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15 to 30 percent of the U.S. population is allergic to cats or dogs, which can be devastating to a family who wants to bring a loving pet into their home. The tug of war between dealing with itchy eyes, sneezing (or even more severe reactions) and wanting to complete your family with a furry friend can be really hard, but the Allergen All-Star Pet Awards are here to help families concerned about allergens find the perfect companion. The awards recognize the top 11 animals that produce lower allergen levels, which can often be found in pet dander, saliva and urine.
If you and your family were wanting to extend your family with a pet but haven’t yet due to allergies, you are in luck! The following is a great list of animals that will not only keep you company but also keep you and your family safer.
Top 11 Low Allergen Pets
Bedlington Terrier – a breed of small dog with curly, woolly coats named after the mining town of Bedlington in North East England. It is known to be allergen-friendly because, like other terriers, the Bedlington does not shed.
Devon Rex Cat – a breed of intelligent, short-haired cat from England. They are known for their slender bodies, wavy coats, and large ears. Rex cats shed little hair and have short fur.
Iguana – animals with scaly skin, like iguanas or other lizards, don’t produce allergens and are truly hypoallergenic.
Irish Water Spaniel – a breed of dog that is the largest and one of the oldest of spaniels with a water-repellant curly coat and signature “rat tail.” Their coats are similar to poodles, which have less hair and dander.
Italian Greyhound – a very old European breed with long, powerful legs and a slim build. This breed is on the American Kennel Club’s suggested list for allergy sufferers due to their thin coats, which makes them easier to keep clean with baths.
Javanese Cat – a breed of domestic cat recognized as a show cat with a long, elegant build. Although classified as an oriental longhair cat, this breed has no undercoat and therefore less fur to shed. Even cats with little fur do shed to some degree.
Labradoodle – a crossbred dog with wiry to soft and straight, wavy, or curly hair created by crossing the Labrador Retriever and the Standard or Miniature Poodle. In a 2012 study of allergen levels in homes, homes with Labradoodles had the lowest allergen levels in floor dust compared to homes with other dogs.
Labrador Retriever – one of several kinds of retriever that is athletic and playful, and is the most popular breed registered in the United States. Studies have shown that Labradors have lower allergen levels than other breeds. Dogs that swim frequently, like Labradors, also have lower allergen concentrations in their hair.
Maltese – a small breed of dog originating in the central Mediterranean area with a long and silky coat and no undercoat. Small dogs are likely to generate less allergens due to their size. The Maltese is listed on the American Kennel Club’s list of breeds suggested for allergy sufferers.
Schnauzer – a dog breed that originated in Germany with a distinctively bearded snout. Their top coat is wiry, while the undercoat is soft. While this breed does shed, it has been touted by many as a good breed for people concerned about allergens.
Yorkshire Terrier – a small dog breed of terrier type with glossy, fine, straight, and silky hair. Yorkies are small and do not shed much and therefore are less likely to produce large amounts of allergens. Terriers do require frequent grooming, so family members who are sensitive to allergens should allow someone that is not sensitive to groom the dog.
Other recommendations for helping to reduce exposure to pet allergens includes frequently washing furniture covers, keeping pets outside and using a HEPA certified vacuum cleaner and a HEPA air purifier. Adding an air purifier to your home can help clear the air by capturing microscopic airborne allergens.
We love the air purifiers from Honeywell because Honeywell True HEPA Air Purifiers are the #1 allergist-recommended brand and feature multiple cleaning levels for “Germs,” “Allergens”, “General Clean” and a “Turbo” setting for faster air cleaning and odor reduction. I keep mine in our living room for daily use, and we turn it up to Turbo when dinner smells seem to be lingering (Love that feature!). Keeping an air purifier in your home will help to keep the allergen levels lower, and even help keep your kiddos safer from those nasty sick bugs going around.
It is important to note that if someone is severely allergic to pets, they may not tolerate any breed, even one shown to have lower allergen levels. Individuals with pet allergies should consult with a physician prior to becoming a pet owner.
I was sent a Honeywell Air Purifier in order to give my honest opinion.