Westies and Allergies – explained

10th of August, 2012

It is possible to buy wet wipes that are specifically designed to remove allergens from the dog’s coat between bathing, but unfortunately if you react to the dog’s saliva or urine, it is unlikely that you will ever find a suitable dog.
Westie coats vary tremendously, from hard and wiry to fleecy and soft. You may be fine with a puppy as tiny puppies don’t shed, but when the puppy becomes an adult its coat changes and he could cause an allergic reaction which may prove to be life threatening. This would be disastrous for you as well as for the dog you love, who would then need to find a new home. Please don’t buy or adopt a dog that you may have to give up, it will only cause heartache to you, and unnecessary upset and disruption for the dog. For this reason we are not able to rehome a dog on a trial basis.

We often receive applications from homes with someone (often a child) who suffers from allergies. They have usually been told that westies are hypo-allergenic, and therefore will not aggravate the condition. The truth is that no dog is completely hypo-allergenic. All dogs produce dander (microscopic skin flakes that are inhaled and can irritate the nose and eyes or cause sneezing) and of course saliva. These are the main causes of allergic reactions in some people, as well as dog urine. Pet hair is not in itself an allergen, but it can collect dander, dust, and pollen, causing itchy and watery eyes, skin rashes, headaches, fatigue, coughing, wheezing, and serious asthma attacks. Sometimes this happens almost immediately, or as a delayed reaction much later on. A build up of an allergen could cause a reaction to happen at a later date and one person’s allergies may vary greatly from another’s.