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Hello everyone, I have read this forum for many years but just "officially" created an account within the last few days. I am writing because I was hoping to get some advice from poodle owners that may be allergic to dogs or who have children allergic to dogs. I have a son with a severe dog allergy (confirmed by blood, skin and being around dogs). For years I had a 3 pound pure bred toy poodle who caused zero reactions. Unlike when we visited my sister in law with a chihauha where his eyes and face swelled immediately. When I foster poodle mixes, he often gets a runny nose . Luckily I foster for them for only about 2 weeks at a time, then take at least a month break. Currently I am fostering an 11 pound miniature poodle (who may or may not be pure bred I am not sure). We have had her for almost 3 months. I am so tempted to keep her but sometimes my son has a runny nose and I can't tell if its because he has a cold (winter season) or allergies. Would a bigger size dog trigger more allergies than a small one? (Sorry if that is a stupid question). Also, since this dog is a senior, I was hoping to get him a poodle puppy when I found the right one, and I wonder if 2 poodles would cause him a reaction? My son is 8 and with autism so I do not want to put him on medications for allergies if I can help it, if any of you have advice or suggestions I would greatly appreciate it. Right now I am not sure if the only poodle I could ever have is a tiny one.
 

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Poodles are not allergen free dogs, but they are usually easier on allergies because they produce less dander, do not shed (so they're not spreading dander) and do not salivate very much. The reaction your son has probably depends on what it is he's reacting to. A bigger dog will produce more allergens, and this is true even for poodles. So I would think that if he has a slight reaction to a small dog, it would be more for a bigger dog. Or two dogs. Of course, many people with allergies have such little reaction to poodles that they do fine with them even if they have several. My boyfriend is still allergic to my mini, but less so than he would be for a normal dog. We take precautions like not letting the dog lick him, and not letting the dog in the bedroom. I try to bathe frequently, and keep shaved face and feet to minimize any spread of saliva or urine. It seems to work well enough for us. So it is hard to know without knowing the details of your situation. If your son is allergic to the saliva, there are steps you can take to minimize this. If it's dander, you could try increasing bathing. With urine, baths as well as frequent sanitary grooming should help, but I would also try to not let him play anywhere near the dog's potty areas.
 

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thank you Raindrops. Because of my son's autism I was hoping one day to maybe get a Spoo that I could train to be his service dog, but because of his allergies I am a bit hesitant and saddened to think that he probably won't be able to have one. dogs are so great to help with socialization and for companionship. He has no friends and I remember when I was young and felt lonely pets (both cats and dogs) were so instrumental for me. sigh.....

How often do you bathe your mpoo? Weekly? Right now I have my foster in my bedroom though she has a dog bed in the family room as well. Because she is a senior and shy she hasn't really tried to lick my son or anything so I guess that is a good thing. He does want to pet her but not much. Do you have air purifiers in your home and does that help your boyfriend's allergies? How big is your mpoo? Again sorry for all these questions, I am just trying to make some informed decisions.
 

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No dogs are 100% allergen free. I am allergic to dogs and I tolerate my 2 toy poodles (6-7 pounds) but they still give me allergies. Eyes itching, runny nose and sometimes even asthma (but rarely).

I am convinced the bigger the dog, the most allergic reactions. But also that sometimes, for unknown reasons, a specific dog of any breed won’t trigger any reactions in a specific person. But that’s like finding a needle in a hay stack.

If you’ve had the dog for three months, and your child only has a very occasional runny nose, I would also be very inclined to keep this specific dog. You might try 10 others just like the one you have and none would work. It’s the allergen lottery...

When you have allergies, you’re just happy when you meet an animal who won’t make you ill. I had a chihuahua for 13 years that I tolerated well, then tried to get another one when she passed but it was a nightmare and I couldn’t keep her.

Your situation is ideal because by fostering, you have all the time to figure out if the dog is okay with your son, without having to rehome. It’s ideal for the dog, and ideal for you. If you like this dog and your son is doing well, then I think the universe sent you the dog you need !
 

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thank you Raindrops. Because of my son's autism I was hoping one day to maybe get a Spoo that I could train to be his service dog, but because of his allergies I am a bit hesitant and saddened to think that he probably won't be able to have one. dogs are so great to help with socialization and for companionship. He has no friends and I remember when I was young and felt lonely pets (both cats and dogs) were so instrumental for me. sigh.....

How often do you bathe your mpoo? Weekly? Right now I have my foster in my bedroom though she has a dog bed in the family room as well. Because she is a senior and shy she hasn't really tried to lick my son or anything so I guess that is a good thing. He does want to pet her but not much. Do you have air purifiers in your home and does that help your boyfriend's allergies? How big is your mpoo? Again sorry for all these questions, I am just trying to make some informed decisions.
Yes I usually bathe him weekly, and we just keep the bedroom door closed most of the time to keep any dander in the air from going in. My boyfriend is on allergy meds. I think his allergies have improved over the last 7 months that we've had Misha, but it's hard to tell as he has allergies to other things as well. If she isn't licking then it's probably just a dander allergy. I would personally put up with an occasional runny nose if the alternative was not having my dog. I wouldn't say this will necessarily prevent him from having a service dog, though I know minis can also make good service dogs depending on what the needs are. Ours is 14.5-15" and 15-16 lbs, and is quite sturdy. I would expect a puppy to trigger allergies much more than an adult dog because they're so messy and mouthy, but as they mature it would get better.
 

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What a tough situation. I'm sorry :(

I'm allergic to some dogs, and it's always quite obvious because I'll get dramatic welts where they've licked me or grazed me with their nails. But I know everyone reacts differently.

One thing to keep in mind is that just because your son is not allergic to a puppy, that doesn't mean he won't become allergic as the dog matures. So many biological changes take place in those first couple of years.

If you do decide to get him a spoo, maybe look into an adult one? And only after multiple meetings in which they really get up close and personal.

Good luck. In the meantime, how about a reptile for your son to love and care for? Or a beautiful fish? Perhaps he'd enjoy building an aquarium. I know it's not the same as a dog, and DEFINITELY not the same as a service dog.... But at that age I even took great pride in caring for my toy horses and stuffed dogs. I felt more strongly about them than many of my friends!
 

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Thank you everyone for your input. PeggytheParti I loved that you mentioned "toy stuffed dogs." My son loves his "stuffies" his favorite is his dog stuffy which he calls "puppy." He takes him everywhere. Seeing that makes me want him to have a real "puppy" or "dog." Delchi mentioned the "allergen lottery" and this so true. Some dogs I think he will react to and he doesn't and others which should be fine (they are hypoallergenic breeds) he still reacts. In many ways my current foster is great because she just trigged mild allergies but she also has no desire to play with and interact. I also think he is just to rambunctious for her and that she deserves a nice quite home. So I will think about all this some more but thank you everyone for your advice I greatly appreciate it!
 
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