There are many out there who often ask themselves, “Why do people have dogs?” Are you also wondering, “Why should I have a dog?”
Well, a better question, in my opinion, would be, “Why wouldn’t you have a dog in your life?”
Dogs are truly relentless givers who only live to love and protect their owners. No matter what, they’ll always be loyal and this is something you can’t just find in other creatures, especially humans. They know no jealousy, they can never be selfish and they will always stick by your side. Dogs, unlike people, don’t care how badly you’ve screwed up, how much money you have or what your status in life is. The best part about having a dog by your side is that you are as free as you want to be and still have someone around who cares.
In other words, a dog can be your best friend, a family member and sometimes mean the whole world to you. And, most importantly, there’ll never be such thing as a bad day with a dog. However, is it really possible to have a fun and loving dog when you have asthma?
The Connection Between Asthma and Dogs
Asthma is a medical condition during which your airways become slender and swell and produce additional sticky mucus (phlegm). This may also build respiratory toughness and trigger coughing –a wheezing/whistling sound –and shortness of breath. For some people, this respiratory illness can be a minor nuisance while for others, it can be a serious downside that interferes with daily activities.
In general, there are different types of asthma, with the most common one known as allergic asthma and the least common one known as non-allergic asthma. Unlike allergic asthma, non-atopic asthma (non-allergic asthma) is a type of asthma that isn’t triggered by pollutants like dust and dirt, but rather by factors like stress, infections, exercise and weather conditions.
So, if you suffer from non-atopic asthma, you can have a dog. But, if you suffer from allergic asthma, owning a dog can make the symptoms worse. Why?
One of the main allergens that triggers asthma is pet dander and according to statistics, more than 30% of people suffering from asthma are also allergic to pets like dogs. When you come into contact with a dog, play with him and spend time with him, you are also exposed to its dander (a kind of animal dandruff) and saliva, which can worsen asthma symptoms. It is important to understand that it’s not the dog’s fur that causes the allergic reaction; the protein found in the fur is the allergy-inducing culprit and it will lead to symptoms like shortness of breath, sore throat, itchy skin, watery eyes, coughing and running nose.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Hypoallergenic pets are quite the trend today, especially for asthmatic people who can’t live without pets.
The term “hypoallergenic” refers to something that causes less allergic reactions. Strictly speaking, in my opinion, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. There are, however, several dog breeds that can cause fewer allergic reactions because of their coat type which produces fewer of these allergens as compared to others.
So, here’s a list of some hypoallergenic dog breeds:
- Afghan hound poodles
- Airedale terriers
- Portuguese water dogs
- American hairless terrier
- Bedlington terrier
- Bichon frise
- Chinese crested
- Coton de Tulear
- Giant or standard schnauzer
- Irish water spaniel
- Kerry blue terrier
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Miniature schnauzer
- Peruvian Inca orchid
- Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka
- Soft-coated Wheaten or Yorkshire terrier
A Personal Word:
I know many people who have asthma who lived happily with dogs. But, there are also people who’ve suffered the harsh consequences of living with a dog. Also, remember that according to some experts, hypoallergenic dogs can still be problematic for some people suffering from asthma. So, even if you’ve taken all the precautionary measures and adopted a hypoallergenic dog but are still suffering from lots of asthma flare-ups, I would strongly recommend finding another home for your furry friend.