People who suffer from allergies are cautious about which breed of dog they bring into their house as purchasing the wrong breed of dog can be a disaster on the sinuses and skin. Maltese dogs are considered hypoallergenic which means that there is a very low chance of people having allergies to them. This is primarily because of their coat being very different to many dog breeds in that it is very close to human hair. Another reason Maltese dogs are hypoallergenic is that they do not shed hair often or as noticeable as other dog breeds. This means there is less hair around the yard and house which can flare up a persons allergies.
What does hypoallergenic mean for Maltese dogs?
Maltese dogs are regarded as a Hypoallergenic dog breed. This means that a Maltese dog is less likely to produce an allergic reaction to those who are allergic to pets. It doesn’t mean they will not cause an allergic reaction. Maltese dogs due to their size and hair type are less likely to produce and spread the pet allergens which cause the allergy symptoms to occur in some people.
What are Pet Allergies?
Pets produce various harmless proteins which are shed in their urine, saliva, hair and skin cells. This proteins can interact with a person immune system and produce a response which is over sensitive. It is a persons immune systems job to seek out and destroy potentially harmful matter such as viruses and bacteria but in the case of a pet allergy the immune system has incorrectly identified the pets proteins as harmful. The proteins the urine, saliva, hair and skin cells are commonly referred to allergens because they can cause allergic reactions.
Pet allergens will usually collect on any surface where your Maltese dog has been. This can be beds, crates, furniture, clothing or the floor. The issue with pet allergens is that they remain potent to a susceptible person for a long time period. They can trigger a persons immune system even after weeks or months if a person has a pet allergy and this is because without a thorough cleaning they will remain at high levels clinging to furniture, walls and floors.
One thing most people do not realize is that actual pet hair is not an allergen but certain dog fur is more likely to collect dead skin cells and saliva and be a carrier of the allergens. Dog hair can also collect pollen and dust from their environment and these items are also known allergens. This is why most people think it is the pet hair which is the cause of the allergic reaction, particularly sneezing.
Pet allergens are not only in homes of people with pets. Pet allergens can be transferred by clothing from one place to another. If a dog is being groomed the allergens can be spread through the air to locations outside the homes boundary. Wind, vacuuming, dusting and other vigorous activities can disturb allergen and spread them through the air as well.
What type of Allergic Reactions and Symptoms do people have to Pets ?
Pet allergies which can occur from any dog, including a Maltese dog, include:
- Puffy Eyes
- Stuffy Nose / Blocked Nose
- Red Itchy Eyes
- Itchy, red skin
- Breathing issues such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath
- Extensive Rash
Each of these symptoms can occur in varying degrees of severity depending on how much of the allergen has been in contact with you and for how long you have been exposed. In general Maltese dogs are less likely to have allergens and thus the severity of any allergic reaction might be less.
Your doctor will be able to diagnose pet allergies based on a your symptoms, medical history and an examination. You can get tested for pet allergies through both blood and skin tests. If you believe you are allergic to your Maltese dog then you need to leave the environment for a period of time to see if the symptoms go away. It is no good removing the dog form your home as the allergens will still be in the house clinging to the walls, clothes and furniture and thus the allergies can still appear even if your Maltese dog is not around.
Why is the Maltese dog a Great Dog Breed for those with Pet Allergies?
Maltese dogs are known as a hypoallergenic breed. This means that they are less likely to produce an allergic reaction in those who are allergic to pets. Keep in mind that even though they are less likely to produce the pet allergens, they still do produce skin cells, saliva and urine which can cause allergic reactions so a person who is allergic to dogs will still be allergic to a Maltese puppy but they will get lower doses or the allergens. Generally the main reason that people with pet allergies show less symptoms with Maltese dogs is because they do not shed as much hair which distributes and carries the allergens.
Also the Maltese dog is a very small dog, commonly referred to as a toy breed. This means there is less of them to produce the allergens. They have less dead skin cells and hair to be spread around the house which cause the pet allergy symptoms.
