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Allergies? No problem! These pets are allergen-friendly

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Allergies? No problem! These pets are allergen-friendly

Labrador retrievers have less allergens than other dog breeds Being an animal lover, I'm lucky I don't suffer from pet allergies. My happy household is home to two cats, and I plan on adopting a dog as well once our family can afford the space. But according to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America, 15 to 30 percent of allergy sufferers are allergic to cat and dog allergens, such as dander, fur or saliva. This often prevents prospective pet guardians from taking in cats and dogs in need of forever homes. Thankfully, I'm not prevented from living with a cat or dog, but neither are those with allergies to pet dander—they're just more limited in terms of what breeds they can be around. Granted, some people are so allergic they're not able to tolerate any breed of cat or dog. But for those with mild to moderate reactions, look no further than the Allergen All-Star Pet Awards to guide you during your pet adoption process. Conducted by Environmental Health & Engineering scientists and researchers, the list identifies the Top 11 pets for people who are allergic to such allergens. 1. Bedlington terrier. These allergen-friendly canines are known to be one of the few breeds of dogs that don't shed, meaning their curly, woolly coats won't end up all over your house. 2. Devon Rex cat. The Devon Rex is a short-haired breed of cat with wavy fur. Shedding is minimal with these English felines. 3. Irish water spaniel. Similar to poodles, this breed's coat is curly and water-repellant, making them less prone to dander. 4. Italian greyhound. The American Kennel Club recommends this old European breed to allergy sufferers. These dogs have thinner coats than their counterparts, so guardians are able to bathe them more easily, minimizing allergens. 5. Javanese cat. Their longhair coats can be deceiving, but don't let looks fool you. The Javanese has no undercoat, which results in less shedding. 6. Labradoodle. A cross between the Labrador retriever and poodle, these dogs were found to produce the least amount of allergen levels in floor dust of homes in a 2012 study. 7. Labrador retriever. A popular North American pet, Labradors are known to produce fewer allergens than other dog breeds. These canines also like to swim, which reduces the concentration of allergens in their fur. 8. Maltese. The American Kennel Club also recommends this breed, which originated in the central Mediterranean. These dogs don't have an undercoat, and their generally small size means fewer allergens. 9. Schnauzer. A wiry topcoat and soft undercoat is characteristic of this German breed, which requires a lot of grooming. Make sure someone in your household isn't allergic so they can bathe and brush the dog, or prepare to pay a professional groomer. 10. Yorkshire terrier. A small terrier with glossy, fine hair, Yorkies are small and don't shed much; therefore, they're less likely to produce large amounts of allergens. These toy-size dogs require frequent grooming, so family members who are sensitive to allergens should allow someone that is not sensitive to groom the dog. 11. Iguana. While not as cuddly as a cat or dog, pets with scaly skin (namely reptiles like iguanas or other lizards), are completely hypoallergenic. (Photo courtesy Stockvault)
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Allergies? No problem! These pets are allergen-friendly

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