"There is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog or cat," says Riedl. For starters, people aren't allergic to pet hair; they're allergic to proteins in the animals' dander (skin cells), saliva, and urine. Research has shown that no dog breed produces fewer allergens than any another. However, if you are allergic to cats or dogs and are hell bent on getting pets, you can try immunotherapy, he says. Stokes adds that washing your pet twice a week can keep the skin allergens down to a minimum (though that doesn't help with the proteins in the saliva and urine). And if you aren't allergic to pets but are allergic to pollen, you may want to keep your animals strictly inside or outside. "They bring that stuff into the house," says Stokes.
Credit: Mehmet Salih Guler / Getty Images
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