Are you interested in a dog but concerned about household allergies? You’re not alone, says the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, which estimates that three in ten Americans are allergic to cats and dogs.
Even better, there are many hypoallergenic dog breeds available that are suitable for dog lovers who already suffer from allergies. Your allergies don’t have to prevent you from owning a dog; in fact, many of the most popular breeds, including dogs of all shapes and sizes, are hypoallergenic.
Not sure where to begin? Find the ideal dog for you by reading on and exploring our selection of the 22 finest hypoallergenic dog breeds. Let’s get started.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?
What Exactly Is a Hypoallergenic Dog? If you or a member of your family has allergies and you’re searching for a canine companion, you might be asking what a hypoallergenic dog is.
The term “hypoallergenic dog breeds” is frequently used, but if you’re looking for a dog that can work with your constraints, you need know exactly what it implies.
So it’s crucial to first and foremost establish that no canine breed is completely hypoallergenic or allergen-free. Instead, as Dr. Lynn Buzhardt writes for VCA Hospitals, “breeds that are less likely to induce allergies in people” are referred to as hypoallergenic.
Therefore, even if you have a dog of a hypoallergenic breed, it doesn’t necessarily follow that someone who has allergies in your home won’t experience an allergic reaction to the dog.
It simply implies that compared to other breeds, the dog is far less likely to induce an allergic reaction.
It’s interesting to note that, according to Dr. Buzhardt, there is often disagreement among specialists and in research studies over what exactly qualifies as a “hypoallergenic dog breed.” Although some dog breeds are frequently thought of as hypoallergenic due to particular traits they have (which we’ll examine shortly! ), she makes the argument that the reality may be that how hypoallergenic a dog is may vary on the particular dog and owner.
She goes on to clarify that because different breeds of dogs do not produce the same proteins, some people are allergic to certain dogs rather than particular breeds. As a result, a person could be allergic to one Maltese and not to another. In the end, the dog and the person are the main factors.
Given this knowledge, you should start looking for a dog that is deemed hypoallergenic if you want to reduce the possibility of an allergic reaction.
In general, dog breeds that are hypoallergenic are those that:
- In other words, they don’t shed, which results in less dander being produced.
- not having hair, and Dander is consequently less likely to stick to the dog.
- possess short, single-layered coats, which means that dander from the dog will remain in your home because it lacks an undercoat to shed.
You might detect a pattern based on these traits: dander. Although you might mistakenly believe that a dog’s fur or hair is to blame for causing allergies, the dander on a dog’s skin or coat is actually to blame.
There are therefore more opportunities for dander to be in the air if you have a dog with a double coat, thick fur, and a lot of shedding, which increases the likelihood of an allergic reaction.
Best Hypoallergenic Dogs For Allergy Sufferers
Let’s speak about some of the greatest dog breeds for allergy sufferers now that you know what kinds of dogs are said to be hypoallergenic. As you’ll see below, hypoallergenic dogs often range in size from tiny to medium, but they also have a wide range of backgrounds, traits, and personalities.
As a result, we’ve alphabetically listed these hypoallergenic dogs.
Each one fits into one of the three groups we mentioned above—either they are dogs that don’t shed, dogs without hair, or dogs with easily maintained coats that reduce dander.
Due to their low-maintenance coats, Affenpinschers are excellent for allergy patients, just like many of the wiry-haired dogs on our list. The wiry coats of Affenpinschers don’t grow quickly, and they don’t shed a lot.
Afghan Hounds’ silky coats really have relatively little shedding, despite the fact that they may not initially appear to be the greatest hypoallergenic canines. These dogs have short, fluffy coats as puppies, and as they age, they grow longer, silkier coats that need regular maintenance.
But these canines might be an excellent option for people with allergies if you don’t mind grooming.
Afghan Hounds are renowned for having a regal and aristocratic demeanor. They have a great deal of love and loyalty for the people they consider their own.
American Hairless Terrier
American Hairless Terriers are normally hairless, as you would have assumed from their name, yet there is also a coated version. In any case, these dogs don’t shed, or if they do, they just shed sparingly.
These dogs make a great hypoallergenic breed, but you’ll need to take care of their ears and guard them from sunburn.
American Hairless Terriers are also native to Louisiana and are well-known for their energetic terrier personality, although not being as well-known as some of the other dogs on our list.
What does a dog that is hypoallergenic do?
Would it surprise you to learn that a 1988 study revealed no variations between the allergens identified on various dog breeds? In other words, if you have a dog allergy, you have a dog allergy?
Have we made considerable progress since 1988 and produced canines to which we are no longer allergic? No. If you are allergic to dogs, we haven’t actually created a new breed of dog. You have a dog allergy. Where does the idea of a hypoallergenic dog originate, then?
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
They do, but not in the traditional sense. The Greeks gave the word “hypo” the meaning “under” or “below” Other words for it include fewer and less.
