Bulldogs have a lot going for them if you are looking for a new companion to bring into your home, but a bulldog is not hypoallergenic, so if you have allergies, this breed may not be the best option. There are breeds that produce fewer allergens that you may want to consider instead.
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What causes pet allergies?
All dogs produce allergens, which are various proteins that trigger allergy symptoms in your system. These proteins are found in a dog's dander, hair, saliva, and urine. This means that even short-hair dogs like the bulldog can produce plenty of allergens that may cause problems in your household.
Symptoms of a dog allergy may include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, facial pain, coughing, chest tightness, wheezing, red or watery eyes, itchy eyes, or skin rash. If you are experiencing symptoms, consult your doctor or an allergy specialist to confirm that pets are the cause. Your doctor will likely do a skin test to identify the allergen to which you are reacting.
If you have a mild allergy, you may be able to bring a bulldog into your home with a few precautions to minimize exposure to allergens, but if your allergy is severe, opt for a more hypoallergenic breed.
Preventing and managing pet allergies
Manage pet allergies by keeping pets out of the bedroom and off your bed and furniture. Make sure your pup is groomed and bathed regularly to prevent shedding and reduce dander. Take care to wash your hands after interacting with your pet. A HEPA air filter can help to remove allergens from the air. Be sure to clean regularly with a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner.
In addition, you can talk to your doctor about allergy medications that may be helpful. Some options include oral antihistamines, prescription allergy medications, allergy shots, steroid nasal sprays, antihistamine eye drops, and inhaled corticosteroids.
A bulldog is not hypoallergenic
Since a bulldog is not hypoallergenic, he is not a good choice for a dog lover who suffers from pet allergies. While they aren't heavy shedders, they do still shed some fur and dander into your environment. Plus, they tend to drool, and saliva is a known source of allergens. Despite his short coat, he does require hands-on care to brush loose fur and clean the skin's wrinkles and folds.
Another potential problem is that bulldogs cannot live outdoors if you or a family member are experiencing allergy symptoms. They have a short nose, which can lead to breathing problems, especially in hot and humid weather.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds
No dog is completely hypoallergenic, so if you or a family member have severe allergies, be sure to consult your doctor before bringing a pet into the home. If you do decide on a hypoallergenic breed, there are plenty from which to choose. Consider a hairless breed, such as the American hairless terrier or the Peruvian Inca orchid. There are also hairless varieties of Xoloitzcuintli and Chinese crested dog breeds.
If you prefer a dog with hair that has minimal shedding, consider a poodle; Lagotto Romagnolo; Portuguese water dog; or a giant, standard, or miniature schnauzer. For a small hypoallergenic dog, consider a bichon frise or coton de tulear. Keep in mind that these breeds need a regular trim or trip to the groomer. If you prefer a dog with hair that doesn't need a regular grooming appointment, consider breeds such as the Irish water spaniel or Spanish water dog.