Hypoallergenic Dog: Fact or Fiction?

Whether you’re sensitive to dog hair or just want to keep a breed that will make your whole family happy, keep reading to explore our list of the best 20 hypoallergenic dog breeds.

About 3 out of 10 Americans are allergic to dogs. This report is according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

While some people may be more susceptible to specific breeds of dogs, some are allergic to all species.  As such, most people think certain breeds of dogs are hypoallergenic.

So, what causes the allergic reaction to dogs?

Dogs are fond of licking themselves. When they do, saliva sticks to their fur. The saliva contains allergens that are left behind when the dog sheds. As a result, people who are more sensitive to dog hair develop an immune system response to the allergens and dander, resulting in allergy symptoms.

What is a Hypoallergenic Dog?

A hypoallergenic dog is a breed that’s less likely to cause sensitive reactions to humans.

According to Dr. Lynn Buzhardt, a companion animal practitioner and co-owner of The Animal Center, Inc., in Zachary, La, hypoallergenic dogs are “breeds that are less likely to stimulate allergies in people.”

It’s, therefore, crucial to note that no dog is exhaustively hypoallergenic. While it’s true all breeds cause allergy symptoms to humans, certain breeds may cause fewer symptoms.

Hypoallergenic Dog vs. Non-Hypoallergenic Dog

Some differences exist between hypoallergenic dog breeds and non-hypoallergenic ones, as shown in the table below:

Hypoallergenic DogNon-Hypoallergenic Dog
Sheds lessLess likely to cause allergy symptoms to human beings. Sheds moreMost likely to cause allergy symptoms to people with allergies. 

Which Breeds of Dogs Are Hypoallergenic?

If you’re the type of person with allergies but still have affection for dogs, here’s our best 20 hypoallergenic dog breed list to explore:

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise is a cheerful, playful small dog breed that makes a fantastic family companion in apartment living. They have an adorable little face like that of a doll with black eyes and fluffy hair. This hypoallergenic breed dog is a low shedder whose hair remains stuck in her undercoat instead of falling.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzer is a small breed dog from Germany. These intelligent, extroverted, stubborn, and fast-learning dogs love to be part of the family–although they’re always wary of strangers. These dogs have a double coat; the top and the undercoat. The topcoat keeps dirt off while the undercoat catches loose hair–hence hardly sheds.

Portuguese Water Dog

As their name suggests, the Portuguese Water Dog is a fluffy, intelligent, water-loving breed with solid bodies. They’re medium-sized hypoallergenic dogs with webbed feet that help them with swimming. The Portuguese Water Dog breed doesn’t shed much.

Giant Schnauzer

Giant Schnauzer is one of the largest hypoallergenic dog breeds. They are strong, loyal, playful, and make a great addition to families. These canines are intelligent, have a great sense of hearing, and are instinctively territorial. The Giant Schnauzer has a minimalist shedding double– coat that needs regular grooming.

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound is a hypoallergenic breed dog with a unique appearance. This special breed has a thick, silky, and flowing coat that serves as protection against a harsh climate in mountainous regions. These ancient hunting dogs require regular grooming as they get older.

Coton de Tulear

Also known as the “Royal Dog of Madagascar,”– Coton de Tulear is a small, intelligent, and happy-go-lucky breed of dog who loves cavorting, clowning, and following people around the house. They’re a hypoallergenic dog breed that doesn’t shed, and if they do, they produce less hair and dander.

Wheaten Terrier

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terriers are jovial, lively, and intensely loyal dogs. They have a soft silky coat with minimalistic shedding that requires regular brushing and trimming.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested dogs come in two varieties; hairless crested and PowderPuffs. The hairless crested have human-like skin hence one of the most hypoallergenic dog breeds that don’t shed. The Powerpuff, on the other hand, has a thick, silky coat all over their bodies that hardly shed.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Lagotto Romagnolo is a hypoallergenic dog breed that doesn’t shed. Its double coat of hair grows continuously; hence regular trimming is required. The thick skin of these cute, teddy-bear-like dogs keeps them warm in fall and winter.

Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier was named after Bedlington Northumberland, a mining town in North East England. It was initially bred for hunting vermin in mines but has since been used in dog racing. They have blue, sandy, or liver coloration and are incredibly active. Their coat is similar to a sheep and is among the most hypoallergenic dog breeds that don’t shed. 

Standard Schnauzer

Standard Schnauzer is a medium-sized hypoallergenic breed of dog that is playful, intelligent, willful, and trainable. These dogs are protective and quite territorial hence make great companions and guard dogs. Like other Schnauzers, Standard Schnauzers have double coats and sheds very infrequently.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terrier is a breed of dogs with unique coat color. They’re a hypoallergenic dog breed that doesn’t shed but requires regular grooming and scheduled trimming. Kerry Blues are loyal, affectionate, and very gentle towards children. Their coats come in a shade of blue and are among the largest hypoallergenic dog breeds.

American Hairless Terrier

The American Hairless Terrier is a small, medium-sized hypoallergenic breed of dog that comes in both hairless and coated varieties. They’re intelligent, alert, playful, and curious dogs that don’t shed–if they do, they shed very little. The hairless varieties have smooth, warm skins and muscular bodies with V-shaped ears.

Peruvian Inca Orchid

The Peruvian Inca Orchid is a rare hairless dog breed with a population of about a thousand in the world. These dogs are intelligent, swift, and agile. They come in hairless or coated varieties and are available in small, medium, and large sizes. Regardless of the array, these dogs hardly shed.

Maltese

Maltese are one of the most miniature hypoallergenic breed dogs that are highly affectionate to their family members. They’re playful, adaptable, and are great companion dogs that love sitting in people’s laps. They come in long, straight, silky coats that hardly sheds. 

2 Interesting Facts About Hypoallergenic Dogs

  1. There is no such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Study shows that there is no scientific background to claims that 100% hypoallergenic dogs exist. Hypoallergenic means people with dog hair allergies experience fewer symptoms when they’re near certain breeds compared to others.
  2. Dog hair doesn’t cause allergies. The actual cause of allergy symptoms is saliva and dander (dog’s dead skin).

How Can You Minimize the Allergy Impact of Your Dog?

If you minimize the amount of saliva, dander, and dog hair in your home, your chances of getting allergy symptoms are significantly reduced. Here’s how you can prevent the allergy impact of your dog at home:

  • Bathe your dog at least once a week to remove dander and reduce the number of allergens on the dog’s coat.
  • Brush your pet regularly and collect loose hairs.
  • Wear a dust mask and a pair of rubber gloves when grooming your pet.
  • Always change your clothes after prolonged exposure to your pet.
  • Keep your pet away from your bedroom to keep the room free from allergens that may cause you suffering. 

Summary

Is There Such a Thing as a Hypoallergenic Dog? A straight answer to this question is NO. There exists no naturally hypoallergenic dog breed. However, certain species are less likely to prompt allergies in humans. These breeds are the ones referred to as hypoallergenic dog breeds.

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