Indoor pets and allergy-stricken relatives...

Can anyone suggest a breed of dog that has minimal effect on those allergic to dander and/or pet hair?

My brother-in-law is allergic to cats. Most likely, he is allergic to dander and not the hair (although I know that there are those who are allergic to both.)

My husband has objected to me having a little dog in the house because of the possibility of his brother visiting us. I wouldn’t want to exacerbate (sp?) his allergic symptoms, but I want a dog really badly.

Any suggestions?

I came across this today at, and it sounds like it might help. The idea is that happy little bacteria eat up the dander - on the pet, on the furniture, and perhaps even in the carpet. There is a mention of it being helpful for those with allergies. Good luck!

My ex-boss was so allergic that he had to rip out carpeting that a previous owner’s cats walked around on. He went with a small terrier breed and had such good results that he adopted a second one!

My nephew is highly allergic to animal dander and had asthma to boot. But the kids wanted a dog really bad, so they got a bichon frise and he never had any problems. This site has a list of a bunch of dog breeds that are good for people with allergies:

There are a lot of anti-dandruff/allergy shampoos for dogs, as well.

You can also, uhm, vaccuum your dog. My grandma used to do this. She would brush the dog while using the vaccuum hose to catch hair and dander. (You can buy attatchments just for this purpose now.) Warning: if you start them out with this as a puppy, your dog may get to love it so much that you won’t be able to vaccuum your baseboards without them nudging and bumping the hose to try to get you to use it on them.

For regular sweeping, make sure you have a really good vaccuum. The more you can get up, the less he’ll suffer. You’d be grossed out by what most vaccuum cleaners leave behind. (I used to have what I would have called a really good vaccuum: a Fantom Thunder. I recently got a Dyson, and I was astonished at the amount of crud my old sweeper left behind.) I strongly suggest if you get a dog to get a Dyson. Your BIL will rise up to call your name blessed.

Check with your brother-in-law to see if it’s just cats he’s allergic to.
I have 2 dogs of my own (Boston Terriers) and plenty of relatives that have dogs that I have no problems around.
However, being in a house that has a cat will start my throat, nose, and eyes itching within 15 minutes.

BTW, while dander is the allergen that triggers reactions for Dog allergies, for cats, the allergen is a protein in cat saliva, which gets applied to their fur as the cat licks itself to groom.

I am asthmatic, and react strongly to cal allergen, but I tell people that I am really allergic in fact to houses and appartments where cats live, because it is the hair in the living spaces that triggers allergies. Otherwise, all I would have to do is avoid interacting with the cat, and I would be OK.

Living spaces with lots of fabric are worse: carpets, cloth upholstery, etc. I usually start to feel my throat tighten up within 2 -3 minutes of being inside such a home, although I once spent 30 minutes in an appartment where there was a cat and never felt it, because the floors were all hardwood & tile, the furniture was all leather, and everythign was *very * clean. (mopped & wet dusted every week).