Nonallergenic Dog? Not Really - The New York Times
Hypoallergenic classification schemes yielded no statistically significant differences between reportedly hypoallergenic and nonhypoallergenic dogs when considered as either the percentage of homes with detectable dog allergen levels or as the level of dog allergen in homes where it was measurable. When dogs were restricted from the room sampled for Can f 1, homes with hypoallergenic dogs had consistently higher levels of Can f 1, although these differences were not statistically significant. In homes where the dog was allowed in the bedroom, Can f 1 levels were slightly lower for homes with hypoallergenic dogs in three of the four schemes, but these differences also did not achieve statistical significance. Can f 1 levels did not appear to be highly influenced by dog characteristics such as weight or ownership variables such as time spent indoors.
Just as there is no hypoallergenic dog, there isn’t a breed of cat that is allergen-free. Even the hairless Sphynx breed has dander and saliva proteins, which are the real culprits when it comes to pet allergies. That said, there are some cat breeds that shed more hair, and hair can carry and spread dander around the house. “If you have a Himalayan or Persian, you may have more problems because you’re going to have so much fur. It comes out in clumps,” says Dr. Kershaw-McLennan.
Despite the public interest in hypoallergenic dogs, few scientific, including epidemiological studies have attempted to evaluate claims of hypoallergenicity. This study was designed to determine whether dog breeds reported as hypoallergenic correspond to lower dog allergen in the home versus nonhypoallergenic dogs.Dog allergen levels specific to the four hypoallergenic classification schemes are shown in , stratified by whether the dog was allowed in the room where the sample was collected. For homes with detectable dog allergen levels, these dog allergen levels did not differ between homes with hypoallergenic dogs versus homes with nonhypoallergenic dogs for any of the four classification schemes, regardless of whether the dog was allowed in the baby's bedroom (all, p > 0.05). Because each home had the same amount of surface area vacuumed for Can f 1 quantification, we were also able to assess for differences in hypoallergenic status by micrograms of Can f 1 per square foot. For homes with detectable allergen levels, there was no difference in weight of Can f 1 per square foot by any of the hypoallergenic schemes (p > 0.20, data not shown). After adjusting for whether the dog was allowed in the baby's bedroom, weight of the dog, length of dog ownership, time the dog was indoors daily, the floor surface assessed for dog allergen, and location of residence, no hypoallergenic scheme was significantly associated with dog allergen level (p > 0.20, data not shown).A web search was conducted to identify breeds cited as hypoallergenic. Four separate classification schemes using combinations of purebred and mixed breed dogs were used to compare the levels of Canis familiaris 1 in dust samples collected from homes with hypoallergenic versus nonhypoallergenic dogs from an established birth cohort. "I feel guilty when I think about how much relief I felt," he says. "I would never consider getting a cat again -- I'm a total dog person now and I have no allergies to dogs." Despite these noteworthy findings, there are a few limitations worth mentioning. The amount of time the dog spent in the baby's bedroom (the floor surface assessed for Can f 1) was not collected and this variable may have confounded the association if type of breed was associated with time in the bedroom. Capturing time the dog spent in the baby's bedroom would have clarified whether hypoallergenic status is related to Can f 1 or merely a dose–response effect related to amount of time the dog was allowed in the bedroom. Having larger sample sizes may also have provided the ability to more precisely assess whether hypoallergenic dogs disperse less Can f 1 in their surroundings than nonhypoallergenic dogs.However, there are quite a few non allergic dog breeds out there which are worth considering if you really don't want to miss out on the faithful companionship of man's best friend.