Pomeranians, also known as German Spitz or Pomeranian Lulu, are known to be very active and intelligent dogs, capable of excelling in different disciplines such as obedience and Agility.
They are very popular animals, given their great temperament and ability to coexist with children, as long as they are well socialized. At the same time, due to their small size, they are ideal dogs for life in an apartment. This makes many people wonder if these dogs are hypoallergenic or not.
Pomeranians are not hypoallergenic dogs because they shed their hair frequently. Thus, they promote the dissemination in the home of the salivary proteins "Can f1" and "Can f2" that we can find in the animal's dander and that cause an allergic reaction.
However, if you have recently adopted a Pomeranian dog, this does not mean that there are no ways to alleviate allergy symptoms.
In the following article, we hope to help you better understand what allergies are and if there really are hypoallergenic breeds, as well as preventive measures you can take at home to avoid reactions.
What should I know about Pomeranian dogs?
Pomeranian or German Spitz dogs, also known as Pomeranian Lulu and Pomeranian Boo, are small breed dogs. According to the standard established by the American Kennel Club, Pomeranian dogs measure on average between 15 and 18 cm, weighing between 1.5 and 3 kg.
The Pomeranian Lulu is the version that corresponds to the breed standard, it is characterized by a fox-like face (with an elongated muzzle).
The Pomeranian Boo, on the other hand, is characterized by a bear-like face (the shorter muzzle and rounder cheeks give it the appearance of a teddy bear).
When it comes to the Boo Pomeranian, or bear-faced, it must be taken into consideration that, due to their reduced anatomical structure, they are predisposed to suffer from respiratory problems in the same way as brachiocephalic breeds.
Another problem is caused by the small size of the skull, which is not able to accommodate the brain. This causes a condition known as Chiari malformation, where the brain presses against the walls of the skull. This is a very painful condition for the animal and can lead to paralysis.
Generally, in terms of size, there are several types, such as the toy or the teacup-sized Pomeranian. Both types do not exist as such, since the official standard only recognizes one breed, the Pomeranian. However, these terms are typically used to describe dogs that are smaller than average.
As for the coat, it is characterized by being long, and at the same time, it has an undercoat. Because of this, Pomeranian dogs moult relatively frequently throughout the year. Also, during seasonal changes (twice a year), they moult abundantly.
As for colors, the coats recognized by the standard are the following: black, black and tan, blue, blue and tan, blue merle, blue sable (sable color is a light yellowish-tan tone), chocolate, chocolate and tan, cream, cream sable, orange, orange sable, red, red sable, white, white sable, beaver (beaver) and tricolor.
They are very intelligent and relatively active dogs. Despite their small size, they excel in canine activities such as agility and obedience competitions. They have an average life expectancy of between 12 and 16 years.
They are animals that stand out for being very affectionate with their families, being good at interacting with other dogs and dealing with small children.
What causes allergies in humans from dogs?
In the case of animals, it is the salivary proteins Can f1 and Can f2 that trigger such an allergic reaction in a person.
However, there are numerous substances capable of triggering an allergic response.
Sometimes, the reaction does not occur in response to the specific protein of the animal but to substances of a different nature that the animal has attached to its coat or paws.
How do allergic reactions occur?
For an allergic reaction to occur, the organism must first be "sensitized," i.e., it must be exposed to the allergen for the first time.
The organism becomes "hypersensitized," i.e., once it comes into contact with the same allergen a second time, its immune system will trigger an excessive response to it.
Thus, the typical picture of an allergic reaction appears, where we can find the following symptoms: Milder symptoms, such as hives or nasal congestion, may be present, as may more severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, nausea, swelling of the face, and/or loss of consciousness.
This excessive response is characterized by a huge production of a specific type of immunoglobulin, IgE. An antibody (immune system protein) that the body produces to fight antigens such as bacteria, viruses, and allergens.
Are there really hypoallergenic dogs, and what does the science say?
A study comparing breeds of animals considered 'hypoallergenic' with 'non-hypoallergenic' breeds found that the "hypoallergenic" breeds had higher concentrations of Can f1 proteins in their hair. This study questions the existence of hypoallergenic breeds and the concept of a "hypoallergenic breed".
