Skip to content

Are Dogs Hypoallergenic?

If you’re considering getting a dog but have allergies, you may be wondering if there are hypoallergenic dogs available. While some dog breeds are marketed as hypoallergenic, the truth is that there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog. However, some breeds may produce fewer allergens than others, making them a better choice for allergy sufferers. In this article, we’ll explore the causes of dog allergies, what hypoallergenic dogs are, and how to live with dog allergies.

What Causes Dog Allergies?

Dog allergies are caused by protein-based allergens in dog saliva, urine, and dander. Dander, which is made up of microscopic skin flakes that are shed by dogs, is the primary source of allergic reactions. When these flakes are inhaled, they can trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive individuals. Shedding also plays a role in allergies, as dog hair can collect dander, dust, and other allergens, exacerbating allergy symptoms.

Symptoms of dog allergies can include sneezing, runny nose, itchy or watery eyes, hives, and asthma symptoms. In severe cases, exposure to dog allergens can even lead to anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction.

What are Hypoallergenic Dogs?

Hypoallergenic dogs are breeds that are marketed as causing fewer allergic reactions in humans than other breeds. This is because they have less dander, shed less, or produce less of the protein-based allergens that trigger allergic reactions. Popular hypoallergenic breeds include Poodles, Bichon Frises, and Portuguese Water Dogs.

However, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, as all dogs produce some level of allergens. The number of allergens produced by an individual dog can vary depending on a number of factors, including the dog’s breed, age, and health. Additionally, different people can have different levels of sensitivity to the same allergens, meaning that what may be hypoallergenic for one person may not be for another.

Are Hypoallergenic Dogs Really Hypoallergenic?

While hypoallergenic dogs may produce fewer allergens than other breeds, they are not completely hypoallergenic. The number of allergens produced by an individual dog can vary depending on a number of factors, including the dog’s breed, age, and health. Additionally, different people can have different levels of sensitivity to the same allergens, meaning that what may be hypoallergenic for one person may not be for another.

Several studies have been conducted on the allergen levels of various dog breeds. One study found that levels of the allergen Can f 1 were lower in Poodles and Portuguese Water Dogs than in Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers. Another study found that levels of the allergen Fel d 1 were lower in Siberian Huskies and Balinese cats than in other breeds. However, these studies are not definitive, and it’s still unclear which breeds are truly hypoallergenic.

How to Live with Dog Allergies

If you have dog allergies but still want to own a dog, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms. These include:

  • Regularly grooming your dog: Regular baths and brushing can help reduce the amount of dander and hair that your dog sheds.
  • Keeping your home clean: Vacuuming and dusting frequently can help remove allergens from your home.
  • Using air filters: HEPA air filters can help remove allergens from the air.
  • Washing your hands frequently: This can help remove any allergens that may have come into contact with your skin.
  • Talking to your doctor: Your doctor can help you identify which allergens trigger your symptoms and recommend treatment options. These may include over-the-counter or prescription medications, allergy shots, or other therapies.

It’s also important to consider your lifestyle when choosing a dog. For example, if you have severe allergies, a dog with minimal shedding may be a better choice than a dog with long hair that sheds frequently. Additionally, it’s a good idea to spend time with a breed before committing to owning one, as this can help you identify any allergy symptoms before bringing the dog home.

When to Consider Alternative Pet Options

If your allergies are severe or you’re unable to manage your symptoms, you may need to consider alternative pet options. While cats and dogs are the most common pets, there are other animals that may be suitable for allergy sufferers. For example, fish, reptiles, and some bird species are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. However, it’s important to note that all pets produce some level of allergens, and it’s still possible to have an allergic reaction to these animals.

So while hypoallergenic dogs may produce fewer allergens than other breeds, they are not completely hypoallergenic. If you have dog allergies, it’s important to talk to your doctor about treatment options and to consider your lifestyle when choosing a breed. While there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, some breeds may be more suitable for allergy sufferers than others. With the right management strategies and support, it’s possible to live with dog allergies and enjoy the companionship of a furry friend.

10 Most Hypoallergenic Dogs

  1. Poodles are one of the most popular hypoallergenic dog breeds. They have curly, non-shedding fur, which helps reduce the amount of dander and hair they produce. Poodles come in a range of sizes, from toy to standard, making them a versatile choice for different living situations.
  2. Bichon Frises are a small, friendly breed that produces minimal dander and hair. They have a distinctive curly coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Bichon Frises are known for their affectionate nature and love of companionship.
  3. Portuguese Water Dogs have thick, curly coat that is hypoallergenic and sheds very little. They were originally bred as working dogs for fishermen and are known for their intelligence and trainability. Portuguese Water Dogs are a medium-sized breed that require regular exercise and mental stimulation.
  4. Maltese are a small, white breed that produces minimal dander and hair. They have long, silky coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting. Maltese are known for their playful and loving personalities and are a popular choice for apartment living.
  5. Schnauzers are a medium-sized breed that produces minimal dander and hair. They have a distinctive wiry coat that comes in three sizes: miniature, standard, and giant. Schnauzers are known for their loyalty and protective nature and require regular exercise and training.
  1. Yorkshire Terriers, or “Yorkies,” are a small breed that produces minimal dander and hair. They have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Yorkies are known for their spunky personalities and make great companions for those who enjoy a more active lifestyle.
  2. Shih Tzus are a small breed that produces minimal dander and hair. They have long, flowing coats that require regular grooming to prevent matting. Shih Tzus are known for their affectionate and outgoing personalities and make great lap dogs.
  3. Basenjis are a medium-sized breed that produces minimal dander and shed very little. They have short, fine coats that require minimal grooming. Basenjis are known for their intelligence and independence and require regular exercise and training.
  4. Samoyeds are a large, fluffy breed that produces minimal dander and shed moderately. They have a thick, double coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Samoyeds are known for their friendly and gentle nature and make great family pets.
  5. Afghan Hounds are a large, elegant breed that produces minimal dander and shed moderately. They have a long, silky coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Afghan Hounds are known for their grace and beauty and make great show dogs.

While these breeds are generally considered hypoallergenic, it’s important to note that individual dogs can still produce allergens and that different people can have different levels of sensitivity to the same allergens. Before bringing a dog into your home, it’s a good idea to spend time with the breed to see how you react to it and to talk to your doctor about managing your allergy symptoms.

Hypoallergenic Information by Breed

Are you wondering if a particular breed is hypoallergenic? See below for detailed allergy information on all of the most popular breeds.

Are Dogs Hypoallergenic?