What’s a home without a dog? Most families would love to have a dog to take on camping trips and bring to picnics, but if someone in the house has a dog allergy, this can pose a huge problem. If you want to add a furry best friend to your family while minimizing the risk of triggering someone’s allergies, here are a few hypoallergenic dogs you should consider adopting.
Table of contents
- Is there such thing as a hypoallergenic breed?
- Why are some breeds called hypoallergenic?
- 8 hypoallergenic dog breeds worth considering
- Caring for your new dog
Is there such thing as a hypoallergenic breed?
The term “hypoallergenic” seems to imply that people who have allergies can safely use or be around something. The situation isn’t quite so clear-cut if you have an allergy to dogs. There is no breed of dog that’s completely free from allergens.
If you’re allergic to dogs, your allergy symptoms are caused by the protein cells the dog produces. These cells are throughout a dog’s entire body, including their saliva, skin, and hair. As microscopic dead skin cells (dander) and small bits of dog hair slowly make their way throughout your home, your allergy symptoms will escalate.
Some people are allergic to all dogs, but it’s also possible to be allergic to specific breeds. Not every dog will create and shed the same kinds of proteins. Your allergy response can also vary from dog to dog, depending on how they produce and shed proteins.
You can have one low-shedding retriever that barely sparks your allergies and another that sends them into a full-blown frenzy. The situation is tricky.
Before you adopt a dog based on its reputation as being hypoallergenic, you need to meet the actual dog. Reputable breeders, foster programs, rescue programs, and animal shelters will allow you to spend time with your dog before bringing it home.
If you can spend an hour playing with the dog and don’t notice any allergy symptoms within the next 24 hours, the dog is probably a good fit for you. So why do we still call some dogs hypoallergenic?
Why are some breeds called hypoallergenic?
Hypoallergenic dogs are dogs that shed the least. Hairless and short-haired dogs won’t shed as much as dogs with thick or heavily layered coats. If they don’t shed often, these family dogs will not spread allergens around your home faster than your vacuum and your HEPA air filter can pick them up.
Many people with pet allergies find these dogs the best dog breeds to have around. Over time, they might even develop a small tolerance to the allergen and stop experiencing allergy symptoms altogether.
8 Hypoallergenic dog breeds worth considering
Let’s look at what are considered some of the best hypoallergenic dogs out there.
1. American Hairless Terriers
American Hairless Terriers are a hairless breed that originated in Louisiana. If you live near Louisiana, you may have encountered a hairless terrier at the park. If you don’t, you may have never heard of the breed. They aren’t very well known and widespread, making them hard to find.
American Hairless Terriers are small dogs with little to no hair, which significantly reduces their potential to bring grief to allergy sufferers. They won’t leave fur all over your home, have less dander, and you don’t have to worry about brushing them.
Their lack of a coat creates different requirements for care and grooming. Since they don’t have a coat to protect them from the sun, you’ll need to put sunblock on your dog before taking them outside. Their exposed skin is very sensitive and can be prone to sunburn or skin cancer.
2. Chinese Crested
Chinese Crested dogs are known for looking… unique, to say the least, but their quirky appearance is what makes them so endearing. There are Chinese Crested dogs with full coats, but there are also Chinese Crested dogs that only grow hair on their heads and faces.
Less hair means less shedding (and less sneezing), which is a major advantage for someone who needs a hypoallergenic dog. Like all hairless dogs, taking good care of your Chinese Crested’s skin is necessary.
Your dog will need sunblock before going outdoors. They may also need dog-safe moisturizer if their skin becomes dry or cracked. Since there’s no fur to hold the natural oils to your dog’s skin, they might need a little outside help with moisture.
3. Peruvian Inca Orchid
If you’re overdue for a vacation, fly to Peru. While you’re there, meet one of the world’s rarest hairless dogs. Peruvian Inca Orchid sounds like a flower, but this breed is much less delicate.
Peruvian Inca Orchids are bred to be loyal and intelligent guard dogs. This dog is the best fit if you want a hairless watchdog that will protect your home and property. With no hair to speak of, this will not be a shedding dog.
4. Schnauzer Breeds
Although Schnauzers aren’t hairless, they’re known to shed very little. People with minor dog allergies often find it easy to share their home with a Schnauzer. There’s also a lot of versatility within the breed.
If you’re more of a lap dog person, get a miniature Schnauzer. If you want a big dog you can run around and play with, get a Giant Schnauzer. This breed is a true dog lover’s dog.
Schnauzers are relatively low maintenance and require minimal brushing of their short coats to reduce matting. If you’re the one with allergies, ask another family member to brush the dog outside. You’re unlikely to find yourself with allergic reactions.
Havanese are small dogs originally from Cuba. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), their silky hair is not prone to a shedding coat, which reduces their allergic properties. They also lack a double coat. Regular grooming will keep their coats looking smooth and will reduce any dander.
Havanese tend to be rather extroverted, making friends everywhere they go. They are surprisingly trainable and can be small but fierce watchdogs.
6. Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds always look like they just came back from the salon. Their face is smooth and hairless, but a glorious crown of long, shiny hair sits atop their head. Their beautiful silky coats make them look like movie stars.
While it might seem strange to consider a dog with such a long coat hypoallergenic, an Afghan Hound’s fur is unique. It’s a lot more like very soft human hair, and it doesn’t shed the way most dog fur does.
While your Afghan Hound will require plenty of regular grooming, they’ll also require plenty of cuddling that won’t leave your allergies in a tizzy.
Basenjis are small to medium dogs who rarely shed or drool. These traits make them great for dog owners who suffer from allergies. Basenjis are considered “barkless,” although they are known to express their feelings with quiet noises resembling yodels.
This breed is known for fastidiously grooming itself, similar to a cat. This grooming keeps their dander and shedding to a minimum.
One of the most popular dog breeds, the labradoodle is a mix of a labrador’s personality and the lack of shedding that comes with the poodle breed. Many families with allergy-prone individuals have been opting for hybrid pups with poodle genetics to reduce dander.
While labradoodles rank high on the list, other poodle-hybrid breeds include goldendoodles and aussiedoodles. Many suggest that finding an F1 goldendoodle will reduce the risk of shedding, as it is a Golden Retriever and Poodle mix rather than a mix of doodles itself. Now let’s look at how caring for your dog can help with allergies.
Caring for your new dog
A dog is a lifetime commitment. Before adopting a dog, you need to be positive that no one in your home will experience severe allergy symptoms. You must prepare to meet that dog’s needs, whether grooming their coat or protecting their skin from the sun.
ElleVet CBD + CBDA can be an important part of your new hypoallergenic dog’s long-term care plan. Aside from CBD + CBDA working to help keep dogs calm in new and uncomfortable scenarios, it can also provide joint mobility support, stress support, and skin/itching support.
Ask your new dog’s vet if ElleVet can support your dog’s wellness (though we’re confident that our science-backed pet CBD formulas will work wonderfully for your pet).
For more articles on all things pet health and wellness, explore the rest of ElleVet’s blog here.