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Known for its fluffy white coat, beautiful smile, and dedication and love for its owners, the Samoyed is favored worldwide and often adopted as a pet. It stands out not only because of its physical appearance but also its abilities, temperament, personality, and behavior. In short, there’s so much to know about this breed before you can bring them home. Unfortunately for some, being in the same room as their dog can cause so much misery, including a runny nose, red and/or itchy eyes, sneezing, coughing and wheezing, and even shortness of breath. With 10% of Americans suffering from pet allergies, we want to know whether or not the Samoyed is a good fit for them.
So, are Samoyeds hypoallergenic? Yes, they are considered hypoallergenic, but that’s not the whole story. They have less dander and drool less than most breeds, meaning you’re less likely to suffer an allergic reaction around them. That being said, they shed a lot, although you can manage this with proper grooming and diet.
You’ve been longing to own a dog but being around them seems to make you sneeze or itch. Or maybe you don’t even know whether or not you’re allergic to dogs. Well, different dog breeds produce different amounts of allergens, meaning some could cause severe allergic reactions while others are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. The latter is what is often regarded as a hypoallergenic dog. When people think of allergy-friendly dogs, the thought of hairless dog spring to mind. As such, the Samoyed, with its dense coat, wouldn’t automatically qualify as an allergy-friendly dog. This article explores what hypoallergenic really means, why are Samoyeds hypoallergenic, and much more. Keep reading to learn more!
Are Samoyeds Hypoallergenic?
Before answering this question, it’s important to understand what hypoallergenic actually means. The general definition is it’s an item that’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Lots of things can be allergy-friendly, but today we’re going to focus on pets. There’s a lot of false advertising and misinformation that is purported around hypoallergic dogs. One important thing to note is that these dogs are not totally allergy-free. The word less likely means there’s no guarantee that an allergic response won’t occur, but chances of the said reaction are less likely when around some breeds than others.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) makes it abundantly clear that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. However, some cause fewer allergic reactions than others, but why? All types of dogs produce allergy-inducing compounds, although some more than others. Many people often blame dog-related allergies to dog fur and shedding tendencies, but that’s not the whole story. The main culprit of dog allergies is actually a protein found in the pet’s saliva and urine, so when they pee or drool, the protein is dispersed into the environment. The protein also attaches itself to the dog’s dander (flakes of dead skin) and fur and is delivered into the air during shedding.
By this logic, dogs that don’t shed or drool much and/or are hairless are less likely to spread the protein. This makes them easier to live with for allergy sufferers. Now that you understand what an allergy-friendly dog looks like, are Samoyeds hypoallergenic?
The Hypoallergenic Status of The Samoyed
As mentioned earlier, some dogs are less likely to cause an allergic reaction, and the Samoyed is one of them. But this dog breed has a long, fluffy coat that gets heavier in the winter and sheds so much. So, how can anyone consider it allergy-friendly? Well, there’s the main culprit of dog-related allergies, and that is the allergy-triggering protein called KNF-1. Samoyeds have fewer of these protein chains compared to many other breeds. Therefore, even if you have a pre-existing dog allergy, you could spend time around the Samoyed. This doesn’t mean your allergies will go away entirely, just that you’ll spend fewer days around the Samoyed with itchy, uncomfortable symptoms.
The second culprit of dog allergies is dander. These microscopic skin flakes get spread around the house, including furniture, carpets, in your bed, and anywhere else the dog hangs out. Dander will then float in the air where you can breathe it in, and it causes an allergic reaction. The good news is the production of dander in Samoyeds is not as pronounced as in other breeds such as the Boston Terrier and the Bulldog. Plus, their thick double coat can trap most of it inside, and you can get rid of it through grooming and bathing the dog before it goes into the environment and become airborne.
Last but not least, the upturned corners of the Samoyed’s mouth give it that famous ‘Sammy Smile.’ Most importantly, this feature helps them drool less, which is beneficial from an allergy standpoint.
Do Samoyeds Cause Allergic Reaction?
You’d be forgiven for thinking their long, thick coat could cause allergic reactions. While it’s true that a canine’s fur can be problematic for some allergy sufferers, the biggest culprits are two things: dander and the KNF-1 protein present in their skin, fur, saliva, and urine. These substances will float in the air where you can breathe them in, and they cause an allergic reaction.
The Samoyed is one of the preferred choices for allergy sufferers because they produce allergy-inducing compounds in low quantities. That being said, they are not totally allergy-free and can still cause an allergic reaction, though not a severe or life-threatening one. Watch out if your Samoyed is an outdoor dog. Additional allergens, including pollen, dust, and mold, can easily be trapped in their long coat and be deposited in your home, thus affecting those with these allergies.
