Just because you’re allergic to dogs doesn’t mean you can’t one—you just have to pick the right one.
About 50 million people in the U.S. suffer from nasal allergies, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Allergic disease, including asthma, is the fifth most common chronic disease in the country. For many of us, dogs are a part of the family. Telling us we can’t have a dog is like telling us we’re infertile. It can be devastating.
Luckily, some people who have allergies can still own dogs. While allergy sufferers don’t have as wide of a choice of which breed they’d like, they still have a few they can fall in love with.
Dog Allergy Symptoms
It’s pretty easy to tell if you’re allergic to dogs. Here are a few symptoms:
- Skin rash
Stuffy or runny nose
Itchy or watery eyes
Coughing or short breath
If every time you go to a friend’s house and you notice these symptoms, it might be their pet causing them. If you go to another person’s house with a hypoallergenic dog, you may notice these symptoms less or not at all.
How to Limit Dog Allergies
If you are allergic to many dog breeds but still want a hypoallergenic dog, there are some tricks to limiting your exposure to allergens. Here are a few tips:
Keep your dog out of areas where you spend the majority of your time. Keep him out of the bedroom and off of your bed sheets to ensure your allergies don’t affect your sleep.
Bathe frequently. When you brush and bathe your dog frequently, it will allow the shedding to be more contained.
Let him play outside. If you have a backyard, consider letting your dog hang outside on nice days when you’re home. The less hair there is inside, the easier your dog will be on your allergies.
Remove rugs and carpets. A hypoallergenic dog is likely to affect you even less if you remove any rugs. Dog hair is easier to vacuum or sweep when it’s on flooring, whereas the allergens can stick to carpet.
Wash your hands directly after touching or petting your hypoallergenic dog.
Purchase a high-efficiency particulate air cleaner.
Are there Hypoallergenic Dogs?
What does hypoallergenic dog mean? Is there such a thing?
Short answer: Not really. But there are breeds that are less likely to trigger allergies because they shed less or not at all. However, unlike most people think, their fur doesn’t cause the allergies. The real cause of dog allergies is the protein found in their saliva or urine. Since this protein sticks to dead flakes, their hair and the amount they shed affects how the allergens are dispersed.
When there’s less fur in the air, there will be fewer allergens and it can be easier to control your allergies. This is why some people can be allergic to cats but not dogs. Generally, cats will shed a lot more than most dog breeds.
For the purposes of this article, we will define “hypoallergenic dogs” as dogs that are less likely to trigger allergies. While there are large breed hypoallergenic dogs, smaller dogs will be less likely to stuff you up. Since a large breed has more hair to shed, you will simply be exposed to more allergens.
13 Hypoallergenic Dogs
Here are 13 small and large hypoallergenic dog breeds.
The Schnauzer does not shed and can give up to 16 years, depending on the size of the breed.
These hypoallergenic dogs make great family members because they will be protective and territorial without being too aggressive. They will alert you of a stranger, but are loving towards family and friends. The schnauzer is super smart, but will need an owner assertive enough to train them.
These dogs can be a gray to black color and require frequent grooming.
Sure, these dogs look like big fluff balls—but they’re surprisingly good for allergies. These dogs don’t shed and because their coat is curly, their dandruff is trapped and doesn’t go into the environment. This means the allergens don’t escape into the air.
These teddy-bear looking dogs can live from 12 to 15 years and can weigh up to 12 pounds. This hypoallergenic dog is always white and their sizes make it a great apartment pet. These dogs tend to suffer from separation anxiety, so it will fit well with a big family where someone is always home.
This dog is one of the cutest hypoallergenic dogs. Weighing in at just about 7 pounds at most, he or she is perfect for people will allergies who live in apartments or without a backyard. She will be happy just playing and cuddling with you inside. Although the Yorkie doesn’t really shed, she does need frequent grooming.
Despite their cuteness, this breed can be hard to train and can be “yappy.” They are prone to quite a few health conditions, but can live up to 15 years.
