Bichon Frise: Are Bichon Frises Really Hypoallergenic?
(from Greek prefix hypo meaning "below normal" or
: Having little likelihood of causing an allergic
response<hypoallergenic cosmetics><hypoallergenic dogs>
Definition from Miriam-Webster Online Dictionary
Since Bichon Frises have often been promoted as
being hypoallergenic, what does this really mean?
Even though ďhypoallergenicĒ is an adjective
commonly used to describe products that are unlikely to
cause an allergic reaction, it is not a medical term
therefore not subject to a certain standard for use. The
term hypoallergenic originated with advertisers to
describe textiles and cosmetics that claimed to cause
fewer allergic reactions. As the prefix hypo implies it
means ďlessĒ not ďnoneĒ.
Although the Bichon Frise can be an excellent choice for
those who have allergies, because they donít shed, no
dog is known to be completely not allergenic.
People tend to think that they are allergic to dog or
cat hair. When actually allergic reactions are not
caused by pet hair but by allergens found in proteins in
the skin and shed as dander allergens. Dander allergens
are the dead skin cells that are not only found in your
petís hair but also in saliva, urine and can be
transferred to your petís fur when they clean or lick
themselves. Allergens can be very stubborn; they cling
to clothes and furniture and can remain airborne for
long periods of time.
Often an allergy can go undetected for some time since
it takes multiple exposures to dander allergens to
trigger an allergic reaction. If you think you might be
allergic to your dog and of course you donít want to get
rid of your family pet, itís important to learn how to
manage your allergies.
So what can you do if you start getting red itchy eyes,
runny nose and sneezing and wheezing and you suspect
your faithful companion causes it? First check with your
physician to see if you really are allergic to your
little Bichon Frise, or if youíre allergic to something
else, such as mold, dust or pollen. If you suspect or
discover that your precious pet may be the culprit you
can improve your environment by making the following
To Allergen Proof Your Home:
- Use air cleaners and air filters.
- Increase surfaces that can be washed easily.
- Install vertical blinds instead of curtains.
- Steam-clean wall-to-wall carpeting or remove carpets.
- Vacuum frequently using a vacuum cleaner with a high
allergen containment rating.
- Restrict your petís access to regularly used furniture
- Wash pets weekly with a special moisturizing allergy
- Spray petís coat with an anti-allergy spray to help
- Wash hands often when playing or grooming pet.
- Groom often to keep skin and coat healthy.
- Groom outside.
- Wear gloves and mask while grooming.
Bichon Frises are often recommended to individuals with
allergies because they typically produce fewer allergens
and donít shed. Since individual allergy sufferers vary
greatly, a hypoallergenic pet may still affect someone
with severe allergies or asthma. If youíre an allergy
sufferer and considering adopting a Bichon Frise you
might want to visit him/her a few times before bringing
your pet home.
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