Are Samoyeds Good for Allergies?
The Samoyed produces less dander and also drools less than other breeds, so yes, they are good for allergies. However, it’s paramount that you approach this with caution. Don’t rush to buy the first one on sale; instead, find some time to research the Samoyed breed. It would also be best if you spent time with this dog before bringing one home permanently. Find breed-specific dog rescues searching for temporary foster homes for Sammies. Alternatively, you can attend local events showcasing these dogs. And if a friend or neighbor has this dog, spend as much time as possible with them. This will allow you to determine your allergic response and tolerance level to the Samoyed.
If you or another family member has mild allergies but are still set on owning this breed, there are several things you can do to minimize the risk of allergy attacks. For starters, keep the place sanitized. By vacuuming and moping the house and cleaning the Samoyed’s belongings and anything else that has contact with its spit and urine, you’re further reducing the number of allergens in the environment. The second step is to groom the dog regularly. This ensures you pick and dispose of the fur and dander properly before they end up on your furniture, clothes, carpets, and the air. While you’re at it, feed your Samoyed properly to avoid excessive shedding, which would otherwise trigger dander and encourage more allergens floating around. Last but not least, invest in a HEPA filter to help capture air pollutants.
When Samoyed Dogs Are Bad for Allergies?
By now, you know that you can still have an allergic reaction around a hypoallergenic breed like the Samoyed? Some people have very severe allergies that they can’t co-exist with any type of dog. Perhaps your immune system is too sensitive to the allergens that even being in the same vicinity as a dog causes hives or watery eyes. You can follow the tips above to make the symptoms less severe. Or, discuss with your allergist as sometimes symptoms can be controlled with allergy medication or shots.
Pet allergies are generally not deadly, but they can be miserable. For people with severe allergies to a dog, it’s best to keep off dogs altogether, including the Samoyed.
Do Samoyeds Dogs Shed?
A short answer is yes, they do, but let’s look at how much and why. Samoyeds were developed to thrive in sub-zero temperatures. They have thick double coats to protect them against artic weather. But the two layers of fur also mean there’s more opportunity for these dogs to shed. In fact, Samoyeds are classified as heavy shedders just like the Siberian Husky, Newfoundland, and Alaskan Malamute.
The Samoyed sheds a huge amount, so you’ll likely find their white fur all over your clothing, furniture, carpeting, upholstery, as well as in the bed, closet, and sometimes even in your dishes. Things worsen during seasonal shedding when they blow their coats in preparation for the changing seasons. This usually happens twice a year: in fall when they shed to grow a much thicker and warmer coat for winter and in spring when they shed off the heavy coat for a much lighter one to keep them cool in summer. So, before you bring a Samoyed home, are you prepared to handle their coat and fur?
Although the Samoyed is a heavy shedder, you should watch out for excessive shedding because it could be a sign of an underlying problem. Even during seasonal shedding, your dog should not have hair falling out in clumps.
How to Reduce Excessive Shedding
There’s no stopping a Samoyed from shedding because it’s a natural process that actually benefits the dog. But you can limit how much ends up in your home and floating in the air. This is especially important for allergy suffers. One important rule is to never shave your dog’s coat in an attempt to stop or reduce shedding. Dogs need their fur to insulate them against cold and hot weather; therefore, shaving them means exposing your dog to greater risks of hypothermia, frostbite, overheating, sunburn, and even skin cancer. Shaving a double coat dog can also permanently damage their fur growth.
The simplest and effective way to reduce excessive shedding is through regular grooming. By brushing and bathing your Samoyed, you’re able to capture loose, dead hairs and dander before they are deposited all over the house and into the air. A simple metal comb will work just fine, but you may need a de-shedding tool to get right down to the undercoat, especially during seasonal shedding. Grooming your Samoyed can be a daunting task given their thick, long coats, which is why many owners choose to take them to professional groomers to ensure their coats are properly cared for.
Making sure your Samoyed is eating properly and is on a proper diet is also vital for reducing excessive molting. This means buying dog food with a balanced blend of carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. And don’t forget water.
Lastly, excessive shedding could be a sign of an underlying problem such as stress, parasites, fungal infections, allergies, skin infections, etc. Be sure to visit the vet to know the cause and solution to your dog’s excessive shedding problem.
Can You Build Up an Immunity to Dog Allergies?
