Hypoallergenic Dog Is Tall Tail: Allergists to Obama

It's the dander, not the hair, that usually causes problems; steps recommended
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 12:56 PM CST
President-elect Obama and Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm laugh when Obama was asked what kind of dog he planned to get for his family.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama plans to acquire a hypoallergenic dog because of daughter Malia’s allergies, but doctors have bad news, the AP reports. No canine is “truly ‘hypoallergenic,’” an allergists group says. “It is falsely believed that a dog that sheds less will not cause a reaction,” the group continued. In fact, allergens reside in dogs’ skin, urine, and saliva, and cannot be escaped.

Though owners say certain breeds are less irritating, no science supports the claim. Clean, groomed dogs have less dander, or dead skin cells, but the allergen is still there. If Malia is truly allergic, one doctor said, “I wouldn't recommend bringing it in.” The allergists group also provided the president-elect with cleaning tips, including frequent vacuuming and no carpets.