20 answers

Son Wants Dog but Has Slight Allergy

My son was just tested for dog allergies because he really wants one. We thought we were going to get a cockapoo at our silent auction coming up soon. His blood test came back .66 which is a very slight allergy. The pediatrician said not to get a dog . Our son also has a severe peanut allergy. I haven't asked about a hypoallergenic dog . We are taking him to the allergist next week to talk to him about it. Does anyone have any experience with allergies and hypoallergenic dogs? We were thinking a bichon or poodle mix if the allergist says it is ok. We are only considering it because he REALLY wants a dog and his allergy is so slight . His peanut allergy is through the roof 98.4 and the dog one is .66. Thank you for your help:)

He held the cockapoo for about 30 minutes and didn't have a reaction.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your positive and helpful responses. Let me clear something up for a few of you who have the wrong idea. In NO way do I intend to give my son shots or medication so he can have a dog. I was simply asking you for feedback on "hypoallergenic" dogs. Our pediatrician's nurse called with the blood test results and said the doc doesn't recomend it. We are going to the allergist to discuss it this week . We will listen to what he says. Thank you all who understand my intentions for the best for my child.

Featured Answers

We have 2 Cockers. The American Cocker is a big shedder... The English Cocker is much cleaner and not so much shedding.

We also have a toy poodle and they have been know to be good dogs for people with allergies.

I'd follow advice of the allergist.

2 moms found this helpful

We got two dogs in July and gave them away in September. Mostly because we weren't home and it wasn't fair to them. But my son who is semi-allergic to dogs couldn't go in the basement where we kept them...probably because I didn't have the time to vacuum and brush as often as they needed it.

But you can always try and if he had no reaction after tha time then you may be okay!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

I hate to say it, but don't do it.
Allergies are serious. Being exposed to something he is allergic to, even if it is only a slight allergy, day after day in your home, year after year, will be a drain on his body and his immune system. Trust me, I know from experience.
I had a slight allergy to cats but decided to get one anyway in college. Within a year I started to develop chronic ear infections because my allergy to the cat had been causing slight sinus congestion. Not enough that I even needed to take anything, but it built up and threw things out of whack to the point where I went through years of ear infections just from living with this cat for one year.
Even if you get him allergy shots to develop an "immunity" to dog dander, they (allergists) still recommend not having a dog in the home.
Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, just sharing my experience.
Good for you getting more information from the allergist.
Good luck! (Could you get him a pet frog, iguana etc. instead?)

UPDATE: If you ask your allergist he/she will tell you that they idea of "non shedding" dogs being less allergenic is a myth. The dander that most people are allergic to is actually the dried saliva and dead skin flakes, NOT the fur or hair. ALL dogs shed skin and dried saliva, so there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog.
Some answers are advocating to get a poodle. We had a poodle when I was a girl. I had chronic bronchitis because my parents didn't figure out I was allergic to the dog. After the dog passed away, my health improved dramatically.
Also, dander literally clings to every surface of your home including the walls.

4 moms found this helpful

I say no....allergies can increase with exposure. If the dr said no, then he is right.

I have allergies. It is true that certain dogs are worse/better than others. My sister's doxie triggers me horribly....but our labradoodle & Old English Sheepdog mix do not. Totally insane that the hairy, puffy dogs don't trigger me! But on the other hand, we do have to bathe them every 2 weeks to keep me under control....huge job which I can't do.

But to get back to overexposure: our son lived on peanut butter & banana until he was 4. According to our allergist, due to "over- indulgence", he became allergic to peanut. He's 15 & still can't eat peanut.....(but he can do those dog baths)!

I believe the same will hold true for your son. Get a dog & he'll become more sensitive to this allergy. & the dog will become one more statistic at the rescue unit.....so sad. It's one thing to accidentally end up in this situation....& totally different when you chose to ignore the warning signs. :)

