Allergies Complicate Obamas' Pooch-Vetting Process

Malia's issues have AKC pushing 'hypo-allergenic' breeds; docs say there's no such thing
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2008 2:08 PM CST
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama hugs his daughter Malia as they watch a parade in Butte, Mont., July 4, 2008.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Animal advocates are chomping at the bit to sway President-elect Obama’s choice of first dog, and they’re using daughter Malia's allergies to do it, the New York Times reports. The American Kennel Club suggests the Obamas buy a “hypoallergenic” breed like a poodle or Bichon Frise, but allergy specialists say there’s not really any such thing.

“Pet allergies are not due to hair, but are from pet dander—skin flakes—but also can be reactions to saliva or urine,” said one doctor. Poodles and other dog breeds that don’t shed typically produce less dander, but can still pose a threat. The Obamas are leaning toward a obtaining a “goldendoodle” from a shelter, the Chicago Tribune notes.