Beagles are the sixth most popular dog breed in America, and since they are so common, many people might conclude that they are also hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Beagles are moderate shedders, and while other dog breeds might trigger allergies quicker, someone sensitive to dander will feel the effects when they are around a Beagle. However, keep reading while taking a look at what causes the allergic reaction and what you can do to minimize the symptoms you or your loved one’s experience, allowing family members to cohabitate comfortably with this entertaining and energetic dog breed.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
Allergies can affect adults and children. Some people will notice that the reactions lessen as they age, but many others will never spend much time with a dog before the suffering begins, even one as lovable as a Beagle. Symptoms include itching, red and watering eyes, a runny nose that may accompany sneezing or coughing. You may also notice itchy skin or a rash, especially if the dog scratched you or jumped into your lap. A protein is the main cause of allergies in people, and you can find this protein in the dog’s skin, saliva, and urine.
Dander is the term for tiny dead skin particles that often come off the dog as it sheds. These microscopic particles can get into the air, where they can float for several minutes before coming to rest on the floor or your furniture. Each time you sit on the furniture or walk through the room, you will send the microscopic dander particles back into the air.
There is no way to prevent dander from your Beagle because they are moderate shedders, and as the hair leaves the body, it will take dead skin along with it. However, there are a few things you can do to help minimize it.
Choose a Non-shedding Breed
If you haven’t purchased your next dog yet, you might want to consider choosing a different dog breed to minimize the risk that you or a family member will have an allergic reaction. There are several dog breeds that experts call hypoallergenic because they are light shedders. Hypoallergenic dog breeds include the Irish Water Spaniel, Labradoodle, Schnauzer, Maltese, Tibetan Terrier, and many more. Breeds you want to avoid if you have allergies include the Akita, Chow Chow, Huskie, German Sheppard, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard, and several others.
Brush Your Pet Frequently
If you already purchased your Beagle, you will not be disappointed, but you will need to begin a regular brushing routine. The more frequently you brush your dog, the less your dog will shed hair elsewhere, which greatly reduces the amount of dander in your home. We recommend brushing your pet with a soft-bristled brush or fine-tooth comb at least twice a week during peak shedding times. Beagles have straight fur that’s easy to comb, and you can give them a quick once over every day for the best results.
If you have ever owned a cat, you know how far the dust from the litter box can travel into your home. Dander from a pet is even finer than clay dust and can travel much further. Your Beagle is also releasing it all over the house, so you will need to vacuum frequently to pick up the dander particles off the floor and furniture. We recommend vacuuming as often as possible to keep the dander from building up.
Diet can be an important part of controlling the dander in your home. High-quality dog food with meat like lamb, chicken, beef, or duck as the main ingredient will provide your pet with zinc. Zinc is important to boost the immune system, resulting in healthier skin that doesn’t shed as much. Vitamins can help lubricate the hair follicles, and omega fatty acids can strengthen the hair. The proper diet will reduce shedding and, therefore, dander.
Bathing your dog can help remove dander and loose hair, greatly reducing the hair that ends up around your home for the next several days. Several commercial shampoos will deliver omega fats and other important nutrients directly to your pet’s coat, where it can immediately get to work. However, giving your pet too many baths can cause your pet’s skin to become dry. Dry skin will cause your pet to start scratching, which will increase the amount of dander and fur your pet releases into your home. We recommend bathing your Beagle no more than once every six to eight weeks.
Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that the same protein that causes an allergic reaction to pet hair is also in saliva. Saliva is why you may still have a problem with a hypoallergenic dog like a poodle because if it’s one thing that all dog breeds have in common is a fondness for licking the people it likes. To make it worse, they often lick you directly on the face where it can quickly lead to the itchy eyes and runny nose we mentioned earlier. Many dog breeds also tend to slobber and drool, and when the saliva dries, it can send the tiny proteins in the air the same as dander. Luckily, the Beagle is not a big drooler, but it does enjoy jumping on your lap and licking your face.
The best thing you can do to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction due to saliva is to clean up any drool that winds up on the floor before it dries and try to keep it in a designated area if possible. You will also need to wash your hands and face frequently, even if the pet doesn’t lick them, because you can pick up the dander when you touch any surface. You may also need to discourage your Beagle from licking you or the affected member of your home.
Luckily for most dog owners, our pets go outside the home to do their business. Therefore, we usually need to worry about the urine proteins when your pet has an accident in the house. Beagles are intelligent animals that rarely break their training unless it’s locked in the home with no escape for too long.
If your Beagle should have an accident in the home, you will need to clean it quickly before the proteins get into the air. An enzyme cleaner will work best because it will destroy the organic proteins, eliminating the threat. These enzyme cleaners also work well for cleaning up saliva.
While a Beagle is not hypoallergenic, they are only moderate shedders, so there is a chance you won’t be affected unless you are highly sensitive, especially if you keep in mind the things we mentioned above. We recommend bringing one home for a day or two and keeping it in a designated area to see how you and other family members react. If everyone pets the dog and washes their hands and is reaction-free, the Beagle may be able to stay, and you can try it out in a larger area.
We hope you have enjoyed reading about the Beagle and how you can reduce symptoms due to the protein in their skin, saliva, and urine. If we have helped you live more comfortably, please share this look into if Beagles are hypoallergenic on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image: Olga Melnichuk, Shutterstock