Contrary to popular belief, so-called hypoallergenic dogs do not have lower household allergen levels than other dogs.
That’s the conclusion of a study by Henry Ford Hospital researchers who sought to evaluate whether hypoallergenic dogs have a lower dog allergen in the home than other dogs. Hypoallergenic dogs are believed to produce less dander and saliva and shed less fur.
The findings are to be published online this month in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy.
“We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen,” says Christine Cole Johnson, Ph.D., MPH, chair of Henry Ford’s Department of Public Health Sciences and senior author of the study.
“Based on previous allergy studies conducted here at Henry Ford, exposure to a dog early in life provides protection against dog allergy development. But the idea that you can buy a certain breed of dog and think it will cause less allergy problems for a person already dog-allergic is not borne out by our study.”
This is believed to be the first time researchers measured environmental allergen associated with hypoallergenic dogs. Previous studies analyzed hair samples from only a handful of dogs in a small number of breeds.