I am allergic to dogs and want a puppy.

Years ago I did fine with a Puli, which is a long-haired "hypo-allergenic" breed. Now after four days fostering a 3-month old mutt, my allergy symptoms are present, but very mild. If the symptoms get much worse, he'll need a new home. The mutt is definitely part pit bull, probably part Dalmatian. I live in a warm climate with screened porches and tile floors. There is a fair amount of uncertainty around allergies, and I've heard they sometimes get better and sometimes get worse with time and exposure. I know it would be more sensible to get a hypo-allergenic breed, but I'm willing to risk keeping this puppy, if there is a reasonable chance my allergies will improve.

What typically happens to allergy symptoms over time? I've read the good advice here, and would be grateful for any additional or dog-specific information.

  • 1
    Just a quick comment to keep your hopes up :) My sister is allergic to cats, but if she stays at my place taking care of mine (we have three) for an entire week, at the end of the week she's almost fine without taking any medication. So I think in some cases yes, exposure can help and even remove allergies.
    – elibud
    Sep 2, 2014 at 12:53
  • Thanks, that's encouraging. The allergy shots industry seems to agree.
    – noam
    Sep 2, 2014 at 13:21
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    Related: Is it possible to own a cat with cat allergies?
    – Spidercat
    Sep 4, 2014 at 17:27
  • 3
    >3 years later & all is well, fwiw. He's a very good boy.
    – noam
    May 11, 2018 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


You can become immune to allergies. An allergy is just your immune system thinking that something that shouldn't affect you, is affecting you (like dog hair), so it starts attacking it.

You can build up an immunity to it by 'exposing' your self to it, or through immunotherapy. I got a Labrador as a puppy and am usually very sensitive to hair, I can't even get my hair cut because I'm allergic to my own hair. But I'm fine with my dog sleeping in my bed.


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