French Bulldogs: Likely or unlikely to cause an allergic reaction?
Unfortunate as it may be, French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic.
French Bulldogs are an immensely adored breed and with good reason. If you are an allergic person looking to take in a Frenchie to fill your days with some canine company, a French Bulldog is not a suitable choice.
Why you may ask?
It is because there is plenty of research that indicates that there are no dog breeds which are entirely hypoallergenic. Usually, the breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic still shed less and have low amounts of dander. French Bulldogs are not amongst these breeds.
French Bulldogs are short-haired, why are they not hypoallergenic?
When you look at a French Bulldog, you may conclude that it is likely to be hypoallergenic. Who wouldn’t want it to be! You may come to this conclusion because French Bulldogs have short hair. However, having short hair does not mean a breed is unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
Certain proteins are found not just in the fur of the dogs, but also in their saliva, urine, hair roots, and dander. These proteins are known as Canis familiaris allergens (Can), Can f 1, and Can f 2.
The Can f 1 protein is what triggers most allergic reactions. Being aware of this fact may help you see that attributing the status of hypoallergenic to a dog with short hair is simply a part of the full picture!
Dander is a term used to describe tiny bits of skin that shed from a dog. It is usually too small to be perceived by the naked eye.
French Bulldogs do not shed as much as other breeds, but they still shed a considerable amount throughout the year. Their hair is tough and short, which causes dander to get caught in it rather easily. This is not ideal for people with dog allergies.
Facts to consider if exposure to French Bulldog hair is under control
If your heart just cannot resist a French Bulldog, you may be looking for ways to cope with the non-hypoallergenic status of this breed.
There are many ways through which you can reduce exposure to a dog’s shed hair. But, if you think following just those ways will be enough, you might be putting yourself or the allergic people around you at risk.
For instance, if you have a loving little French Bulldog at home, it is bound to shower you and the people around you with all its affection. Kisses and licking incoming!
To add to this, the shape of the jaw and anatomy of the lips of French Bulldogs, they are amongst dogs that slobber and drool the most. The saliva of the French Bulldog will irritate your sensitive, allergic self.
This breed is a sufferer of ‘prognathism in the jaw’ or an underbite, which means that their lower jaw is positioned in such a way; it comes out in front of the upper jaw. Hence their tendency to slobber.
According to research, dog saliva contains a larger number and diversity of IgE-binding proteins. To put it simply, IgE-binding proteins are proteins binding to the antibody class that is responsible for inflammatory reactions to allergies. These are the proteins that cause you to react in negative ways when in contact with dog hair, saliva or dander, such as the Can f 1 protein.
Alternatively, let us assume your Frenchie goes out to relieve itself. It is only natural for little droplets of the urine to stick to its fur or feet. When this fur or skin sheds, it will release not one, but two bouts of harmful proteins in the atmosphere. Namely, the allergy-causing dander protein and the protein in the urine.
All these factors come together to make French Bulldogs non-hypoallergenic. This shows that even if you are incredibly careful with your French Bulldog’s hair and fur, you may still invariably end up with watery eyes and a vicious sneezing session.
Can French Bulldogs be even remotely hypoallergenic?
Your love for French Bulldogs may be prompting you to dig deeper into the whole case of hypoallergenic dogs. In that circumstance, it is safe to say that there may be a little ray of hope for you!
A lot of scientific research has concluded that a dog being hypoallergenic is not always a factor related to its breed. You can read more about this in articles published by The New York Times and National Public Radio.
The factors that determine whether a dog is hypoallergenic or not are dependent upon the individual dog and the individual person. For example, a French Bulldog may cause a severe allergic reaction in your friend, but the same dog may not even induce a single sneeze from you.
The size of the dog may also play a role. You can read more about this here. French Bulldogs are tiny little canine companions, so this could be a positive indication.
How to determine if you are allergic to French Bulldogs
As mentioned above, allergic reactions depend on the dog to dog and person to person. The only way to know if you will be allergic to French Bulldogs is to spend time with them.
This should be done only if the allergic reactions are not severe enough to end up putting you in the hospital! You are the judge here. If the allergic reaction is even a little acute, then this is not a good idea, and you should not put yourself or the allergic person at risk.
If you are considering getting a French Bulldog, you are advised to check for its compatibility with you or the allergic person in your household. Before buying a dog, visit the breeder, shelter, or rescuer you mean to get your dog from. Spend time with the specific French Bulldog you wish to bring home.
You should spend at least an hour or two in close contact with the dog. You will be able to judge immediately. If you feel irritable, then quickly distance yourself. If you do not, then you can try spending a little longer time with it, on more than just one day.
This will help you determine if you and that specific French Bulldog are compatible. You can also undergo a lot of tests or determiners available nowadays to get a faint to the detailed idea of what exactly causes your allergies.
Ways to deal with a French Bulldog when allergic
Finding out that French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic is not the end of the road. There are still some ways you can minimize or even eliminate allergic reactions.
The following points may help with that:
- Bathe the French Bulldog regularly
- Ensure the house is clean
- Sweep, vacuum, and dust every day, maybe even more than once
- Take anti-allergy medications
- Eliminate carpets
- Try to keep humidity levels low
- Ensure good ventilation
- Groom the French Bulldog well
The bottom line is, you need to reduce your exposure to the French Bulldog’s allergens as much as possible.
It has also been proven that sensitization to dogs from a young age can subsequently cause the symptoms and reactions to subside. Even adults who spend time with French Bulldogs may eventually adjust to the dog’s presence, and their allergic reactions may vanish over time.
Alternatively, you can also opt for allergy immunotherapy.
It has been established that roughly 10% to 20% of the population worldwide suffers from dog and cat allergies. French Bulldogs come under the umbrella of dog breeds that are likely to induce such allergic reactions. They are not hypoallergenic.
Characteristics of French Bulldogs that make them non-hypoallergenic include significant shedding, tough hair that catches dander, extensive drooling, and slobbering.
There are many ways to still satisfy your yearning for a French Bulldog if you strictly follow the discussed measures.