Getting a dog fix in an allergic household

Dear Pet Lovers:

My 12-year old son is dying to get a dog but my husband is allergic – I have researched supposed “hypoallergenic breeds” but he is resistant to even these dogs. It is heartbreaking, as my boy is a true dog lover. Do you have any suggestions on how he can get his dog fix?

Thanks –

Sad Sandy

Dear SS:

Just because a person is allergic to one type of dog doesn’t mean they are allergic to all breeds. If your husband is open to getting a dog, some good breeds for people with allergies to check out are: Bedlington Terrier, Basenji, Bichon Frise, Chinese Crested, Labradoodle/Goldendoodle, Irish Water Spaniel, Italian Greyhound, Kerry Blue Terrier, Maltese, Mexican Hairless, Poodle, Portuguese Water Dog, Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier. Your husband should spend as much time as possible with the type of dog you are considering getting prior to sealing the deal.

You can cut down on your husband’s allergic reactions by confining the dog to areas with wood/non-carpeted floors, keeping the dog out of bedrooms and off furniture, regular grooming of the dog, and regular cleaning of the house, especially in the dog’s favorite areas.

If adopting a hypoallergenic dog is out of the picture, there are still opportunities for your son to get his dog fix. In addition to spending time with friends’ and families’ dogs, he can consider starting a dog walking/dog sitting service (hey – a money maker too!) in your neighborhood or volunteering at a local animal shelter or organization like the SPCA or PAWS. However, he should make sure to change his clothes and shower after he gets home before he gives dad a big hug!

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