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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi my daughter who is 8 is allergic to dogs.we visit family dogs and the worst she gets is a stuffy nose and even thats not everytime.we would like to think about getting a puppy in about 12months.my question is all the precautions ive read online, are they likely to help? (I would follow them all religiously) and how possible is it that her allergy could progress to asthma?
 

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It's so hard to say, I have friends whose allergies are not triggered by certain dogs, but that doesn't mean your daughter would be the same. Some people are allergic to the hair so if that's the case, a non shedding dog like a poodle or schnauzer would be fine.

But do not believe the hype about doodles being hypoallergenic. If you cross a non-shedding poodle with a labrador, spaniel etc, the dog could inherit the shedding coat gene from the non poodle dog.

Then, some people are allergic to the dander or the saliva, and all dogs have these.

You could find out if she copes with non-shedding dogs by trying to spend some time with them. Many dog owners are friendly and if you ask nicely if she can stroke their dog many will oblige. Don't be offended if they say no though, some dogs don't like children or strangers, but it's worth making the approach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your reply.the dogs shes ok with are yorkies.were looking at getting a bedlington terrier.both non shedding but obviously still have dander saliva urine etc.im just wortied even if shes ok at first, could more severe reactions occur months later? So tricky
 

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No one can say for sure, that kind of thing is different from person to person. But I will tell you when I was very young, my parents discovered I was allergic to our cat. Had the allergy tests and turned out I was severely allergic to cats 😪 among other animals like rabbits and horses and plants like ragweed. I was mildly allergic to dust, trees and dogs. Also short haired cats got a bigger reaction than long haired persians, go figure.

Our family is really animal orientated, so after we rehomed our cat with my grandmother, my parents decided to go with a mini schnauzer. Now with cats, I have asthma and my skin would break out in hives on my face and any scratches with their claws or contact with saliva swells up bigtime and so itchy. But with our schnauzer, that didn't happen.

Sorry I hit submit by accident
Now that I'm older, my allergies to cats seem to have improved, but I never had issues with schnauzers. My OH and I have had 3 schnauzers of our own (I pretty much went my whole life with a schnauzer) and still to this day, I don't notice much if anything in way of allergies. Only at times I'll notice a small reaction while bushing or grooming them, but again, it's maybe an itchy eye or a sniffle. Nothing an antihistamine eye drop can't fix. And it's not very often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is there any way to be sure before we got one? I can spend time with other dogs, but is a few hours long enough? Like you say its different for everyone.she could be fine with some dogs but react badly with what we get.im worried will never actually know the extent of it (or no extent) until its done
 

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I don't know how practical it would be but maybe start contacting breeders of the breeds you are interested in. Look on Champdogs to find breeders. Be totally upfront, explain your concerns - if they are good breeders they will be pleased you are trying to cover all the bases before you commit. They may be happy for you and your daughter to visit their dogs and spend time with them.

If you find a breeder and want us to look at their website to see if there are any red flags regarding their breeding practices and ethics, shout out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would love to do that however i fear breeders are hours away from where im from (north west) would you happen to know how i would find out about breeders?
 

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My limit now expired to edit 😑
I was just thinking that. What I wrote was not sure yorkies are typically considered non-allergic but they might not shed much. Even schnauzers shed, but the loose hairs stay caught in the undercoat, the reason they should be brushed daily because that would cause matting.

I would react by a couple hours. I would do as you think and visit a place with the dog breed you are considering. Do you have a friend with a yorkie close by? Visit the yorkie often and see if theres a reaction. Sorry I can't tell you for sure if it will be ok, but IME if I'm gonna react, I'll react within 30 minutes. Even when using a poker table a cat was sitting on in another home.

We were advised not to have the dog sleep in my room, not doing the grooming, and stuff like that. I can't tell you for sure, but taking the precautions you can is the best plan.
 

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The Champdogs website should give you some leads.

For Bedlington terriers you might find there are more in the North East but when you consider that this is a 12 year commitment (or thereabouts) it has to be worth taking the time to do the research now.
 

