Friday, November 4, 2011

15 Hypoallergenic pets for would-be pet owners

The original article was published in Pets Clan on 11th October, 2011.
Are you one of the many people who sneeze, wheeze or have rashes just being around a dog or a cat? You love animals and dream of keeping pets but you cannot because you are allergic. Well, there is good news for you. And it is hypoallergenic pets. ‘Hypoallergenic’ literally means ‘below normal’ or ’slightly allergenic’. Several furry animals cause allergies in humans because of the presence of allergies causing proteins not only in their fur but also in their saliva, urine, mucous and dander. Hypoallergenic animals also produce allergens. But they typically produce fewer allergens when compared to their relatives due to their type of coat, absence of fur or absence of certain genes which produce the allergenic protein. However, until genetically engineered, no animal can be 100% hypoallergenic. Here is a list of 15 breeds of dogs and cats that fall in the natural hypoallergenic pets category:

1. American Hairless Terrier
This dog breed is a dream come true for dog lovers who are allergic. It has no body fur and no body dander. Many people with allergies are known to co-habitat peacefully with the American Hairless Terriers. It is a loving and an alert dog.

2. Bedlington Terrier
The Bedlington Terrier is a pretty short haired dog. It has a curly and wooly coat of fur, with an extra mop of fur on its head. It sheds little to no hair and needs regular clipping. It is a cheerful family dog.

3. Bichon Frise 
The Bichon Frise is a cute little dog which is popularly known as the ‘powder puff’ dog. It has a soft silky undercoat and a more coarse and curly outer coat. It looks dainty but is very sturdy. The Bichon is a fluffy white dog which loves human company. By nature it is independent and self assured.

4. Chinese Crested
The Chinese Crested breed of dogs have two versions. One version is hairless with hair only on its head, feet and tail. The other version, called powder-puff, has a soft fur of coat over its entire body. The coat color may be solid, mixed or spotted all over.

5. Devon Rex cat
The Devon Rex cat has an elfin face and big ears. Its coat can vary from thin fur, suede type to loose curls. It is a good choice for allergic cat lovers.

6. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is the largest of all spaniels. It has a curly coat and needs regular trimming and grooming. Its feet are webbed and has a dense undercoat which insulates it from cold in water. It is a spirited and devoted dog.

7. Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a medium sized muscular dog, with small dark eyes. The coat is wavy, soft and dense. It is animated, comical and playful and are known to make people laugh. It is protective and loves sports.

8. Labradoodle
The Labradoodle is a cross-bred between a labrador retriever and a poodle. But a litter of labradoodle puppies may have varying poodle coats. It is a popular choice among pet owners with allergies.

9. Maltese
The Maltese is a small and hardy dog with silky long fur. It has a single layer of silky fur which is white or ivory in color. It needs regular brushing. It is a lively dog. It is also bold and good at learning tricks.

10. Poodle
The size of the Poodle can vary from medium to large. It is a graceful, good natured and proud dog. It is listed among the most intelligent dog breeds in the world.

11. Portuguese Water dog
The Portuguese Water dog is a medium sized muscular dog. Its feet is webbed which aids in swimming. It is animated, playful and loyal. It absolutely loves water.

12. Schnauzers
The size of the Schnauzers breed of dogs can be miniature, standard or giant. It has a soft undercoat and the outer coat is wiry, hard and dense. It is a wonderful guard and watch dog.

13. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier has a long silky coat. It is a strong and agile dog. It is good guard dog and is a great companion for children.

14. Sphynx
The Sphynx is a hairless breed of cat which may have little hair on its nose, tail and toes. But, it still produces dander.

15. Xoloitzcuintli
The Xoloitzcuintli or Xolo comes in three sizes, toy, standard and large. This dog can be either be hairless or coated. The Xolo is a very intelligent, alert and loving dog.

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