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My partner and I are interested in adopting a dog or cat, but unfortunately, both of my parents have various animal allergies, and we want to make sure they would still be able to visit our home. Since cats are covered by this question, this question is specifically about dogs.

In reading about hypoallergenic dogs, it seems that this whole idea is a myth:

However, prominent allergen researchers have claimed that there is no basis to the claims that certain dog breeds are hypoallergenic and, while allergen levels vary among individual dogs, the breed is not a significant factor.

We have a small home (two rooms), so permanently isolating the dog to one room isn't feasible. I've seen the usual advice about frequent baths, cleaning, etc. but what should we look for in a dog to minimize the conflict with allergies? Contrary to the link above, are there specific breeds we should look for? Characteristics of the fur/hair, or something else?

The Mayo Clinic recommends smaller dogs instead of larger dogs, since they'll shed less, but they don't have much to say on the dogs themselves, and instead focus on other ways to improve the environment.

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  • Every person is unique, there are some dogs that shed less of the allergens that effect certain people, you would need to be aware of what each person allergic to and focus your search around that information. . Have you considered a house rabbit I know of some households that have these because of cat & dog allergies. . Oct 11 '15 at 23:50
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It is and it isn't a myth. Some breeds of dog shed less. Some have less fluff inherently.

The problem is, you don't know what will trigger allergies. It is unlikely to be as simple as a particular breed is "ok".

My suggestion would be - go visit a rescue. Meet some dogs and check everyone who might "react". That way you will get a dog who you know will be ok. And for bonus points, you will know something of its personality and what they get along with.

Worked for us - we both suffered allergies in the past, so we had many of the same concerns.

Failing that though - have you considered a pig? We did seriously look into it, for the very simple reason that pigs are hypoallergenic. And actually quite smart, and able to be house trained. There are a few downsides though - they tend to count as livestock rather than pets, so different laws apply.

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