As a result, a dog that is hypoallergenic simply indicates that they are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. The dog is not necessarily completely immune to allergies. Many people believe that those with allergies are allergic to the dog’s fur, which is where the confusion resides. That is not the situation.
Why Are People Allergic to Dogs?
In most cases, allergy sufferers are allergic to a protein that can be detected in dog saliva and urine. The dog spreads the protein to their skin and coat when they groom themselves. Old skin cells shed when new ones are generated, releasing them into the environment (known as dander). Due to this, people are frequently informed that they are allergic to dog dander. You come into contact with the protein-coated hair as it is shed into the environment.
Accordingly, a hypoallergenic dog is typically one that sheds less (less hair for you to be exposed to while watching TV or in bed), they frequently have curled coats (which trap hair and dander so that less is shed into the environment), or they have less hair (but these guys still lose dead skin cells which can cause a reaction). Additionally, they are more likely to have routine grooming, which takes the protein out of the skin and coat.
What About All These Designer Crossbreeds?
Designer crossbreeds were developed in large part to be more allergy-friendly. The majority of them are poodle hybrids. Given that 10–20% of people globally are considered to have canine allergies, it makes reasonable. In addition, it is estimated that the costs of asthma caused by dog allergies in the USA alone range from $500 million to $1 billion! Heartache is brought on by both the symptoms and the staggering cost of healthcare! For many allergy patients who desired to have pets, the appearance of these hypoallergenic designer cross breeds was therefore a blessing.
Are All Poodles Hypoallergenic?
Poodles may be hypoallergenic, but the other breed in the crossbreed must also be taken into account.
Golden retrievers have heavy shedders. All you have to do is touch them. You might have hair covered with allergens in every nook and cranny if your first-generation Goldendoodle is more Golden Retriever than Poodle! Later generations are a little bit more predictable, but once more, you have to make sure that the majority of their lines are poodle coats!
Can Allergy Suffers Have Dogs?
There is no dog that is allergy-safe. A 30-year-old study revealed that if you have a dog allergy, you have a dog allergy. However, this does not preclude the possibility of a hypoallergenic dog.
In general, people get along better with animals that shed less and have tightly curled coats. Another approach to get rid of the protein from their skin and coat is to take frequent baths.
Be careful though, as frequent bathing can deplete coats of their natural condition and abrasive shampoos might change the pH balance of the skin. Unbalanced skin can cause a variety of problems, such as scratching, irritation, and dullness! Regular vacuuming and daily outdoor brushing of your dog will assist remove protein from both your environment and their coat.
It’s probably best to meet several dogs if you really desire one. So, you can determine which ones elicit a greater reaction than others.
Can dogs really help with allergies?
Despite the fact that some canines may in fact cause fewer allergy symptoms than others, research indicates that no one breed is genuinely hypoallergenic.
The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s spokesman is allergist Dr. Tania Elliott. She clarifies “Somewhere along the line, the term “hypoallergenic” came to mean that a dog didn’t shed. While some people may have an allergy to dog hair, others may have an allergy to dander (skin cells) or even saliva from dogs.
Canis familiaris (Can f 1), the main dog allergen, was discovered in equal amounts in houses with dogs labeled as hypoallergenic and those without, according to a 2011 study published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy. The results derailed the plans of the majority of allergy patients, despite the fact that the study’s authors state that additional research is required to corroborate these findings.
A subsequent study’s findings in 2012 revealed that Can f 1 levels in low-shedding Poodles’ coat samples were among the highest. Surprisingly, the levels of allergens were substantially lower in Labrador Retrievers, a breed that is frequently thought to be more susceptible to induce allergies due to its profuse shedding. Additionally, this study discovered no appreciable variation in the quantity of Can f 1 found in the air in houses with “different dog breeds, including hypoallergenic dogs.
There are three different sizes of poodles: standard, miniature, and toy. One of the many hairstyles a poodle can have is what these little poodles are sporting.
How do dogs get less allergic?
Barack Obama promised the future First Daughters a dog, and his oldest, Malia, 10, has decided on a supposedly hypoallergenic breed to help with her allergies. Though the future president has made it known that she would want to acquire a rescue dog, remarking that “a lot of shelter dogs are mutts like me,” she has stated that she would prefer a goldendoodle, a hybrid between a golden retriever and a poodle.
We enquired about the hypoallergenic idea from Bernadine Cruz, a spokesperson for the American Veterinary Medical Association. Cruz, a veterinarian in Laguna Hills, California, was employed as a paid spokesperson for Allerca in 2006, a business that claimed to have created a cat that is hypoallergenic. Read this article in The Scientist for a recent update on Allerca and its studies.
Many people who are allergic to dogs do so because they are sensitive to a salivary protein that the dogs also release through their skin.
If someone is allergic to dogs in general, would a hypoallergenic dog be a good option?
A cat or dog that is hypoallergenic does not exist. There has only been one hypoallergenic cat bred: Due to a naturally occurring divergence (mutation) of the protein Fel d 1, a firm in San Diego by the name of Allerca discovered a line of cats that were thought to be hypoallergenic. The protein is typically present in cat pee, saliva, and skin exudates. I’ve discovered that even people with severe cat allergies can play with cats without sneezing. However, no mutation in a protein of a similar nature has been discovered in dogs.
