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What They Are Not Telling You

In this article in The Atlantic titled, “What They Are Not Telling You About Hypoallergenic Dogs”, Sarah Zhang compellingly argues that there is no such thing as a dog that can’t cause allergies, pointing out that dogs that are supposed to be hypoallergenic can cause allergies, whereas other types of dogs that allegedly cause them, don’t cause a mere sniffle. The article contains several tips, including “[D]octors recommend that anyone with allergies spend time with a specific dog before taking it home. . . ‘Have your child hug them, rub their face on them. If nothing happens, that’s a good sign.”

“Technically, “hypoallergenic” means that a dog is less likely to cause allergies, not that it never causes allergies, though this distinction is often lost in colloquial use. But even then, there is no such thing as a consistently hypoallergenic breed. That’s because, although breeds that shed less fur or hair are commonly considered hypoallergenic, the fur or hair itself is not what causes allergies. Rather, it is proteins present in the dander, or small flakes of skin, or saliva. All dogs make these proteins, and all dogs have skin and saliva.”

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