Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?

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Shiba Inus are not considered non-allergenic at all. They possess a thick double coat that is known to shed profusely. The double-coat that causes this type of heavy shedding consists of two layers.

They have a short, dense undercoat covered with a top coat of long guard hairs. The undercoat provides the insulation, while the topcoat repels dirt and moisture. The two layers act in tandem to regulate the dog’s body temperature and protect them from the elements.

Shiba Inu shedding is due to the release of their undercoat and subsequent dander throughout the year. This shedding tends to increase in the warmer months as the dog’s body releases dead skin and excess hair. Often, dogs with dense undercoats go through what is known as a blowout caused when the dog experiences a rapid shedding that results in large amounts of hair and skin dropping at once. While alarming to see, it is a normal process that alleviates as the coat evens out on its own over time.

What Does Non-allergenic Mean?

Hypoallergenic dogs describe breeds with hair that is more similar to humans and prone to far less shedding. This reduction of hair and dander shedding makes hypoallergenic breeds easier for people with allergies to live with and maintain.

The protein responsible for allergic reactions is in the saliva and dander. When discussing a non-allergenic quality, it is vital to remember dogs themselves are not non-allergenic. A particular type of hair and its reduced shedding capacity makes them less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

It is also imperative that a potential owner is aware that the saliva is still capable of causing symptoms of allergies.

Why Are You Allergic To Your Dog?

If you are wondering why you are allergic to your dog, you are not alone. Many people who are allergic to dogs have symptoms that may be due to a variety of substances. People are typically sensitive to one or a combination of the following.

Dander – dead skin cells that adhere to dog hair circulate into the air during the shedding process

Saliva – the protein found in dander is also located in dog saliva and can cause skin irritation such as itchiness, rash, and hives when a person with allergies is licked or mouthed by a dog.

Urine and Feces – like saliva and dander, these substances also contain the same protein responsible for allergic reactions in people.

Allergic reactions are due to hypersensitive immune responses in which a person’s body treats animal dander, saliva, and excrements like a bacterial or viral threat and attempts to eliminate the substance.

How To Reduce Dander

There are a few ways to reduce exposure to the dander produced by a Shiba Inu and therefore reduce the severity and frequency of an allergic reaction.

Frequent Grooming – combing and brushing help shed hair and dander quickly and efficiently while also keeping the majority of allergens in a concentrated area. Grooming needs to happen outside of the home.

Regular Bathing – regular bathing is fantastic for reducing the amount of dander that sheds with the hair. It is imperative to use a moisturizing and conditioning shampoo so as not to exacerbate excessive dry skin or unintentionally increase dander production. Bathing must commence by a professional groomer or a person who does not suffer from allergies.

Vacuum Frequently – This is imperative to ensure that any dander shed within the home is quickly removed and not left to get kicked up into the air. Vacuuming the entire house and being thorough in pet areas and sleeping quarters can significantly reduce the probability of an allergic reaction.

What Can You Do To Manage Your Allergies?

If you or a family member has allergies and are concerned about your Shiba Inu shedding, there are a few methods to help manage allergies and the associated symptoms.

Wash your bedding frequently, especially if pets are allowed to sleep on the bed or within the bedroom.

Keep furniture covered and wash the covers frequently,

Wash your hands and face after touching or cleaning up after your pet.

Speak to your doctor about the availability of allergy injections. They help reduce sensitivity to an allergen over time.

Look into over-the-counter allergy tablets. They are used to suppress your body’s immune response for a duration of time. Keep in mind that the effects wear off after a while. Regular doses are often required. Speak with a doctor about what is available to determine which is best for you.

When considering whether or not to get a dog, remember that measures must be taken to ensure that you and your home are prepared to handle and maintain a Shiba Inu and effectively manage the potential for allergic reactions.