Maltese dogs are not particularly prone to allergies but are known for causing fewer allergies in humans than some other canine breeds. However, no dog is completely hypoallergenic, according to VetInfo, because every dog sheds some hair and skin cells. If you have a Maltese and are still experiencing allergies, there are some steps you can take to reduce your reactions.
The term "hypoallergenic" is applied to a dog breed when it induces fewer allergies than other breeds. These include (but are not limited to) the American hairless terrier, Peruvian hairless dog, Chinese crested, Xoloitzcuintli, Bichon Frise, Poodle, Puli, Irish Kerry Blue Terrier, Italian Greyhounds, Chihuahuas and--of course--the Maltese.
These dogs induce fewer allergic reactions primarily because they are either hairless or have less hair or less dander than other breeds. The Maltese sheds less dander partially because it only has one coat of hair (versus multiple).
It's All About Protein
Most human allergic reactions to dogs are not because of dog hair; they're because of the protein found in the dander (dandruff), urine and saliva of the dog. Taking precautionary steps with a Maltese is important to controlling allergic reactions.
Frequently bathing your Maltese will reduce dander shedding, which can cut down human allergies by as much as 90 percent.
Also, try giving your dog supplements of omega-3 fatty acids and biotin, a B-vitamin. These will help keep your pooch's skin healthy--which means she will shed less.
Changing a few things in the home environment can go a long way toward reducing allergies from your Maltese. Clean frequently and toss as many unnecessary carpets and pillows as possible. The more you clean, the fewer allergens will be in the environment, and fewer carpets and pillows means there's less material to collect them.
Also, doing the difficult deed of banning your buddy from the bedroom may be the best way to get a good night's sleep. Many of each 24 hours are spent in the bedroom, and making it as allergen-free as possible will reduce overall adverse reactions.
Getting allergy shots that help immunize you from the protein you're reacting to is a good idea. The shots actually contain the allergy-inducing protein itself, but overexposure will increase your resistance to it. Over time, you should feel fewer symptoms.
If all else fails, there are always antihistamines and steroids, which help control allergic reactions. However, long-term usage is not recommended and should only be employed as a last resort.