Being allergic to dogs doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on all the joys of owning a dog. Maybe you’ve always wanted to get a dog for yourself, but you or a loved one just can’t stop sneezing when they’re around pups.
The good news is that there’s actually a large number of dog breeds that are ideal for allergy sufferers. You can have a dog that will bring you untold amounts of joy without making you itchy or sending your household tissue bill through the roof. Still, there are some important things you need to know before choosing the hypoallergenic dog breed for you!
Read on for all you need to know about dogs that are hypoallergenic, and for our list of hypoallergenic dogs.
What are Hypoallergenic Dogs?
First, let’s quickly cover why so many dog breeds cause allergy sufferers problems. All dogs secrete a protein which is found in their saliva, skin, and urine which can cause allergies in humans.
When dogs shed, their hair and skin cells, or dander, will float throughout the house, getting into the air that you breathe. Some people are sensitive to this protein. This is when someone with allergies would begin to suffer itching and respiratory problems.
There are no true hypoallergenic dog breeds. All dogs will secrete this protein. The dog breeds we call hypoallergenic are just less allergenic compared to others. This means they just do not shed their hair, or they shed very little hair and dander. So they don’t tend to trigger an allergy attack in sensitive people. Everyone has their own degree of sensitivity to dogs though, so there are some things to consider before choosing your low shedding dog breed.
How to Choose Your Hypoallergenic Dog Breed
Here are a few things to think about before choosing a low allergy dog if you have problems with allergies:
Discuss with your doctor. Before making a decision that may affect your health or that of someone else in the family you should talk to your doctor. Especially if your allergies are severe. Your doctor will be able to give you professional advice as to whether it is a good idea for your particular situation.
Smaller dogs produce less dander. As a general rule, smaller dogs and dogs with short hair, or no hair, will be the best hypoallergenic dogs. So consider this when making your choice.
A dog that barks will release more saliva and dander into the air. When choosing your dog think about breeds that are known to be more calm and relaxed, and less likely to bark.
Mixed breeds. Be careful when considering mixed breed dogs. If one of the breeds is a more allergenic breed or sheds more, then it will be difficult to tell what you will get. The level of dander and shedding will be unpredictable.
Spend time with a dog before deciding. Although you can be guided by breed, each individual dog will be different, and your level of sensitivity is unique. If you can spend at least half an hour or more with a dog you will soon see if you have an allergic reaction to that particular pup. This can make or break your decision.
How to Take Care of a Hypoallergenic Dog
Since we’ve covered that all hypoallergenic dogs will release some dander, there are a few things you can do for you or the allergy-sufferer in your family once you have brought your dog home to reduce the chance of reactions.
Managing your dog’s hygiene will help keep allergic reactions to a minimum.
Regular household cleaning. As an allergy sufferer, you probably already know that cleanliness will be important for both your household and your dog. Ensure that you are dusting and vacuuming frequently, at least once a week, and certainly before having over any allergic visitors. While your dog may shed very little, they’ll still lose some dander around the house.
Clean accidents asap. Make sure to clean up any urine your dog may leave around the house as soon as possible. And get your pup potty trained as well to reduce indoor accidents.
Regular dog grooming. To help keep your dog’s shedding to a minimum, keep their coat and skin healthy and nourished by bathing them regularly (at least once per week) with a hypoallergenic dog shampoo. These contain aloe or oatmeal, often both, that can help keep shedding at bay. Regular brushing is also a good idea to remove loose hair.
Groom your dog outside. Bathe and brush your dog outside to keep inside the house clean and free of dander.
Wipe your dog down. While your dog may be a low allergy breed, they can still pick up dirt, pollen and other allergens while playing outside. You can always wipe them down with a damp cloth before letting them inside.
Clean your dog’s things. Regular cleaning of your dogs bowls, chew toys and bedding will also help to reduce the hair, saliva, and dander that you come into contact with.
Limit your dog to certain indoor areas of the house. Blocking off certain parts of the house, like bedrooms and bathrooms, can help control where your dog sheds. Giving them access to only certain parts of the house can reduce the spread of dander and you will also have less area to maintain. Also, don’t let your dog sleep with you.
Monitor your dog’s health. Watch for signs of wounds or skin irritations on your dog. These will lead to excessive scratching which can lead to more shedding. Get them checked by a vet if you notice your dog is scratching more than usual.
Doggie kisses. Try to avoid letting your dog lick you to reduce the amount of their saliva that you come into contact with as well.
List of Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
The best hypoallergenic dog breeds will most likely be small dogs with short hair, and also be low or non shedding dog breeds. Here is our list of the best allergy friendly dogs to help you make your choice. Keep in mind that many allergies are triggered by dander or saliva rather than hair though. Click through on each breed for more information.
American Hairless Terrier
Australian Silky Terrier
Bouvier des Flandres
Coton de Tulear
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Irish Water Spaniel
Kerry Blue Terrier
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Portuguese Water Dog
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Spanish Water Dog
West Higland White Terrier
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
I hope this will allow you to enjoy a doggy in your home without any of the suffering! Have fun!
P.S. Be sure to pin this in case you need to share the hypoallergenic dog breed list with a friend later on!