3 moms found this helpful

I was allergic to anything alive (i.e. dogs, cats, rabbits, trees, grass, dust mites...) as a chlid. I was on two prescriptions and got weekly allergy shots. When I was ten my mom and dad agreed to buy a poodle after five years of me begging for a dog.
No, I didn't have any allergic reactions, my allergies stayed the same. BUT, he was a full bred poodle, not a mix, and my mom had him professionally groomed weekly. That was one expensive dog after 12 years! Be sure to factor in the cost of grooming and haircuts for a non-shedding dog.
I have looked up info about labradoodles because I would like our family to have a dog, but my son has environmental allergies and I'm afraid this would include animals (though no sign of this yet). What I've found out is that when you get a mix, even if one breed is hypoallergenic, the dog you choose may have more traits from the other breed. So make sure you are choosing a mix that is ALL hypoallergenic.
Consult with the allergist and go from there - good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Yes, our family has experience with this issue. There is no such thing as a "hypoallergenic" dog although certain non-shedding breeds are definitely better than others in this respect. My son has a mild allergy to dogs and has asthma. He has a much worse allergy to cats. His doctor told us no cats and no spending the night where there are cats, but we could have dogs under certain conditions. That was good because we had two Jack Russell terriers before our son was even born. We always kept his bedroom door closed and the dogs were not allowed in his room. I vacuumed the kitchen floor every day and he wore clean pajamas to bed every night. We kept a close eye on the situation and he never had a serious reaction to the dogs in 14 years. When both dogs died last year we got a Miniature Poodle. Poodles are definitely better for allergies than shedding breeds. I considered a cockapoo too, but was informed that mixed breed dogs like that can still shed and cause allergy issues. Many people get labradoodles and goldendoodles hoping to get a large, non-shedding dog and then end up gettting rid of them after they find out they still shed. You just never know. So, if you go ahead and get a dog I would get a purebred, non-shedding breed such as a Poodle, Bichon, etc, but not one mixed with a shedding breed. You could also get the opinion of another allergist. We had one doctor who told us humans and animals should NEVER sleep under the same roof under any conditions. That seemed a little extreme to me and I found a later that doctor did have a bit of a reputation amongst his colleagues as being extreme. Then we got the second opinion who told us no cats, but dogs are o.k. under certain conditions. Our son has no problems with the poodle, but every dog and every kid can be different. Oh, beware of any animal with feathers or fur. Guinea pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds, etc. can all cause reactions in people who are allergic to other animals. My husband is allergic to cats and had his worst allergic reaction/asthma attack of his life while walking through a shed full of rabbits. Good luck. One more thing--a personal plea. I've had some exposure to and experience with puppy mills recently and it is such sad situation (another topic, another day), so if you get a dog or puppy please be sure it comes from a reliable source, such as a reliable rescue group or a breeder who tests their dogs and raises them in their own home. Meet the parents of the puppy if you get a puppy, etc. We did a lot of research and relied on personal recommendations before we got our poodle.

2 moms found this helpful

We have 2 Cockers. The American Cocker is a big shedder... The English Cocker is much cleaner and not so much shedding.

We also have a toy poodle and they have been know to be good dogs for people with allergies.

I'd follow advice of the allergist.

2 moms found this helpful

the only hypoallergenic breed i know of is a purebred poodle. mixes cannot be truly hypoallergenic if something in the mix is not hypo.

my vote would be no dog. it would be more difficult on your family and the dog to find out once its in your house that your son has a major issue. Your dr. has already advised against it. To get a dog, have a reaction, and end up in the drs. office from it will not go over well with the dr.

2 moms found this helpful

I really want a Ribeye everyday stuffed with blue cheese for lunch. So by your theory because I want it I should have it even if it is bad for me would elevate my cholesterol and possibly require me to take medication.

Sorry to be so blunt but you have test results, a doctor saying you shouldn't get one. Even a "hypoallergenic" dog has dander and doesn't always keep a person with allergies safe. Lots of children have allergies and can't have things, my daughter has celiac disease, soy allergies and would love to have certain things but even once in a while advances her chances for taking prescription meds, getting cancer easier and possibly death. So we avoid. I understand he didn't have a reaction right now, but are you ready to medicate him if it takes time to build in his system until a full reaction occurs or will you be looking to rehome the dog. I get wanting a fuzzy friend to love, but I am thinking it is not in his best interests.

2 moms found this helpful

We got two dogs in July and gave them away in September. Mostly because we weren't home and it wasn't fair to them. But my son who is semi-allergic to dogs couldn't go in the basement where we kept them...probably because I didn't have the time to vacuum and brush as often as they needed it.

But you can always try and if he had no reaction after tha time then you may be okay!

2 moms found this helpful

My 6 year old daughter has a slightly higher allergy to dog dander than your son; a fact we learned after owning a dog for 3 years ;) Now, we vacuum a little extra, dust a little extra, change our air filters more frequently, brush the dog outside, he's not allowed in her room or on the couch... but she's fine!!

Just think: if you hadn't had him tested, you never would have known ;)

1 mom found this helpful

I have a friend who is very allergic to dogs and cats and they had a bichon for 11 years or so - successfully! Now they have a Cockapoo. Other friends who has dog allergies has a Morkie.

A suggestion would be to work with a breeder that would bring a couple of dogs to your house for a weekend then you could see. Our friends that got the Morkie did this with an Italian Greyhoud. The Italian Greyhounds slightly bothered her husband but they were fine with the Morkie.

Our other neighbors got allergy shots (they were adults though) and now they have a couple of Puggles.

Lastly, there is a rare breed of hairless dog called the Xolo I have never seen one but I read about it in the newspaper. Here is a wikipedia on it:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mexican_Hairless_Dog

Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter had some pretty bad allergies, especially in winter, when she was younger...one was to dogs. Not severe, she basically seemed like she had a bad cold sometimes...and sometimes, she actually did...my kids were sick a lot when they were littler! Anyway, my husband and I have had dogs since we moved in together 19 yrs ago. My daughter took allergy meds (also had seasonal allergies) and eventually outgrew all of her allergies (she's almost 13 now)

If you do get dog, just make sure it stays out of your sons room, keep your floors vacuumed daily and don't let your son roll around on the floor or hold the dog a lot. It's doable...my sister is allergic to dogs and she owns one! A lab...and they SHED! LOL!