If you are looking to buy a Maltese puppy and are worried about pet allergies then arrange to spend some time with a Maltese dog in an enclosed space and see if any symptoms develop. Those with mild pet allergies may find the Maltese dog breed is an acceptable choice as the symptoms may not appear or may be very mild.
Are people likely to be allergic to a Maltese Puppy?
If a person has an over reactive immune system which responds to pet allergens then they will be allergic to a Maltese puppy. The good thing is they will be less exposed to larger doses of pet allergens with a Maltese puppy because of its size and because it does not shed hair as frequently as other dogs. This reduces the amount of pet allergens produced and spread throughout a home which can cause the symptoms of pet allergies.
But always keep in mind if a person has pet allergies they will be allergic to all dogs and cats and the only difference will how severe the symptoms are with a particular dog breed.
Do Maltese dogs shed hair ?
Maltese dogs do shed hair but when compared to some other dog breeds a Maltese dog will shed a lot less hair. As a Maltese puppy sheds less hair it is regarded as one of the few dog breeds which is hypoallergenic.
Maltese dog hair is very similar to human hair, but it is not the hair which people are allergic to. The dog hair carried the pet allergens such as dead skin cells and distributes them around the house. If you ensure that your Maltese dog is groomed regularly and bathed regularly there is less chance of Maltese dog hair being shed throughout the house spreading the allergens and causing pet allergies.
What are the treatment options if you are allergic to your Maltese puppy ?
There are several treatments for people who are allergic to their pets. These include:
- Avoiding your Maltese dog where possible. This includes moving them to their own room in the house or moving them outside.
- Avoiding visiting people with animals such as dogs and cats as other animals are likely to carry more allergens then your Maltese dog.
- Avoid socializing your Maltese with other animals as they can pick up the allergens from other animals in the park.
- Medication is available to relieve the symptoms. There are some medications which can be taken prior to contact with allergens to suppress the allergic reaction from occurring
- Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy is a preventive treatment for allergic reactions to substances and involves giving a person increasing doses of the allergen to teach the immune system to not overreact to the pet allergens.
Assuming you are allergic to your Maltese dog and you want to keep them, there are a few things you can do to minimize your exposure to the allergens includes:
- Never let your Maltese puppy into your bedroom. Keep the door closed to minimize the chance of allergens entering the bedroom.
- Use an air cleaner in your house, particularly your bedroom to remove allergens from the air.
- Keep surfaces clean. Cleaning surfaces will remove the allergens using a damp cloth. This includes mopping the floors and washing the walls. Keeping the walls and floor as bare as possible makes cleaning easier and less furniture and clutter for the allergens to cling to and collect around.
- If you have carpet ensure that you get one which is low pile and vacuum it frequently Hard surfaces are better than carpet.
- When cleaning, especially vacuuming, use a dust mask to minimize inhaling any allergens.
- Change your clothes whenever you are exposed to your Maltese dog for an extended period and they have climbed over you.
- Wash your hands after patting, bathing and grooming your Maltese dog.
- Ensure you stick to a strict bathing schedule which should be every three weeks. this reduces the dead skin cells on your dog and removes them before they can spread around the home.
- Brush your Maltese dog daily outside away from the home. This will remove allergens in an environment where they can disperse away from your living area. If possible get someone who is not allergic to your Maltese puppy to do the grooming.
The above precautions will help to reduce the allergens in your house from your Maltese dog and should hep reduce symptoms.
How did we go at answering your Questions on are Maltese dogs Hypoallergenic ?
Did we do a good job of answering your questions on being allergic to a Maltese dog? Did you know Maltese dogs were hypoallergenic? Have you had allergic reactions to a Maltese puppy and if so what worked best for you to help with your symptoms? Let us know in the comments so we can improve the article to provide the most detailed answer on Maltese dogs for pet allergy sufferers.