If you are a dog lover who is allergic to dogs, you’re not alone. Fortunately, there are a few methods that you can use to help reduce the allergens around the house, and a few dog breeds are considered to be hypoallergenic.
But can an allergy sufferer live with a Norwich Terrier? The good news is that Norwich Terriers are considered hypoallergenic!
Here, we give you a few tips that should make living with a dog easier. We also go through a few other hypoallergenic breeds, as well as the breeds that you should avoid.
What Causes Pet Allergies?
Pet allergies are primarily caused by three things:
- Saliva: Dried-up saliva is one of the leading causes of pet allergies. After your dog licks and nibbles on their coat, the saliva dries up and flakes off, where it becomes airborne and can be inhaled. This can lead to an allergic reaction.
- Dander: It’s not fur that causes allergies, it’s dander. Dander is dry, dead skin cells that hitch a ride on the hair flying off the dog’s coat. Like saliva, dander will sit on surfaces and eventually reach your mouth, nose, and eyes.
- Urine: While urine isn’t as common in the house as saliva and dander because dogs typically urinate outside, accidents happen, and that’s another trigger for allergy sufferers.
Why Are Norwich Terriers Okay for Allergy Sufferers?
First, it’s important to note that there isn’t a 100% truly hypoallergenic dog. The more that a dog sheds, the more dander goes with the shed fur, so hypoallergenic breeds tend to have less (or no) hair or don’t shed as much. But there is always shedding to some degree.
Part of what makes the Norwich Terrier more hypoallergenic than most other breeds is they aren’t heavy shedders. That said, the maintenance of their coat is quite labor intensive if you choose to hand-strip their coats.
Norwiches have a double coat with a soft undercoat to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The outer coat is an almost weatherproof coat, with harsh, wiry hair. Many double-coated dogs tend to shed excessively, but the Norwich are known to shed much less than most other breeds.
They still need weekly grooming, though, and you should have them groomed more frequently during the spring and fall shedding seasons. But the thing that makes their coats more of a challenge to take care of is that they should be hand-stripped about every 2 months. You need to learn how to hand-strip their coat yourself or find a groomer willing to do this labor-intensive job.
Without hand-stripping, the coat will lose much of its natural color, and the wire coat will start to soften. This is when more shedding is likely to occur.
Reducing the Allergens
While the Norwich can be considered hypoallergenic, there are a few measures that you can take to reduce the allergies even more.
- Cleaning up: Keeping on top of the vacuuming and dusting can reduce much of the dander and saliva flying around. Invest in a vacuum that is made to tackle pet hair. Try to clean as many surfaces as possible, like curtains, stairs, and furniture. Wash your dog’s bedding and toys, and consider getting an air purifier with a HEPA filter.
- Redecorate: Consider changing your curtains and furniture if they are made of materials that attract pet hair, like velvets and wools. Try smoother fabrics, like satin, silk, leather, and denim.
- Bathtime: Norwiches don’t need baths often, but when you do opt to bathe your dog, use a shampoo for dogs that helps reduce shedding. Frequent baths will dry out your dog’s skin, which also means more dander.
- No bedroom: Keep your bedroom off-limits to your dog, so it’s one less room to worry about.
Breeds to Avoid
Try to avoid dogs that drool excessively, shed frequently, and have many skin folds, which include:
- Labrador Retrievers
- Basset Hounds
- Cocker Spaniels
- Saint Bernards
Breeds that are Better for Allergy Sufferers
While there isn’t a genuine hypoallergenic breed, some breeds are better for allergy sufferers than others.
- Afghan Hounds
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Bichon Frise
- Portuguese Water Dogs
It’s good news that Norwiches are easier to live with for allergy sufferers, but a certain amount of grooming is necessary to keep it this way. Just ensure that you’re grooming them at least once a week and hand-stripping them every few months, and you’ll have a beautiful little dog that you can live with without worrying too much about allergies.