Good luck...I think all kids should have a dog...I don't know what I'd do w/out mine! :)

1 mom found this helpful

i'm allergic to dogs but we had a Toy Poodle growing up and I did not react to her. We also had a cockapoo and I did not react to him.

Most doctors will tell you no because they don't want it on their heads if your son has some type of big reaction. If you choose to get a dog and and he has a reaction, the doctor will say "well, I advised against it." It's just a way of him covering his tail because people are so sue-happy nowadays.

If you do choose to get a dog, be sure to discuss ahead of time with your son that the dog may not be able to stay and give it a trial period.

Do not let the dog in your son's room. He should sleep away from the dog at night. Invest in an air cleaner in his room. Keep the dog clean, you will probably have to bathe it. You can bathe it in shampoo that will help keep the allergens down.

it's not true that being around an allergen will always make you more allergic. I grew up severely allergic to cats. All I had to do was walk into someone's house that had a cat and my eyes would water and my throat would close.

Then my boyfriend had a low-dander cat. For some reason I was not very allergic to her. Ever since then I've not been allergic to cats and we have two. Allergy treatment often entails exposing a person to small amounts of the allergen so you can build up immunity. I think the low-dander cat did that for me.

I will say that I am more allergic to dogs now that we don't have one. When we had a dog my allergy was slight. Now it's as bad as my cat allergy was--and my cat allergy shows up on allergy tests but I'm not allergic to MY cats.

You don't know what will happen with each individual person. Your son could become worse. It's all in what you're willing to risk---and how much responsibility you're willing to put into keeping the dog. My husband is allergic to my cats so I put in A LOT of work so I can keep them. Be prepared to do the same.

1 mom found this helpful

I have allergies to dogs and cats. Didn't develop the cat allergy until our last cat died when I was 7 years old. We had dogs for the rest of my childhood and I was fine. I was always on something like benedryll or claritan for my additional seasonal allergies, so that might have helped. When I got married in my twenties my husband and I got a dog. She shed like crazy but I never had debillitating symptoms. The point of my whole long example is I agree with MommyDoodle D. , most likely having a dog will minimize his allergy overall. For me the more exposure I have to a cat or a dog the better my allergy gets. Now that my dog has been gone for almost a year one of the reasons I want to get another (besides the fact that I love dogs) is to keep my allergy in check. Dogs are great for kids, they teach gentleness, empathy, and uncondional love. Get him a dog-if he held one for 30 minutes with no problem he'll probably be fine. Good luck whatever you decide.By the way, if you do get one I don't think it means you care any less for your son's well being.

C.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm not sure about the allergies but I can tell you that we have a Cockapoo and they are very sweet dogs and wonderful with small children. Also, I have been told but I'm really not sure that they are hypoallergenic.

1 mom found this helpful

I personally don't have an experience with dog allergies, but my cousin does. She wasn't severely allergic to dogs, but as a child her mother wanted her to have one so they had a toy poodle. My cousin never had an issue with the poodle, but she did with other dogs and animals. I don't know if this was helpful or not, but I hope you get everything sorted! :)

1 mom found this helpful

I have allergies sowhen we decided to get a dog I didn't want a small one. I wasn't crazy about how Std. Poodles look, but now I would not have anything else. When you start mixing breds you can't be sure which traits will come out. There are shelters and rescues that are full of labordoodles, etc.

As a child I had a dog named Samantha - 1/2 poodle, 1/4 cocker, 1/4 collie and 100% beautiful. She looked like a minature sheep dog. After she passed by mom told me that my breathing got a lot better. Would I do it again - in a heart beat.

Take care
J.

1 mom found this helpful

Talk to the allergist.

My mom is allergic to dogs (hives and stuffed up if she pets one and then touches her face, and hives anywhere she touches the dog) and my parents have had a yorkie for about 10 years, she has never had a reaction to her dog, and it's the sweetiest little thing.

1 mom found this helpful

Your doc said NO.
Do you not trust your doctor?
Why on earth would you go ahead and still get one?

There are lots of things kids REALLY want, but when his health is at stake you should be the parent and say NO.

1 mom found this helpful

Not sure if anyone said this, but a shih tzu is hypoallergenic and has hair like people not fur. No shedding. My husband and child have allergies and have been successful with a shih tzu. They are loyal and very good dogs. No yapping or loud barking. I would say to visit one first and see if any reactions - it would be awful to purchase any dog and then have to give it back/give to shelter. good luck

1 mom found this helpful

My cousin was in the same boat you describe. Her daughter desperately wanted a dog, but every time she was around one, her eyes would swell, get red and itchy and her nose would clog. She could take Benedryl and it would help with the symptoms. When the child was about 8 they broke down and got a dog. The child was fine, the allergy seemed to disappear. So it is possible your son will be fine with more exposure.

1 mom found this helpful

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