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Most people who are not highly allergic and even some who are can tolerate miniature poodles. There are breeders of those just about everywhere. You could arrange to go and spend some time with the dogs and see what reaction your daughter has to them. They are good little dogs, and very trainable. You do have to groom them but it's not a big deal if you keep the hair cut short. And they are a lot easier to find than Bedlington terriers, and from what I hear much easier to train. (This is only what I have heard, as I have not trained a Bedlington myself).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
To be honest we would love a dog so badly were open to most breeds but obviously want to be sensible so id consider all that would be recommended to us thank you
 

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Hi. Welcome to the forum. :)

I would suggest waiting until your daughter is old enough to manage her own allergies. So many animals (especially dogs and cats) are handed in to rescue becuase the child of the family turned out to be allergic. You already know she's allergic to dogs, so in my opinion, it would be unethical to get a dog while she's so young, when you know there's a chance the dog will end up being rehomed.

I appreciate it's probably not what you want to hear, but I am speaking from experience. I had (still have) eczema and asthma as a child and grew up knowing for a fact that my brother would love to have had a dog - and that I was the reason we didn't have one. It hurt, because I adore my brother, and I knew how much he yearned for a dog of his own, but my parents were right.

When I was 20, my mum made an offhand comment about wanting a dog. I said "Then get one - don't let me stop you, I won't be living here forever."

6 months later, we got a 1 year old, medium sized mongrel called Max - my brother chose him. Long storty short, my parents split up, I got my own place, and Max came with me. He was PTS (Put To Sleep) 3 years ago, at the age of 14, with me and my brother beside him. I now have 2 dogs of my own - a michievous lurcher called Milly, and a Chihuahua called Honey.

Is there any way to be sure before we got one? I can spend time with other dogs, but is a few hours long enough? Like you say its different for everyone.she could be fine with some dogs but react badly with what we get.im worried will never actually know the extent of it (or no extent) until its done
An allergic reaction can take up to 3-4 days from contact with the allergen to present.
 
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Can I also suggest that if you proceed, you think carefully about breed characteristics.

Over millennia we have bred dogs to do particular jobs, like pulling, guarding, herding, hunting, vermin control. A couple of hundreds of years of being pets doesn't cancel that out. It's why we don't use terriers to herd sheep for example; it could in theory be done but its a lot harder.

So, when you are looking at breeds, think also about what you are looking for in terms of being chilled or needing a job, handler focussed or independent, easy to train or with a ”why should I?” attitude.

And, I suggest this to a lot of people in your situation.

For the next month, act like you have an adult dog. Get up an hour earlier than normal, take an hour long walk. Do the same in the evening after work - and come straight home from work; no shopping, gym, socialising. Do this every day, without fail, regardless of the weather.

Be aware of the season, and remind yourself every morning that for several months of the year you will be doing this in the cold and dark.

Also put away what you think a dog will cost for food, insurance, vet bill excesses, toys etc, then add 10% because we always underestimate these things.

That will give you a good insight into some of the commitment you will need to make.

Try not to think about what a dog will bring to your family, think about what your family can offer to a dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thats good advice 😊 we have 6 rats at the moment and my childs only 8 so its probably going to be 18months or so until we even consider a dog because i dont want rats abd a dog at same tine also my child will be older.but always good to think about stuff
 

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Yeh its just hard because i know she can be around yorkie terriers for days and be fine 😫
Well, that being the case, get a Yorkshire terrier. :) They are nice small dogs.

I personally do not agree that you should wait until your child is grown up and can get a dog on her own. For a kid to have a special pet is a very important part of growing up and learning many things, and I would never deprive a child of that if it were at all possible. I learned more from being with my childhood dog than I did in most other places combined when I was a kid. He taught me so much, and he was my special companion, someone I could love with all my heart, who was always there for me, and he made my life so much better than it would have been without him that I cannot even imagine who I would have grown up to be without having him in my life at such a critical time.

As a safety net, ask the breeder if they will help you to rehome the dog or take him or her back if your child does start having problems. I think it's worth taking the chance. I also know that for some kids with mild allergies having a pet can make the allergies lessen with time. Not saying that will happen, just that it has been known to. I bet that you would find out within the first year whether or not this is going to work. To have to rehome the dog would be very hard on everyone, including the dog, yes. But if it works out the benefits for your child and for you make taking the chance worth it, in my opinion.
 

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Perhaps it helps to think about the pros and cons. It sounds to me like the primary con on your mind right now is a mild health concern that may not even apply. I'd say it's worth exploring having a family pet. Borrow a friend's dog for a few days. Maybe foster a dog? You may discover other cons. Or you may decide having a dog is right for you.

Also, I agree that you should wait until your rats have moved on. A dog may not be able to co-exist with them.
 
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