First, let me share the name of the vet that I was referred to in my last column. We received numerous requests for his contact information, and I got his permission to use him name. He is Dr. Jim Friedly, and his number is 494-1156. He is very friendly, and told me that he knew I was a skeptic. And, rather than try to defend his techniques, he simply explained what he was doing, and why he was doing it. Like any true expert, he then let the results speak for themselves. Again, my mind was blown!
I am not advising anyone to change vets, and this is in no way discounting the abilities or practices of any other vet, nor modern medicine. We saw Dr. Friedly because of many referrals from friends and clients, and his office is just a few minutes from our house, so it was also convenient. My goal was to enlighten people, as I was, to the efficacy of alternative medicine. So talk to your vet about different options should a health issue arise with your pet.
On to today’s topic: Hypoallergenic dogs. Like many people, I accepted the explanations given regarding certain breeds being hypoallergenic, primarily due to minimal shedding, and thus less dander in the area. Then, a few days ago, my wife heard a comment on Animal Planet’s “Dogs 101” program, stating that there are no truly hypoallergenic breeds. We were quite surprised to hear that initially, but started thinking about it, and did a little online research. What we found disproved yet another “common knowledge” myth concerning dogs.
The allergens that affect people are certain proteins found in dog dander and saliva. This is presumed to be the source of the myth that breeds that do not shed much are more likely to be, or are completely, hypoallergenic — as fewer allergens would be present in the environment. Several recent studies have shown, however, that each individual dog produces a different amount of these proteins, regardless of the breed, or crossbreed.
Reading this explained several situations that we have encountered over the years, of clients who were allergic to dogs in general, but found one that they were not allergic to.
I felt that this was important information to forward to the public, as people are spending thousands of dollars on puppies primarily because they are supposedly hypoallergenic. No such dog exists, and even puppies in the same litter will have varying levels of allergy-causing proteins.
There are several ways to deal with dog allergies, and a wealth of information on the subject. My source was Wikipedia, as its page on hypoallergenic dogs had 30 references, and most of those were clinical studies. If you suffer from dog allergies, I recommend starting there. Great information, backed by legitimate scientific research.
Good luck, and hopefully those afflicted will be able to find a new best friend, regardless of the breed.
Jim Beinlich and his wife Bianca own Cool K9’s Dog Training in Colorado Springs. Find them at www.coolk9s.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/coolk9s.