Mutts Like Me

Obama dogPresident-elect Obama promised his daughters a puppy after the election, but finding one is proving to be a bit of a challenge.

“This is a major issue,” Obama told reporters at his news conference today. It’s generated more interest on his Web site than any other topic. But 10-year-old daughter Malia has allergies, so the family is looking for a low-allergy dog.

“We have two criteria that need to be reconciled,” said Obama. “One is that Malia is allergic, so it has to be hypoallergenic.”

Unfortunately, there is really no such thing as an allergy-free furry animal. They all shed some skin cells. And proteins found in their saliva or urine can also trigger allergic reactions in people.

Still, there is a good selection of low-allergy dogs. Some are short-hair breeds, but not all. And not all are little dogs.

It’s the family’s second criteria that may be the more difficult one to fulfill. Obama said the family would prefer to adopt a puppy from an animal rescue shelter.

“But obviously, a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,” said Obama in a self-deprecating reference to his father from Kenya and mother from Kansas. “So whether we’re going to be able to balance those two thing, I think, is a pressing issue on the Obama household.”

This blogger has no doubt that the First Family is thoroughly researching the First Puppy for Malia and Sasha. Although our preference would be an Alaskan wolf, allergens might be an issue. There are many breed rescues, reputable breeders and shelters that can help them find the perfect match.

Watch the video on Huffington Post.

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4 responses to “Mutts Like Me

  1. My neighbor is allergic to dog. She got Maltese mix and no problem with it. Maltese have hair not fur, so is Lhasa Apso, and other dog that have hair.
    It might not work because when I groomed my neighbor dog I got itchy nose. The dog got dust in it. Like a dust mop. So I recommend a short hair dog (not fur).
    The shelter can help out.

  2. All dogs have hair, not fur. Long-haired dogs shed less than short-haired ones because the hair gets trapped in the coat.

    This means more grooming in order to keep the coat mat-free.

    Dogs such as Poodles, Kerry Blue terriers and a few others have hair that grows continuously, so it needs a lot of brushing and trimming. Terrier types with wire coats need hand stripping to look their best, although most people give up and get them clipped. This ruins the coat, making it pale and soft and therefore more likely to mat. Breeds with wire coats include West Highland White, Scottish, Wire Fox, Airedale, Welsh, Irish and Norwich terriers and Brussels Griffons, Schauzers (all 3 sizes), Affenpinschers and more.

    It’s the dander and saliva that cause the allergic reaction, not the hair.

    Dogs like a Beagles, Rottweilers and Labs shed a lot of hair, whereas Bearded Collies, Pekingese, Briards don’t shed much at all.

    Dogs with a single coat, ie, no thick undercoat, shed the least noticeably, but they do shed – like humans do.

    When you mix breeds, of course, you have no idea what kind of coat you will ultimately have to maintain.

    A popular myth is that bathing is bad for dogs. This is not true. You can wash your dog every week if you want to bother (I do mine a few times a year but brush daily). It is better to use a good quality human shampoo, preferably with oatmeal, than to use dog shampoo. Well kept secret.

    Also, the secret is in the rinsing – make sure every bit of shampoo is rinsed out to avoid skin irritation and to keep the coat clean longer. Some people use conditioner to remove all shampoo. I don’t bother with that, just rinse and rinse and rinse and…so on :>)

  3. Caveat, I did not know that about human oatmeal shampoo, but it makes sense! My shiba inu girl is going through a shed now (just in time for winter!) and I need to get more Claritin.

  4. My friend who has been breeding dogs for 50 years told me to use human shampoo – it’s cheaper and gentler, apparently.

    He laughed when I told him I was buying fancy dog shampoo. He used to be a pro groomer too.

    Shibas are cool dogs!

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