The level of reactivity to specific dogs’ saliva and body proteins varies from person to person. The breeds of dogs that are often less allergenic include Poodles, Kerry Blue Terriers, Schnauzers, Bichon Frise, and Lhasa Apsos. They either don’t shed much or frequently visit the groomer, which helps to remove allergies from their skin by washing and trimming their hair. The offspring of those dogs may be less allergenic if they intentionally or unintentionally mate with breeds other than those of those breeds.
However, some people may not experience any issues while playing with a German Shepherd while having allergy to Poodles.
How about the Peruvian Hairless Dog that the Obamas have been promised by that nation? Is it better for people who have allergies?
They won’t shed much, but (allergenic) proteins will leak through their skin, so that won’t always be the solution.
They are frequently found in shelters. The Obamas or anyone else can get a pet by visiting shelters or breed rescues.
Why do people desire pets that are hypoallergenic?
You might have given up on having a dog if you or a family member is allergic to pets. But this issue can be resolved with the help of hypoallergenic dogs. These dogs are supposedly the finest of both worlds—adorably fluffy and allergy-free—so what gives?
A completely hypoallergenic dog does not exist, regrettably, according to veterinarian Dr. Bernadine D. Cruz, host of “The Pet Doctor on Pet Life Radio.”
Some dog breeds, however, create less dander because they shed less. Consider dander to be “pet pollen.” Breeds with constantly developing coats often shed less and are frequently easier for allergic people to handle, according to her. Less pet dander is produced by hypoallergenic dogs, which results in fewer sneezes and watery eyes. Here are seven suggestions for the top dog breeds for allergy sufferers along with a closer look at what makes a dog hypoallergenic.
- In place of fur, hypoallergenic dogs have hair. Dogs with fur, like the typical Reservoir or Doberman, regularly shed old, longer hair as new, shorter hairs replace them. The coat of a dog with hair, in contrast, continuously grows longer and longer, much like the hair on a human head.
- They Won’t Cover You in Danger and Dust Most people who have pet allergies, according to Dr. Cruz, aren’t allergic to dog fur. They are sensitive to pet dander, often known as dandruff. Why are hypoallergenic dogs preferable for allergy sufferers? “Dogs with hair disperse less allergens around your home because they shed less,” claims Christa Holmans, owner of the dog training facility Central Texas Balanced Dogs. Have your pet frequently groomed to reduce dander even more.
- Less dog hair needs to be cleaned up. People who aren’t allergic to dogs can nevertheless value this advantage. You don’t have to spend as much time washing dog hair off your couches and floor because a hypoallergenic dog sheds less. According to Holmans, a shed-free dog would be the best choice if you desire a tidy home.
- They Need Regular Grooming Holmans cautions, “However, be ready to take them out for regular haircuts, just like you would a human youngster. This is a crucial element to take into account because, depending on how quickly your dog’s hair grows, the cost of routine grooming can soon mount.
- Everyone Can Own a Hypoallergenic Dog There are more than 20 dog breeds that are hypoallergenic, and there are even more that are referred to as “low shedding dogs.” There is a dog for every person because of the wide range in size, temperament, coat type, and color, according to Dr. Cruz.
Three sizes of these dogs are available: standard, small, and toy. Their distinctively thick, curling hair never stops growing and sheds much less than the typical dog. Poodles need frequent exercise because they are intelligent and active.
Brazilian Water Dog
These dogs have a thick, wavy, dander-producing coat that is waterproof and thick. They are excellent for an active family because they adore the water and are highly daring. Portuguese water dogs make the ideal family companion since they are devoted and loyal.
The small Maltese dog is quite courageous. This breed, which has a long, silky white coat, is devoted and playful. If maintained long, this coat needs to be cleaned every day to avoid mats, although it’s ideal for people with allergies.
These canines are happy-go-lucky and have a marshmallow-like, cream-colored coat. Although the Bichon’s hair is constantly growing, it has less dander than other dogs’ hair.
Schnauzers come in small, regular, and enormous sizes, and are all hypoallergenic. Schnauzers make excellent family watchdogs and are quite intelligent. As long as the undercoat is routinely groomed, their coarse, wiry, two-layer coat sheds less than that of ordinary breeds.
Due to its sparse coat, the Chinese Crested is the ideal hypoallergenic dog. On their heads, tails, and feet, these charming animals only have a little plume of hair. They become lively friends and are incredibly gentle.
The Irish Water Spaniel has a robust, double-coated, water-repellent coat that is hypoallergenic. These dogs are sharp-witted, fun-loving, and skilled swimmers.
Consider purchasing or adopting one of these hypoallergenic dogs if you have allergies (or even if you don’t). However, spend some time with the dog to check whether it causes you to sneeze, cough, or experience other allergy symptoms before making him your new best friend.