The poodle comes in three different sizes, all of which do not shed. However, as you can guess by looking at them, they do require a lot of grooming.
Poodles can weigh about 45 to 70 pounds and can live up to 15 years. Although this breed is associated with prestige and luxury, she’s not just looks—poodles are actually really intelligent. They will be easy to train and playful too!
Shih Tzus are another small hypoallergenic dog. These dogs are non-shedding, but require a lot of grooming. They can grow up to 10 inches tall and can weigh up to 16 pounds. The Shih Tzu is generally a friendly dog who is good with children and well-suited for city living.
This hypoallergenic dog can be prone to dental issues and can live up to 16 years. Although they have many positive traits, you will have to be patient and persistent with this breed when trying to train them.
This hypoallergenic dog barely sheds and doesn’t require a lot of grooming. The Italian Greyhound is a smart breed, will be easy to train and loves to snuggle up beside family members.
He will live for about 14 or 15 years on average and will have a long life of chasing things; after all, he’s a hunter dog.
These cute little hypoallergenic dogs barely shed and can live up to 15 years.
Maltese dogs are quite friendly and playful. Her white, silky coat makes her look prestigious and she likes to feel that way, too– Maltese pups love being spoiled. They require a lot of affection and tend to suffer from separation anxiety.
This interesting looking dog is the most obvious choice for a hypoallergenic dog. As you can see by looking at the dog, it barely has any hair to even shed!
The breed can weigh up to 12 pounds and usually live from 12 to 14 years. The small dog will fall in love with you quickly and will be the kind of pup to follow you everywhere. Unlike many other dogs, he will be happy just lying on the sofa with you with minimal exercise. This dog is great for those that live in warm and hot climates. He will not get overheated very easily, but he is not tolerant to cold, harsh winters.
At first glance, this dog looks like it would shed a ton. Luckily, he has a non-shedding coat and you’re less likely to be exposed to allergy-triggering dander.
This large breed hypoallergenic dog can weigh up to 60 pounds and can live up to 12 years. Historically, the dog was a hunter Afghanistan and his long coat was needed to keep him warm on the mountains. Because of his coat, you need to be willing to spend a lot of time grooming him. While this dog is gentle and affectionate, he does not get overly excited at the sight of new people. However, he is a good watchdog.
Although this hypoallergenic dog resembles a cross between a goat and a lamb, it’s very intelligent and loves attention.
He can weigh up to 23 pounds and can live up to 16 years. Since they’re smart, they will be easy to train but will need to be stimulated to avoid boredom. A Bedlington Terrier’s coat can range from a tan to white color. They will need to be groomed about once a week to avoid matting.
You may never be able to pronounce the name of this hypoallergenic dog breed, but he’s a perfect choice for allergy sufferers.
This breed can be in three sizes and can weigh up to 50 pounds. He looks tough and for a good reason– he’s a great protector dog. However, he’ll also make a great companion and will enjoy cuddling up on the sofa with family.
This is another weird-looking hypoallergenic dog breed—but cute nonetheless! While they have a body full of hair, they barely shed at all, making it a great choice for allergy sufferers!
These dogs can weigh up to 12 pounds and live up to 15 years. They are affectionate and loving dogs, but also are intelligent and energetic.
Portuguese Water Dog
Portuguese Water Dogs and poodles have similar coats that make them hypoallergenic dog breeds. This breed does not have an undercoat that sheds, which makes them less likely to cause the sniffles!
These dogs can weigh up to 60 pounds and live up to 14 years. He gets his name because his breed used to help on fishing trips and herding fish into nets. As you can probably guess, he loves the water and will enjoy a good trip to the lake. While they are very intelligent dogs, they have a reputation of destructing and chewing on items.
If you were wondering what does hypoallergenic dog mean, you should now understand that some dogs are less likely to produce allergy symptoms than others. However, before committing to a dog, make sure to visit him or her for ample time. This way, you will make sure you’re not allergic before welcoming your hypo-allergenic dog into your home.