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For a person with allergies to dogs and cats would it be possible to have a Chihuahua?
Question Date: 2004-01-19
Answer 1:

Thanks for your question. It is actually a hard one to answer!

It is a myth that a Chihuahua will not cause problems for a person with allergies to dogs. Allergies to dogs and cats seem to be very specific to the individual who suffers from them. Some people just sneeze or have watery eyes when they are allergic to a cat or dog while others can have a severe asthma attack or have a really bad rash.

Some people are highly allergic to one breed of cat or dog and not to others. There is actually no dog or cat that is allergen free. An allergy to a dog or cat is an over-sensitivity to the dander (dead skin cells), saliva or urine.

Because all dogs and cats produce all of these things it is impossible to find one that is allergen free. There is, however, a possibility that a person suffering from allergies may or may not be as allergic to certain breeds of cats or dogs.

Although you can get information about these breeds from dog breeders, veterinarians or the Internet, it usually comes down to exposing the allergy suffering person to the animal. Because it is usually the dander that people are allergic to, you may not have a really bad allergic reaction to the animal for up to 20 weeks because this is an approximation of the time that it might take for the animal's dander to build up in house that has never had a pet in it before. Twenty weeks is a long time and you would be really attached to a pet by then if you had to say goodbye.

If you only have a mild allergy to a dog there are many prescription medications that a person can talk to their doctor about if they really want to have a furry pet.

My advice- get a fish!

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