Archived Message

by Toby

My wife is allergic to everyting under the sun! She wants a pet. She has told me that the Maltese does not trigger allergies in humans, well, maybe not as much as other pets. Is there any truth to this? I've heard something about the different types of "hair" that dogs have that doesn't effect people as bad. Any info would help!


There is some validity to the representation that Maltese are a wise choice for individuals who are often found to be "allergic to dogs". The truth is that it so often it is the "dander" associated with pet hair and not the "dog" itself that carry these allergens.

Since the Maltese is "single coated", that is, without undercoat, then it may be that a person would not be allergic to this particular breed of dog. However, the person should actually have a doctor determine the real cause of the reaction before simply purchasing a dog and then finding out that the allergy does, in fact, exist. My wife is allergic to this "dander" as well as to dog urine - we breed Maltese and several of them actually sleep with us and she never experiences any reaction to our dogs unless she inadvertantly gets the urine on her hands and then unthinkingly wipes her eyes with her hands before she remembers to wash them - then she does have a reaction that is more aggravating than harmful.
-Larry Stanberry Divine Maltese

Hi there, There is some truth in what your wife is saying. I don't know if maltese don't trigger allergies in humans, but I do know that they do not shed their coats like other dogs. Poodles are the same way-no shedding, and I've heard that many people with allergies get these types of dogs and have no reation. Over the years I have developed a mild allergy to my cat, but my eyes don't itch, and I don't sneeze at all when the dog is around. Perhap you could locate a Maltese breeder or rescue near you who will let your wife have some contact with the breed before you make up your mind. Hope it works out, they're a wonderful breed of dog, who will bring you many years of joy and responsiblity.

I have this to offer you: My husband was diagnosed several years ago as "Mr. Allergy of S. California! and my son has asthma. I talked to a vet friend of mine who said the only dogs that they could tolerate would be a poodle since they are considered 100% hypoallergenic. He stated further that it is not the fur, but the dander [dandruff on the dog's skin] that people are allergic to. Hair dog breeds [Poodles, Maltese, Terriers] have no dander and do not shed leaving hair and dander all over everywhere. We brought home our Maltese in April 1997. My husband and son both live very comfortably with Pixie Bella and have no allergic reactions. We put off having a dog for years because of the allergy problem. My husband suffers terrible whenever we go to my sister' home where a Pug, Pom, and Shiz Tze [sp?] reside. But Pixie Bella, oh well that's another story--she lives happily ever after with my 2 allergy suffering sneezers. I would say, bring home yourself a Maltese.

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