The rise of so-called ‘hypoallergenic’ hounds is giving allergy sufferers cause to hope that it might be possible for them to adopt a canine best friend after all. But what does the science say? Are Doodles like the mega-friendly Maltipoo truly the solution to allergy woes that breeders promise them to be? Are Maltipoos hypoallergenic? Let’s take a look!
Pet Allergies: What Are They and What Causes Them?
According to Healthline, pet allergies affect up to 30% of the country. While cat allergies are far more common, dog ones are more severe. This means that, unfortunately, many people who would love to have a dog will be reluctant to get one because of worries that their symptoms will flare up if they do share their house with a pet.
The widespread myth of pet allergies is that symptoms arise because of an intolerance to loose hair or fur. This simply isn’t the case, but it’s easy to see why people think it. In fact, what the body is responding to are specific proteins found in the animal’s skin cells, saliva, or urine.
Yet, when hair (or fur) is shed, it often carries with it dried saliva from where a pup has licked themselves, or the biggest culprit: dander. This is the name given to flakes of skin that have been shed from the body. As these tiny particles are so small, they can all too easily get breathed in, and…symptoms begin.
Therefore, while the allergy is not linked directly to the hair itself – and people can indeed even be allergic to hairless animals – the more hair, the more loose hair about the place and, obviously, the more dander too. This increases the symptoms tenfold as the body struggles to eliminate and flush out what it perceives as a harmful invader.
The most common symptoms of a pet allergy include sneezing, runny nose, itchy, red, and watery eyes, nasal congestion, itchy nose, itchy roof of mouth or throat, postnasal drip, cough, and feelings of pressure and pain in the face. It can even lead on to skin issues, such as raised, red patches known as hives, eczema, and itchy, flaky spots.
Pet allergies can also exacerbate asthma, making it difficult to breathe with chest tightness and/or pain, an audible wheezing or whistling breath sound, and difficulty sleeping – in large part because of such symptoms. All-in-all it’s easy to understand why pet allergy suffered prefer to remain far away from Fido!
The Great “Doodles Are Hypoallergenic” Debate
Doodles have repeatedly been marketed as incredible hypoallergenic dogs! I mean, just take a look at some breeder’s websites. They’ll have you half convinced that these admittedly lovely dogs are the dream solution for dog allergy sufferers everywhere. What evidence is this based on, though?
Well, as we know now, it’s the proteins in dander and saliva that are the problem, so anyone claiming that their low-shed puppies won’t cause allergies at all are not speaking the whole truth…
However, we also know dead hair and fur provide the perfect transport for these, getting them up in the air and all about the house. For this reason, experts very cautiously do list some low-shedding breeds as being less likely to trigger allergy symptoms. The American Kennel Club (AKC) has this to say, “The truth is, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs, dog breeds, or mixed-breeds, but there are many dog breeds that are less allergenic for people with dog allergies.”
So, with Poodles being listed as less allergenic than other breeds, that’s where the idea that Doodles are hypoallergenic comes from. BUT, we know that Doodles have two types of dogs’ genes in the mix. So, when it comes to Maltipoos, just exactly how likely is it that the puppies will inherit that glorious Poodle coat?
The answer is…we don’t know, BUT it doesn’t matter anyway! The Maltese, as another single-layered, hair-coated breed, is also on this special “hypoallergenic” list! So, no matter which hair type your Malti puppy ends up with (the curly Poodle one of the silky Maltese one), they will be considered more hypoallergenic than most other dog breeds. Hooray!
How to Have a Maltipoo and Enjoy Time With Them Too
So the good news is that a Maltipoo is less likely to make allergies flare-up. However, “less likely” is the key phrase here. While saliva will be less of a problem with these little loves than with many larger ones, there is still the issue of dander. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to further minimize this problem and keep your home a dander-free zone.
Frequent Grooming and (Frequent-ish) Bathing
Removing dead hair and dry skin in as controlled a way as possible is key. With regular grooming, a decent brush will trap the hair, making it super simple to dispose of. The same with bathing; you can wash dead hair and dander right down the drain. With longer hair dogs, you might also consider frequent trims (every 7 to 12 weeks) for even better results.
A word of caution: if you bathe your pup too frequently, it could actually have the opposite effect to intended. A dog’s coat contains oils that keep it healthy, and washing these away can dry out the skin and hair, making it more prone to shedding. Aim for no more than once a fortnight and opt for super hydration-boosting shampoos. Waterless wipes can be used to keep things in check between washes.
Thorough and Regular House Cleaning
Obviously, good housekeeping habits are a must for ensuring that any hair that sneaks through the grooming process and does land on your furniture or floors doesn’t stay there. Regularly brushing down couches and chairs, vacuuming carpets and sweeping kitchen floors where dander can accumulate is all part of this.
You might also consider investing in an air purifier with a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter to help trap any allergens that get through the cleaning process. Finally, consider designating certain parts of the house – likely the bedrooms or upstairs portion of the house would be best – as pup-free. Dog gates will really help with doing this.
Pick the Right Kind of Food
Perhaps not surprisingly, excess skin shedding (and the itching and scratching that goes right along with it) can be a symptom of poor nutrition. It can show you that either your pal is not getting what they need from their diet or that they have their own allergy or intolerance to a particular ingredient in their food.
Luckily it isn’t too tough these days, with many different kinds of canine foods available, to find one that perfectly suits your hound. There are even whole ranges of kibble designed for more sensitive stomachs. A little research on your dog’s specific needs will point you in the right direction, and, luckily for you, we have already done much of the work for you.
Make Use of Supplements and Medications
If you’re doing all the right things for your Dood – like using a moisture-enhancing shampoo and feeding them top-quality food – and you’re still noticing a problem with dry skin, the next thing to do is consult your vet to rule out a medical problem. They might also be able to suggest various supplements like omega oils or hemp oil that could further help them out.
However, a higher rate of shedding might just be unavoidable, at least at certain times of the year. Like most things, it tends to be a seasonal affair. For these periods, you might want to ensure you are well stocked up on remedies like nasal sprays and medicines such as antihistamines and bronchodilators that will help to reduce annoying symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions About Maltipoos for Allergy Sufferers
Are Maltipoos hypoallergenic?
Maltipoos are considered one of the more hypoallergenic types of dogs. This is due to the fact that both parent breeds have single-layer hair coats which don’t shed as much as double-layered fur ones do. However, this in no way means that they can’t trigger allergies – it just means that they are less likely to than other breeds. If you have a dog allergy, then a Maltipoo will probably be a good option for you.
Which Maltipoos shed the least?
Unlike other Doodles who could inherit a high-shedding coat from their non-Poodle parent, there is no specific type of Maltipoo that will shed less than any other. Whichever parent pup your Malti takes after, they are going to inherit a low-shed coat. It’s just more difficult to predict whether it will be a curly, wiry Poodle one, a straight, silky Maltese one, or a wavy one that sits somewhere on the scale between these two wonderful options.
If you are one of the unfortunate 30% who suffers from pet allergies but are dying for a four-legged friend anyway, you’ll be relieved to know that you have a few options. The darling Maltipoo is definitely one of them. These teeny, gorgeous dogs inherit genes from both their parents that make them less likely to leave allergy-causing dander all about the house. In fact, with a little bit of extra care, cleaning and maintenance, you could almost totally eliminate the allergen problem altogether, making it more than possible for you to find your doggy best friend.
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