Believe it or not, Dr. Hadley is allergic to pet dander! Some might wonder how she can spend all day at work working with animals and then all night with her own VERY fluffy friends (Nora and Lucy). The good news is that there's lot of options out there that can prevent, help and treat pet allergies. Which means that for most of us, we aren't condemned to live a life without a furry companion. In this segment, Dr. Hadley explores one of those options, referred to as a "Hypoallergenic" pet. Although there's some misconceptions about the term, many people with allergies tend to do well with these types of dogs. Watch the segment below to learn more.
Q: With us is Dr. Sarah Hadley from All Valley Animal Care Center and we're talking about hypoallergenic dogs-even though we have a cat here today. She is precious, and that just happens to be her name! We will talk about her in a second, but first we are going to talk about hypoallergenic dogs. What exactly does that mean?
A: The first thing, is that the word itself, "hypoallergenic." Hypo means lower or less than it does not mean "no." Meaning there is no dog that can be guaranteed to be hypoallergenic. However, there are certain dogs that certain people react less to if they are allergic to dogs.
Q: What types of breeds are those?
A: Well, that's just the thing. It's individual dogs. What people are allergic to in dogs is protein in their saliva and it's [also] exuded from their skin and their dander-their dead skin cells. A lot of people think the hair matters, and in a way it does...because dogs that shed less leave less hair around the house which contains the dander people are allergic to. So, [hypoallergenic dogs] can be easier to manage that way. But, when you go up and pet a dog you are in contact with with the same kind of [protein, regardless if it's] a Poodle or a Malamute.
Q: I didn't realize that...So, what are some benefits of owning a Hypoallergenic dog?
A: Well, like I said, there's truly no one breed of Hypoallergenic dog. The dogs that allergic people tend to gravitate to more are the ones with long growing hair or permanently growing hair coats like Poodles, Lhasa Apsos, Bichons. On advantage is that those types of dogs get groomed more, so the allergens get washed off their skin more. They also leave less hair around the house for you to react to.
Q: How about any draw backs?
A: There are no real draw backs. You can really have any breed of dog and manage the allergies better by vacuuming up, having good air filters...which are good things to do when you're allergic to anything anyway!
Q: Ok! So, we have a cat here, Precious! I have to ask, are there any Hypoallergenic cats out there?
A: There is a company in California-and I'm not honstly sure if they bred or engineered a Hypoallergenic cat-that actually does not have a protein in it's salivia that's not irritating [to people with allergies]. They can actually claim this cat is hypoallergenic to most people...They're hard to come by, especially if you don't have the funds for such a cat.
Q: Precious is up for adoption. How old is Precious?
A: Precious is a little bit less than a year old. She is a sweetie! She's so much more relaxed than most of the cats we bring on.
Update: Precious was adopted a few days after this segment aired. Congratulations Precious!