildly affected by dander or saliva, the Samoyed may be a better option than other types of dogs.
However, you may find that grooming a Samoyed causes an allergic reaction, even if you’re otherwise fine around them. When you brush out the coat or blow dry it, you’ll loosen the undercoat and dander, which could cause your allergies to flare up. If you decide to get a Samoyed, plan ahead and wear a mask when grooming or take medication ahead of time (make sure to talk to your doctor before taking any medication!). As soon as you’re finished brushing or drying your dog, take a shower to wash off the dander and hair that may have attached itself to you.
Are any dogs really hypoallergenic?
If you’re disappointed to find out that Samoyeds aren’t hypoallergenic, you may be considering other breeds. Other dogs like the poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, and the Maltese are frequently included in lists of hypoallergenic breeds. However, if you are sensitive to allergens, you should know that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America says that a hypoallergenic dog doesn’t really exist.
In fact, the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy published a study where researchers investigated different dog characteristics and the allergen levels in their homes. The study aimed to see if the so-called hypoallergenic breeds caused fewer allergens to accumulate or not. Researchers looked at dust samples and how often the dog was inside the home. The results? There was no statistical difference in the amount of allergens between homes with hypoallergenic dogs and homes with non-hypoallergenic dogs.
How to find out if you’re allergic to Samoyeds
Is a Samoyed hypoallergenic? As you’ve found out above, Samoyed are not hypoallergenic. However, they may be less likely to cause allergic reactions than some other breeds. So how can you find out if you’re affected by them or not? The only way to be sure is to spend time with them. Look for a reputable Samoyed breeder near you and ask if you can meet their dogs; many breeders are happy to meet prospective owners and educate you on the breed. Or, you can look for breed clubs in your area on MeetUp or Facebook and meet some neighbors with Samoyeds. It’s a good idea to do your homework ahead of time so you don’t end up miserable with a dog that makes you ill.
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