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Hi. We want to get a dog but two people in our family have allergies. My son is the worst, he get red and itchy eyes, a stuffy nose, sneezing, and sometimes hives on his arms. Thankfully he does not have asthma, but if we got a dog that caused these allergies we would be forced to give it away. We definitely don’t want that. So we were wondering if anyone knew if a new poodle would cause allergies. Thanks
 

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Hi and welcome!

Poodles are among the low allergy breeds but no breed is totally allergen-free. It tends to depend on the poodle and the person.

Has he ever spent any time around poodles to see if he reacts?

There are several recent threads on this very topic with some of our allergy and asthma prone members writing on this question:
 

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No one is going to be able to predict if any breed (or even any individual) will trigger an allergy OR how severe the reaction will be. Anything is possible. Literally, anything. You can have an allergy to one breed but not another, or even to one individual dog but not another (even if they're the same breed). You can have an instant reaction or it may have to build up in your system. The allergy could be to the dander (but not the hair like some believe) or to the saliva. Even urine can cause an allergic reaction in some. It could be a mild allergy or a severe one - it could start out mild and turn severe, start severe and turn worse, or it could go away with medication and controlled exposure.

Have you done testing to determine how severe the allergy is? I've had it done a few times (it's simple, painless, but itchy as heck). Doctors have been able to determine that "trees really don't like you" (nurses exact words) based on how bad the hives got on my back, and that many of my earlier medical problems were related to seasonal (and animal) allergies. If you're serious about getting a dog with known allergies in the family, consulting a specialist would be the FIRST step. See what they think based on their evaluation of your son's allergies. They may be able to give you a straightforward "don't even think about it". Or they may give you ideas on how to control allergies or determine if a dog is possible.

The only real way to know for sure if a dog is going to trigger something, though, is trial and error, which.... honestly is not fair to the dog/s involved OR the humans, but can obviously be done. If you find a reputable breeder and explain the situation, they may be able to help. Let your son (and the other allergic family member) spend varying amounts of time with one of their dogs. Or have a contract that allows you a "trial" period with a dog or puppy, under the stipulation the animal be returned to them if allergies worsen.

Be aware that an allergic reaction doesn't have to be instant. Spending an hour or two, or a day here and there, may not be enough to determine that LIVING with the dog would be okay. There is a big difference between visiting a dog and living with one. I'm allergic to guinea pigs (among other things) - i can handle them at work, feed them hay (which i'm also allergic to), with no issues but if i have them in my home for more than a week or two i'm a stuffed up mess. Literally. I'm also allergic to horses - when i worked with them in the mornings during school for a couple hours a day i was fine, but when i went to college and spent 8 hours a day, five days a week, at the barn.... i developed serious medical problems that landed me in the hospital, which were later linked directly to the allergies.

Again, also why consulting a specialist might be a good idea. Asthma is not the worst complication if constantly exposed to moderate to severe allergies.

I'm also mildly allergic to dogs (when tested, the hive was about dime sized in comparison to the baseball sized hive caused by trees/pollen - first test done after my college illness did not show an allergy to dogs so my dog allergy actually developed in the year or two between horse college and becoming a dog groomer). Yet i work as a groomer and own a Poodle (had two dogs, actually, but one passed in September). I take two daily allergy medications that control the symptoms. I choose to have dogs, and work with dogs, despite the allergy because to me it's worth the risk - plus, what's one more allergy considering i'm also allergic to pollen/trees, grass, and ragweed. My symptoms will be the same year round even if i didn't have the dog.

I'm just an allergy mess, really, lol. But it all boils down to: no one can predict what, if any, reaction your son will have to any dog. Poodle or otherwise. Please do NOT fall for the "hypoallergenic" hype (no such thing - hypoallergenic just means "less likely" to trigger allergy, not "will never" trigger allergy). Consult a doctor, discuss it as a family. Will everyone be okay if a dog DOES turn out to trigger allergies, and has to be re-homed?
 

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My family has multiple allergies, each member to different things and to different extents. It seems I react the most to our dogs and so have to take medication when it gets too bad.

When we first got dogs, I didn’t have a reaction. My sister had sneezes but that was all. 5 years after we got our second Shih tzu, I would get hives, terrible sinus problems, and watery eyes if I hugged her. It was especially bad if I did so early in the morning 🤷🏻‍♀️ But it took my mom about 2 years to realize I was reacting to the dogs, we thought it was the dust from her sleeping under the bed.

When we first interacted with Whiskey, no one reacted. But when he came home, 3 out of 4 of us had hives and I had migraines in addition to a full body rash. Turns out it was the shampoo they used for his going home bath that caused the problems. I’m starting to get watery eyes after hugging him in the mornings (after 3-4 months of living with him) but since we decided that dogs will be in our lives, we just deal with the allergies through medication.
 

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My daughter and I have allergies. We were fine with our standard poodle. However, their coat holds on to everything so you have to keep it combed out. I also found that taking vitamin C everyday took care of the runny nose and itches. C is an antihistamine.
 

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Many members of this forum and/or family members have allergies but tolerate their poodles. There are no guarantees, but I feel like your chances are decent with a poodle. They are right about the coat being a magnet for other allergens, though. I thought the dog herself would be my biggest challenge, but I've had terrible seasonal allergies for the first time I can remember just since getting a dog, and I think it's at least partly because of the concentration of pollen that my dog is bringing inside on her.
 

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Agreed with dogs bringing in allergens. I'm allergic to a lot of things and I always assumed that I was also allergic to dogs. I got allergy tested. Turns out I'm not allergic to dogs at all. When I asked the allergist about my reaction to dogs she told me that I'm reacting to the all the stuff that falls on their coats.
 

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My daughter and I have allergies. We were fine with our standard poodle. However, their coat holds on to everything so you have to keep it combed out. I also found that taking vitamin C everyday took care of the runny nose and itches. C is an antihistamine.
Hello Dear,
Quick question, is vitamin C helpful for allergies? I have runny nose and lots of itches as well.
 
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