If a member of your family has been diagnosed with asthma, then you might think having a dog is out of the question. However, that needn’t be the case. There are breeds of dogs that might cause fewer asthma symptoms, and some breeds may result in no problems at all!
But there are choices to be made, from Goldendoodle v.s Labradoodle through to little dog vs. large dog. In this guide, we’re going to look at some of the breeds that might be suitable for your home.
What is Asthma?
Asthma is a chronic lung disease that makes it hard to breathe and causes coughing and wheezing. It happens when the airways (tiny tubes) get narrow or blocked, making it harder for your child to breathe normally.
What Causes Asthma?
Many different things can trigger asthma symptoms in people from smoke, dust mites, pets, cold air, and exercise. There isn’t always an exact cause; sometimes, children just develop asthma while others don’t.
Even healthy kids might have asthma symptoms from time to time because many everyday things can irritate their lungs and bring on breathing problems: allergies, sinus infections, respiratory viruses like colds and flu, and secondhand smoke.
What’s Asthma Friendly?
Doctors actually recommend many asthma-friendly pets to help kids with asthma. Pets like dogs, cats, smaller mammals, and birds can be great for your child because they get you out of the house and can improve their overall health. You should talk to your doctor about which pets are best for each specific child.
Allergens that trigger symptoms in some kids might not bother others, so it’s essential to keep an eye on any new changes in breathing after getting a pet.
Pet Allergies & Symptoms
When people have allergies, their immune system mistakes something harmless for a dangerous invader and overreacts by releasing chemicals called histamines into the body. The histamines cause the symptoms of allergies like sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. If your child has asthma as well, they might be more sensitive to those same allergens and have breathing problems.
Pets can bring in a variety of allergens, including pet dander (tiny flakes of skin), pet hair, and saliva that stick to their fur. When your child snuggles up to them or pets them, those allergens get released into the air and could lead to an allergic reaction.
In some cases, kids who are allergic to cats also react to dogs because many dogs carry cat-related allergens too. Kids with allergies should talk with their doctors about which pets will make them feel better instead of worse.
Are Some Breeds of Dogs Hypoallergenic?
No. There are no breeds of dogs that are 100% completely non-allergenic.
In fact, there is often a “non-hypoallergenic” disclaimer on the ad for any pet advertised as hypoallergenic because it’s not really possible to have a dog with absolutely zero allergens. But some pets do cause more minor irritation and might be better tolerated by your child when they have allergies or asthma symptoms.
Related: Best Dog Food For Allergies 2022
Low Shedding Breeds of Dogs
There are certain breeds of dogs that produce less dander (tiny flakes of skin) than others. Larger dogs tend to produce more allergens because they have larger bodies, so their dander is spread over a larger area in the home. For this reason, smaller breeds might be easier for your child to live with because they release fewer dander particles.
The Poodle is one of the most popular breed choices for people with allergies. They are very clean dogs that don’t have a strong odor, so they might also be less likely to trigger allergy symptoms in your child.
This is an active dog, so you should be prepared to go on walks every day of the week. Despite being non-shedding, the Poodles coat does need regular attention to prevent mats and tangles from forming.
This is another small breed that might be a suitable option. The Bichon’s hair does not shed, so it can be easier to manage than dogs that do release hairs in the home.
Bichons are lively dogs who enjoy being part of any family activity and can be very affectionate towards children. Because they want to be close to their owners, they also make great travel companions!
The Schnauzer has an excellent even temperament, making them good family pets, especially for kids who like lots of attention! There are different sizes of Schnauzer, so if you prefer a larger dog, then this might be a good choice. However, be aware that the larger dogs need lots of exercise and training to become the perfect family pet.
This is a relatively new breed to the UK but has quickly gained a reputation for being gentle and affectionate. They have been known to be good with children, but they won’t be suitable for families with young children or very active kids who might knock them over because of their size.
The Lhasa Apso is a toy breed that might be suitable for kids with allergies. They are active little dogs who love to spend time with their family but will also happily curl up on your child’s bed or lap while they do their homework.
Shedding Can Be Controlled
Some breeds are known to “blow their coat,” which is when they temporarily produce more hair than usual during specific times of the year, like spring or fall. During those periods, it’s essential to make sure the dog is brushed regularly and has plenty of chances to go outside and get exercise. Keeping their coat healthy and clean will help reduce allergens in the home.
It’s also important to make sure that your hoover regularly uses a vacuum that’s specially designed to reduce dander and pet hair in the home.