Sneezing, runny noses and itchy eyes are the bane of people allergic to their pets.
Now, an air purifier manufacturer and an environmental consulting firm have released their list of the top allergen-friendly pets. Making the cut this week for the Allergen All-Star Pet Awards was:
• Bedlington terrier
• Javanese cat
• Devon Rex cat
• Yorkshire terrier
• Irish water spaniel
• Labrador retriever
• Italian greyhound
The effort was sponsored by Kaz Inc. of Southborough, Mass., which makes the Doctor’s Choice True HEPA Air Purifier under the Honeywell trademark.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America found that 15 to 30 percent of Americans are allergic to cats or dogs, said Ted Myatt, a senior scientist at Environmental Health and Engineering in Needham, Mass., which participated in the report.
“It’s important to note that no breed of dogs and cats has been proven to be truly hypoallergenic,” Myatt said, “but studies suggest that some may be more allergen-friendly than others.”
The breeds singled out as Allergen All Stars tend to be smaller, are known to shed less or not shed, and possess shorter coats or fur that produces less dander.
Labrador retrievers, a large breed, made the allergen-friendly list because they love to swim and their frequent dips limit allergen concentrations in their hair.
Reptiles are suggested as an alternative for people allergic to dander, saliva or urine produced by dogs and cats.
“If you’re looking for a pet that doesn’t produce any allergens, try one with scaly skin, like an iguana,” Myatt said.