While the most effective way to control pet allergies is with avoidance, you don’t necessarily have to re-home your treasured pet in case of an allergy. People with allergies have been known to live together with dogs; you just need to take a few precautions. There have even been instances where people with pet allergies have gotten used to being around hypoallergenic dogs like the Samoyed. Their immune systems were able to develop a tolerance for the low concentration of allergens produced by these dogs, thereby stopping any allergy attacks.
There are some strategies that allergy pet sufferers can take to treat their symptoms and live in harmony with their furry friends. For starters, create a pet-free zone in the home. Consider keeping your dog away from your bedroom, home office, kitchen, or other places where you spend a lot of time. The second strategy is to clean more often to reduce the number of allergens in your environment. This includes cleaning your house, carpets, beddings, and the dog’s belongings. Grooming the dog will also help minimize fur and dander levels. Just ensure the grooming person does not suffer from allergies, and it is done outdoors. A HEPA filter will also help reduce airborne allergens.
Depending on your type of allergy and severity, you could speak to an allergist about an allergy medication that might make your symptoms more bearable. Options include eye drops, inhalers, antihistamines, and steroid nasal sprays.
Some people have reported developing immunity to their dog, while others have fewer symptoms or grow out of their allergies as they get older. You can naturally build immunity to pet allergens, especially if you live with hypoallergenic dogs that produce these allergens in low concentrations. But you can also do it through allergy shots. This is the ultimate therapy/treatment for people with pet allergies. This therapy works by exposing the body to large amounts of allergen in an attempt to change the immune system’s response. The end result is that you become immune to the allergens so that you can tolerate them with fewer or no symptoms. This is not a quick fix as it can take 3-5 years for treatment to work. It’s beneficial in cases where allergic reactions cannot be relieved with medication or any of the above strategies, and also when you cannot avoid exposure to the pet.
Another alternative would be rush allergy shots, which is called rush immunotherapy. This works just like the traditional allergen immunotherapy. However, the gradually increasing doses of allergens are given every few hours rather than every few days or weeks, thus shortening the build-up phase of allergy shots.
Remember that these therapy treatments are not DIY. Treating allergies should only be done closely with an allergy specialist and a doctor.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
I believe you have a better understanding of what types of dogs are considered hypoallergenic. Allergy sufferers are spoilt for choice as there are several other hypoallergenic breeds aside from the Samoyed. As you’ll see below, these dogs vary in size, appearance, physical characteristics, personality, temperament, etc. Since these are all important factors to consider when looking for a dog, you can rest assured that there is an allergy-friendly dog out there that still ticks your other boxes. From what we’ve covered about what makes a dog allergy-friendly, you’re going to see that each of these dogs fall into one of the following categories: they are either hairless, don’t shed much, drool less, and produce less dander than most breeds. Here are some of the top hypoallergenic dogs ideal for allergy sufferers.
These dogs may not seem allergy-friendly at first glance, given their long-beautiful hair. However, they shed very infrequently. They are also intelligent, independent, loyal, not forgetting a dignified and regal appearance.
American Hairless Terrier
As the name suggests, this breed is typically hairless and will, obviously, shed little to no fur. They are as allergy-friendly as a dog can be. But with the lack of fur to shield them against extreme temperatures, be prepared to protect them from cold and sun.
This breed likes to groom himself. And with a short and fine coat that rarely sheds, it leaves less dander and less effect on people with sensitive immune systems.
This is one of the AKC’s top pick breeds for allergy sufferers. They shed infrequently, and even when they do, their hairs are caught up in their undercoat until grooming when they are brushed out.
Hairless Chinese Crested
This is another allergy-friendly breed whose name says it all. As you might expect, hairless dogs shed little to no hair, depending on how often they are groomed. Needless to say, owners with sensitive immune systems are less likely to have an allergic reaction.
If you want a large dog breed that is also hypoallergenic, the Giant Schnauzer is a great choice. As the name suggests, they are big dogs that make great companions and workers. They are also loyal, trainable, and intelligent. In terms of it’s ability to cause an allergic reaction, these dogs don’t shed in large amounts, and you can minimize dander through regular grooming.
Kerry Blue Terrier
This is another large, allergy-friendly dog that is a great worker and watchdog. While most breeds shed daily, the Kerry Blue Terrier infrequently sheds every three weeks. They retain much of the allergy-causing hairs and dander until grooming day, thus minimizing the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
This is arguably the most famous shed-free dog breed, whether it’s the Toy, Standard, or Miniature Poodle. In fact, many other breeds have been crossed with the Poodle to create allergy-friendly pups. Their curly, light-shedding coat holds onto the dead hair and dander, which you can easily maintain with regular grooming.