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I know you can purchase dog and cat breeds that are hypoallergenic so those who are prone to pet allergies will have reduced allergies or none at all. These breeds are specifically bred for that trait, and as a result are typically pricey compared to another breed. These breeds are not necessarily hairless or short-haired, so I do not think it has to do with the amount of fur shed.

  • What makes these animals different from other breeds in their inability to cause allergies?
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Pet allergy is an allergic reaction to proteins found not only in the animals' fur or hair but also in saliva, urine, mucous, and hair roots and in the dander sloughed from the animals' skin. Thus, the widespread idea that "hypoallergenic pets" are those that have less hair or shed less is a myth.

Most often, pet allergy is triggered by exposure to the dead flakes of skin (dander) a pet sheds. Any animal with fur can be a source of pet allergy, but pet allergies are most commonly associated with cats, dogs, rodents and horses.

Some dog breeds have been promoted as hypoallergenic because they do not shed their hair, shed very little, or have the same pH as human hair. However, no canine is known to be completely non-allergenic.

Some cat breeds, especially females are likely to have low levels of Fel d 1, the main allergenic protein.

There is only one known hypoallergenic horse breed. The Bashkir Curly horse has a uniquely textured coat that lacks the protein (present in all other horse fur) believed to be the source of allergic reactions to equines.

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Quotes should be clearly indicated using the quotation formatting and should support your answer rather than form it –  Rory M Mar 3 '13 at 17:37
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