Throughout the research, the scientists wondered if there were certain habits that may have influenced the results obtained, since in some of the homes with "hypoallergenic" dogs, the levels of allergens in the environment were lower.
The type and frequency of household cleaning is one of the factors considered. It is possible that those households with "hypoallergenic" breeds had other types of routines.
It may be that these routines were performed more thoroughly and more frequently, given the clinical history of their inhabitants, where allergic reactions are frequent.
In turn, they found a lower concentration of allergens, both in the ambient air and in the hair, in those animals that had been spayed or neutered. Although the cause is not yet known, it is thought that it may be because they have different daily activity habits.
Why is the Pomeranian not a breed of dog considered hypoallergenic?
The Pomeranian is not considered a hypoallergenic dog, primarily for the following reasons. Firstly, it is questionable whether hypoallergenic dog breeds as such really exist, and secondly, Pomeranian dogs meet two of the basic requirements that scientists determine to be influential:
- On the one hand, they are obviously dogs. Therefore, they are going to produce in their saliva the allergens.
- On the other hand, they shed their fur considerably during seasonal changes. This means that the levels of allergens present in the environment are higher.
It is true that not only the level of shedding is a determining factor, but also the animal's dander levels, as well as its daily habits, for example, if it likes to lick itself frequently.
However, if we have a series of factors that are difficult to manage, such as dander secretion, and we add frequent shedding, we generate an environment with a high load of allergens.
All this makes the Pomeranian not the best choice for a person suffering from allergies. However, just because it is not the best choice does not mean that it is impossible to live with this type of animal. It all depends on the case and the measures we are willing to take.
Can a person with allergies live with a Pomeranian dog?
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article, it is possible that you have adopted a Pomeranian dog, or mongrel, and you need to know if you can live with the animal, because you do not want to give your new pet for adoption.
The definitive answer to this question can only be given by the doctor handling your case. This professional will know exactly what levels you can tolerate.
However, as the referenced article showed, many owners acquire dogs of 'hypoallergenic' breeds thinking that with them they will not suffer allergic conditions.
In spite of this, thanks to the study, we obtained an important fact: although there were no differences in the level of allergens in the coat between the different breeds, there were differences in the environment for some of them.
It is difficult to explain the exact reason for this difference, as even the scientists themselves need to continue their research.
However, the results obtained suggest that if we establish a good hygiene routine, it would be possible to coexist with such animals.
In any case, as we mentioned at the beginning, the professional in charge of your case will be in charge of determining whether or not you can live with such an animal.
How can I reduce my dogs allergens at home?
If you suffer from allergic reactions and you live with a Pomeranian dog, here are some recommendations that can help you with your allergic reactions.
- Brush the dog outside the home every day. This is an effective measure to get rid of excess allergens accumulated in the coat.
- Clean the coat and paws regularly with a towel and a little water. Especially after a walk. This method allows us to remove any allergens that may have remained adhered to our animal.
- Let the dog sleep in a different room. Sleeping with your pet is a very high risk for any allergic person, since you do not give your body the opportunity to recover. It is recommended, in turn, to install an air purifier in the room.
- Cover the surfaces of your furniture. Or, teach them to use only their bed. This way, you avoid having to deep clean all the furniture constantly.
- Avoid licking. The proteins that cause allergies are synthesized in the animal's saliva. Many times, animals lick themselves out of boredom, for hygiene reasons and, sometimes, due to an allergy. By offering our Pomeranian a greater variety of toys to entertain him, we can avoid certain situations, such as those caused by boredom. If they continue with the habit of licking themselves, it may be necessary to visit the veterinarian to determine if they suffer from some type of allergy.
- Get a cleaning robot. Robots reduce the workload, since you can program them to clean the house daily and even several times a day. This reduces the amount of allergens and hairs in the environment considerably.
Although current studies rule out the existence of truly hypoallergenic breeds, they still do not have a clear answer.
One of the important conclusions we draw from such research is that home hygiene routines and habits play a very important role.
This opens the possibility of being able to keep breeds considered as not "hypoallergenic" as pets at home, among them the Pomeranian, as long as we respect the necessary hygienic measures.
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