Hypoallergenic is used for certain breeds of dogs that are less likely to trigger allergic reactions in individuals who suffer from allergies. But, are Cavachons hypoallergenic?
Based on their genetics, the Cavachons are low to medium regarding the likelihood of causing an allergic reaction in allergy sufferers. Still, they are not fully guaranteed to be hypoallergenic. No dog is.
According to the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, a 2011 study found "There was no evidence for differential shedding of allergen by dogs grouped as hypoallergenic.”
Also, “clinicians should advise patients that they cannot rely on breeds deemed to be "hypoallergenic" to, in fact, disperse less allergen in their environment." In other words, there is no scientific evidence to support a dog as being hypoallergenic.
Shedding in dogs
Shedding in dogs usually refers to the shedding of fur or hair. Hair or fur is a carrier of the allergens dander, saliva, sweat, urine, and pollen. However, it is not the hair that is the problem but the allergen attached.
The Cavachon breed sheds a low to medium amount of hair due to their purebred parents. It is, therefore, more likely to be hypoallergenic. Half Bichon Frise, shedding a low amount of hair, and half Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, shedding a medium amount of hair.
It is hard to know which traits have been inherited from a mixed-breed dog, but depending on the severity, people with allergies may be able to tolerate a Cavachon as their pet.
Allergic to dogs
People with allergies to dogs react to proteins present in a pet's saliva, dander, and urine. These proteins are called allergens which trigger the allergy and can cause allergic reactions in humans. The proteins transfer around the home on surfaces and are carried in the air by the dog's fur.
Since Cavachons shed less hair, people with mild allergies, depending on the severity, may be less sensitive to this breed. However, all dogs shed, so it is important to note that there is no guarantee that you will not have an allergic reaction to a Cavachon.
Environmental allergens transported by dogs
Dogs' can also collect environmental allergens from outside, such as pollen. Once the allergen becomes airborne, it travels with your dog anywhere. The allergen will transfer to their clothes if that dog brushes up against a person. That person then becomes exposed to outdoor allergens and carried into their home.
As you can see, it can become problematic for a person with environmental allergies.
Dog allergen transported by humans
People who are allergic to dog allergens can be affected even if they don't own or have a dog because allergens can be carried in the air and on people's clothes.
The allergen is small enough to enter your lungs and irritate the membranes of the nose, eyes, and mouth, causing symptoms such as:
Sneezing, a runny nose, nasal congestion
Red itchy, watery eyes
Itchy nose, mouth, or throat
Wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath,
You should seek medical help if symptoms are severe.
What can you do, if you have allergies and want a dog?
If you would like to have a canine friend in your home and are concerned about allergies, having a thorough knowledge of what triggers your allergies would be beneficial.
It is possible for some people who have allergies to own pets, and there are treatments you can undertake, but they tend to be expensive, such as:
- An allergy skin-prick test. Usually carried out to diagnose what substance you are allergic to.
- Allergy shots. A treatment called immunotherapy. Increasing the dose helps your immune system build a tolerance to an allergen over time.
- In-vitro allergy test. Identifies whether a male or female dog triggers your allergy. This test is great because it will narrow down the allergen.
Talk with your allergist to see if this would be possible and have a program in place.
You could consider meeting up with the puppy before you buy with the breeder or even the puppy's parents a few times to see if it triggers any allergies. Better still, why not care for a neighbor or friend's dog on a trial basis of the same breed you were looking for.
It will give you some practice in taking care of the dog, what is expected in their care, the amount of space needed in the home, and its time for exercise. Also, caring for someone else's dog could determine if you want to look after a dog! Caring for a dog is hard work, and will be part of the family for the next 10 to 15 years.
Caring for someone else's dog may determine if the dog is likely or unlikely to trigger your allergy.
Consider the size of your breed. For example, on average, Cavachons are a small-sized breed, according to their breeder. Therefore, the allergen surface would be much smaller than a giant dog, thereby reducing the allergen.
However, buying a puppy without knowing if someone in the household will trigger allergies can have a considerable downside. It could cause conflict. The child could become very attached to the dog and may not be happy if you have to part with the dog within the household.
On a good note, if you do have allergies and can have a pet to care for, there are ways to significantly reduce the allergen concentration levels in your home by:
- Research has shown that bathing your dog can significantly reduce the number of allergens on the fur. "Washing the dog reduces dog allergen levels, but the dog needs to be washed twice a week." The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
- Regular cleaning by vacuuming and washing all surfaces in the home will help reduce the allergen levels.
- Limiting your dog to a few rooms may limit the spread of the allergen but bear in mind that you will be carrying some on your clothes.
- Keep your dog out of your bedroom.
- Air purifiers with HEPA filters can effectively filter airborne particles and pet allergens.
Because of their low shedding hair and being small dogs, Cavachons will be less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
By minimizing the allergen with the frequency of grooming, cleaning all surfaces, and using an air purifier, it could be possible for you to care for and have a Cavachon as your companion.
However, a pet owner who has allergies and can tolerate a particular breed does not mean they can rely on that breed being non-allergenic. As every person is unique, so are dogs.