A hypoallergenic dog seemed to be the perfect answer to many health-conscious parents wanting to bring a pet into the family home with a child that suffers from an allergic health condition.
But the question these parents should be asking themselves is:
Is a Â hypoallergenic dog including Poodles, Bichon Frise, Lhasa Apso, and Basenji, knownÂ to shed less dried skin, saliva, and sport designer price-tags starting at Â£500 really allergy-free?
According to a study of 60 different dog breeds at Henry Ford Hospital, Michigan, USA, they found no evidence to support the claims that these costly pedigree hypoallergenic dogs do not produce just as much allergen inside homes as their fellow average breeds.
“We found no scientific basis to the claim that hypoallergenic dogs have less allergens.
“Based on previous allergy studies conducted 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 out study”, said Dr Christine Johnson, Head Author for the study which will be available online later in the month.
The researchers studied homes which had only one dog living there, this included sixty different breeds, with 11 of the breeds considered to be hypoallergenic dogs.
This is the first study of its kind to measure environmental allergen associated with hypoallergenic dogs and despite the obvious limitations, has revealed that there are no significant differences of allergens levels in the homes where the allergy-free dogs lived and therefore the experts are strongly urging parents not to put their faith in buying a special breed of dog to help their child who suffers from an allergic health condition.