Pet allergy sufferers get the short end of the stick in a lot of ways. Not only do they have to deal with the symptoms of their allergies like sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and coughing, but they have to be selective with which animals they welcome into their homes.
If you’re searching for a hypoallergenic dog to add to your family, you might be wondering if a French bulldog would be a good pick. They have short hair, so they should be great for allergy sufferers, right? Unfortunately, Frenchies do shed a lot despite their short hair, making them a not-so-great breed for people with pet allergies.
What Causes Pet Allergies?
People sometimes think that pets with short coats or no fur at all (à la Sphynx cats) are a great pick for allergy sufferers. This is simply not the case, as in most situations; it is not the pet’s fur that’s triggering the allergic reaction.
Pet allergies are most often caused by the exposure to the dead skin flakes (dander) that pets can shed. Any animal that has fur could potentially cause an allergic reaction in someone with allergies, though cats and dogs are the most common.
The proteins in animal skin cells, saliva, and urine can also be an allergy trigger.
Could I Be Allergic to French Bulldogs?
Pet allergies affect 10% to 20% of the worldwide population, so if you’re sniffling and snuffling in the presence of animals, you’re in good company. The good news is that some pets can be considered “hypoallergenic”, which means that they’re less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. The bad news is that French Bulldogs are not generally considered to be part of this category.
Frenchies, despite their short coats, shed a moderate amount throughout the year. They have “seasons” when they shed much more, such as when the weather starts warming up. Since their coats are so short, it’s easy for dander to get caught in their hair. This allergen-laced hair will then be dispersed throughout your home and onto your clothing which will then cause an allergic reaction.
Frenchies can also be slobbery little devils, so it’s not only their dander you’ll need to worry about triggering your allergies. So, while you may be able to live with the seasonal bouts of shedding, the saliva is something an allergy sufferer will have to contend with year-round.
Can I Still Get a French Bulldog If I Have Allergies?
The answer to this question will depend entirely on you and the severity of your allergy. How badly do you react when exposed to pet allergens? Are you willing to put up with those symptoms to have a Frenchie?
If you said “yes” to the last question, there are some things you can do once you welcome your new pup home that can help cut down on your symptoms.
First, get used to grooming your dog a lot. You should be grooming his coat every two or three days to release any stuck dander from the skin.
Next, you’ll need to commit to vacuuming your home regularly. You might even consider removing any carpets or rugs in your space as they can harbor allergens in their fibers.
Commit to keeping your pup out of your bedroom to prevent any allergens from finding their way onto your bedding.
You can also try speaking with your allergist to see if immunotherapy is right for you. Immunotherapy can be effective in reducing allergic symptoms, but it can be pricey. You can try your luck with over-the-counter allergy symptoms treatments such as antihistamine tablets or corticosteroid nasal sprays.
While French Bulldogs are not technically considered hypoallergenic, you could potentially still adopt one depending on the severity of your allergies. If your allergies are quite severe, you might consider a breed that is less likely to trigger a reaction, such as a Bichon Frise or Labradoodle.
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