Human Allergies and Bichon Frises

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, but if your Bichon Frise has dander….

People have the mistaken notion that the Bichon’s hair shedding is an allergy trigger, but a breeder says that it is the dog’s dander that may lie at the core of allergies. So you may want to think twice before buying a Bichon just because it was love at first sight. 

Do you suffer from allergies? Are you thinking of a Bichon Frise as a house companion? The good news is you’ve chosen one of the best dogs recommended by the American Kennel Club as the ideal dog for people with allergies. The bad news, however, is that the severity of your allergies may raise issues that need to be addressed: If your allergies are mild, you might be able to share your home with a Bichon Frise,

If you have severe allergies, you may want to postpone your decision until you and your doctor believe a Bichon Frise is safe to have around.

If your allergies fall between mild and severe, you still need to postpone your decision until all evidence indicates there won’t be serious consequences.
It is certainly heartening to know that the Bichon Frise is one of the most frequently recommended dogs for people with allergies. These breeds have a hypoallergenic quality to them, although being hypoallergenic does not mean that they are totally non-allergic creatures.  Bichon Frise dogs do have allergies, so if your doctor says “you’re good to go” and the breeder you chose has all the necessary health certifications for your future pet, then you and your Bichon could make the “odd allergic couple” and live happily ever after. 

Tips on looking for the perfect match 

An expert on dogs and human allergies shared this tip - it may be time consuming, but it’s the only way to find out if you could live in harmony with your Bichon Frise without aggravating your allergies. 

If you have a close friend who owns a Bichon, spend time with her pet for a few hours at a time. Try not to get exposed to other dog breeds before your session with the Bichon. Go inside, preferably in an enclosed area. This is a critical test because if you’re outside, environmental factors like pollen, and not the Bichon, could be what are causing your allergies. 

Thoroughness is a virtue. After spending time with your friend’s Bichon, call a few breeders in your area to ask them if they would let you spend time with their Bichons. Good, reputable breeders will even encourage you to postpone your purchase until you’re satisfied that you’re not allergic to this breed.
When you do finally acquire your favorite dog, give it the regular grooming it deserves. As they become adults, they develop a double coat and need to be groomed (bathed, clipped, etc.) every five weeks.  Bring him to your vet for a check-up even if he’s not ill. The Bichons are playful animals and thrive in human company. As one writer says, the Bichons will be prancing about on your sofa, on your bed and on your lap, so if you have a susceptibility to allergies, keep the Bichon clean at all times. That way, you get to spend many allergy-free years together. 

A delightful tidbit: Did you know that a few Bichons have been known to live till they are 21 years old? The average life is 12-14. How’s that for long term companionship?

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