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Dog Allergies 101

What causes a reaction?


Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, mold or pet dander. Your immune system produces proteins known as antibodies. These antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause an infection. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify your particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn't. When you inhale the allergen or come into contact with it, your immune system responds and produces an inflammatory response in your nasal passages or lungs. Prolonged or regular exposure to the allergen can cause the ongoing (chronic) inflammation associated with asthma.


Allergens from cats and dogs are found in skin cells the animals shed (dander), as well as in their saliva, urine and sweat and on their fur. Dander is a particular problem because it is very small and can remain airborne for long periods of time with the slightest bit of air circulation. It also collects easily in upholstered furniture and sticks to your clothes.  Pet saliva can stick to carpets, bedding, furniture and clothing. Dried saliva can become airborne.


It is common for allergy friendly breeds to be called "hypoallergenic". Let's be clear that there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic breed -- that would imply that it would be impossible for a "hypoallergenic" dog to cause a reaction.


For example, the Poodle has hair like we do and not fur, but will still lose it's hair minimally over the course of it's life and you will be able to brush out hair when you groom him. There is no *true* non-shedding dog alive or created -- it is better to view a dog as "allergy friendly" vs "hypoallergenic".  Below is a list some of the most popular hypoallergenic dog breeds (dogs less likely to cause a reaction because they are low to non-shedding).

Pet allergy signs and symptoms caused by inflammation of nasal passages include:


  • Sneezing

  • Runny nose

  • Itchy, red or watery eyes

  • Nasal congestion

  • Itchy nose, roof of mouth or throat

  • Postnasal drip

  • Cough

  • Facial pressure and pain

  • Frequent awakening

  • Swollen, blue-colored skin under your eyes

  • In a child, frequent upward rubbing of the nose


If your pet allergy contributes to asthma, you may also experience:


  • Difficulty breathing

  • Chest tightness or pain

  • Audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling

  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing


Skin symptoms:


Some people with pet allergies may also experience skin symptoms. Allergic dermatitis is an immune system reaction that causes skin inflammation. Direct contact with an allergy-causing pet may trigger allergic dermatitis signs and symptoms, which may include:


  • Raised, red patches of skin (hives)

  • Eczema

  • Itchy skin


At Pleasant Meadows we raise the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Miniature Poodle, and the Cavapoo hybrid.  The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel by itself is NOT an allergy friendly breed, but most people with allergies can own a Cavapoo and experience little to no symptoms because the Poodle is a non-shedding breed and passes along that attribute to any breed that it is mixed with to create a hybrid.  


If you have ever had an allergic reaction to the Purebred Poodle, you will most likely also have a reaction to the Cavapoo!  


Because of this, we ask that prior to contacting us, you either have an allergy test done to determine the type and severity of your reaction, or have spent time around various dog breeds and know what breeds you react to!  As responsible breeders, we want the best homes for our puppies and we believe that adding a dog to your household is a LIFE-LONG COMMITMENT!  


Therefore, we will NOT sell you one of our puppies if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a Poodle!  We can not take the chance that you will re-home one of our puppies in the future because your allergies get the better of you!  Allergies can get worse if you are constantly exposed to the same allergen on a continuous basis, and antihistamines can lose their effectiveness when you are constantly using them.  Furthermore, we will NOT sell one of our Cavalier King Charles Spaniels OR Cavapoo puppies to anyone who has asthma or experiences asthmatic symptoms towards dogs, or worse yet, has both asthma PLUS allergies towards dogs! No breeder no matter what "hypoallergenic" breed they raise can fully guarantee that every puppy will be 100% non allergenic!

When you have asthma PLUS allergies towards dogs, we HIGHLY recommend going for a PUREBRED POODLE, or ANOTHER non-shedding purebred breed.  The Cavapoo (and any other hybrid) can only be beneficial to MOST allergy sufferers and when you add asthma to the mix -- you're only asking for a reaction!  And we're honest enough and CARE enough about our puppies to say NO!

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