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Hypoallergenic is the characteristic of provoking fewer allergic reactions in allergy sufferers. Hypoallergenic means to have a decreased tendency to cause allergies; hypo means less, not none. Hypoallergenic pets still produce allergens, but because of their coat type or absence of fur, typically produce less than others of the same species. People with severe allergies and asthma might still be affected by a hypoallergenic pet.

There is no such thing as a nonallergenic pet.

Hypoallergenic pets

For allergy sufferers, a hypoallergenic pet might enable them to have a pet in their home, whereas most dogs, cats, rabbits, and other fur-bearing animals can make their lives miserable. The proteins that cause allergies are found not only in the animals' fur or hair but also in saliva, urine, mucous, and hair roots and in the dander sloughed from the animals' skin.

Some dog breeds have been promoted as hypoallergenic, such as the Afghan Hound whose coat (hair) does not shed and is the same pH as human hair creating no dander, Maltese, Bichon Frisť, Poodle, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, and the Schnauzer. The Goldendoodle or other Poodle hybrids might do well for some who have allergies because they do not shed their hair. However, no canine is known to be completely nonallergenic.

In October 2004, the Los Angeles company Allerca announced that within three years it will be able to produce a hypoallergenic cat using genetic modification. At the same time, the company denied that it will be able to do the same for dogs, because whereas cats have a single gene that produces the allergenic protein, dogs have many allergenic proteins controlled by multiple genes.

See also

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