Sorry Obama family–there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Responding to the president-elect’s first press conference after winning the election last week, where he said his eldest daughter, Malia, “is allergic,” allergists have disclosed that there just is no such thing.

Are you a dog lover? Do you think that some breeds are better than others when it comes to minimizing allergies? Well, no such luck. As it turns out, all dogs produce proteins that can cause allergies in humans. These proteins can be found in a dogs’ dander–which is dead skin cells, not fur–saliva and urine. Regular grooming can help, probably why misconceptions abound about hypoallergenic breeds as some breed are groomed more regularly than others. But as far as hair length goes, short hair is no different than long when it comes to allergies.

If you have a dog, and you are allergic–specifically allergic to dogs, not generally allergic to everything–then take solace that many people “outgrow” their allergies, although it may take years. But here are some things you can do to lessen the discomfort:

  • Clean the house often, with vacuums equipped with special filters (HEPA filters are best) and double bags.
  • Keep the dog out of the allergic person’s bedroom.
  • Remove carpeting, where dander can also build up.
  • Bathe the animal weekly.

Or better yet, if you haven’t got a dog, and you or your child is allergic–don’t get one. How about a presidential goldfish?

One Response to Obama’s Dog Woes

  1. ingardkater says:

    ha, ha, ha. That’s a novel idea: if you cannot tolerate certain pets then get one that you can tolerate, or don’t get a pet at all. One does not have to have everything one covets. Real animal lovers respect each species traits. Would you believe there are people that try to make animals conform to their wants or ideology – like forcing carnivorous pets to eat a vegetarian diet? I love your blogs Dr. Nick.

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