Red Merle Australian Shepherd

Finding the right hypoallergenic dog breed is kind of like online dating. You have to scroll through all the doggie profiles before finding the right breed for you. It takes time and patience, and you find yourself more frustrated the longer it takes.

The hard part is finding the right hypoallergenic breed. Dogs come in different sizes with different personalities. It’s not enough for a dog to be hypoallergenic. You want a breed with a personality that’s perfect for you. So, what about the Australian Shepherd?

We hate to say it, but the Aussie isn’t hypoallergenic. But that doesn’t mean you can’t adopt an Aussie. It actually depends on the person. If you want to know why that is, then keep reading!

What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?

If you’re someone who has dog allergies, odds are, you’re not allergic to the dog’s fur. You’re probably allergic to the proteins found in dog fur.

All dogs have several proteins in their fur, urine, saliva, and dander. Usually, people with dog allergies are allergic to one or two of these proteins. So, there really isn’t a dog that’s truly hypoallergenic since all dogs produce proteins in some way.

But don’t be discouraged. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a dog. And it doesn’t mean you can’t have an Australian Shepherd. At least, not until you’ve figured out which dog protein you’re allergic to.

Dog Proteins and Aussies

Let’s talk about proteins and Aussies. Australian Shepherds produce six different proteins. These are labeled as Can f1, Can f2, Can f3, and so on.

Can f1 is the most common protein. All dogs produce this protein and, sadly, is what most people are allergic to. Specifically, Australian Shepherds produce it in their skin. So, if you’re allergic to Can f1, Australian Shepherds wouldn’t work for you.

Luckily, only male Australian Shepherds produce the Can f5 protein. If you’re allergic to this protein, you can still adopt a female Aussie!

Australian Shepherd on the field with flowers
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Testing for Dog Allergies

Testing for dog allergies can be done through a skin test or blood test with your family doctor. These tests can detect allergen-specific Immunoglobulin E (IgE), antibodies produced in the blood when the body reacts to allergens.

It’s a good idea to get tested for dog allergies before adopting a dog, even if you’re sure you have dog allergies. A test checks for all the dog proteins so you can be sure which ones you’re allergic to.

Tips to Reduce the Allergic Impact Oo Your Dog

Having dog allergies is a real bummer if you’re a dog lover. However, there are things you can do around your house to reduce the impact of dog allergies.

  • Bathe Your Dog Often: Bathing your dog at least once a week helps reduce the number of proteins on your dog’s coat. This will also reduce airborne allergens hidden in your dog’s coat.
  • Brush Your Dog Often: Brushing your dog’s coat reduces dandruff and shedding and helps contain the loose hair.
  • Wipe Down Paws and Fur After Walks: Your dog’s fur and paws will pick up pollen and mold after walks. Wiping your dog’s paws and coat with a baby wipe or pet wipe can help reduce these allergens.
  • Choose a Smaller Breed: Generally, smaller breeds are better because they don’t have as much fur. They also don’t collect as many allergens in their coats. Larger breeds also tend to produce more saliva.
  • Use Air Filters: Air filters are a great way to help filter out any pet allergens, pollen, and other unwanted air toxins.
  • Have a Dog-Free Zone: If you have bad dog allergies, having a place in your home that’s dog dander free is crucial. You can give your body a break in this zone since it’ll be cleaner than the rest of the house.

Final Thoughts

Is it possible to own a dog while you have dog allergies? It depends on the person. Finding the perfect dog takes some time and effort, but if you love dogs as much as we do and you’re willing to do the work, you can find the perfect dog for you.

You don’t want to sacrifice your health to have a dog, though. Be realistic about the animal you can have. You may not be able to have an Australian Shepherd, but there’s bound to be one breed that won’t make your eyes water like crazy.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock