Senior author Christine Cole Johnson, chairman of Henry Ford Hospital's department of public health sciences, and colleagues analyzed dust samples collected from 173 homes one month after a newborn baby was brought home.
Previous studies analyzed hair samples from only a handful of dogs in a small number of breeds, Johnson says.
The dust samples were collected from the carpet or floor in the baby's bedroom and analyzed for a dog allergen. Sixty dog breeds were involved in the study, 11 considered hypoallergenic dogs.
"We found no scientific basis to the claim hypoallergenic dogs have less allergen," Johnson says in a statement.
"Based on previous allergy studies conducted here at Henry Ford, exposure to a dog early in life provides protection against dog allergy development. But the idea that you can buy a certain breed of dog and think it will cause less allergy problems for a person already dog-allergic is not borne out by our study."
The researchers acknowledged limitations in their study -- the amount of time the dog spent in the baby's bedroom was not recorded and the size of its sample did not allow looking at specific breeds -- but parents should not rely on dog breeds classified as hypoallergenic, the researchers say.
The findings are scheduled to be published online in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy.
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