They say a dog is man’s best friend, that is until they cause allergy symptoms. Well, they can still be your best friend but the symptoms that they bring aren’t. Thankfully, there are some breeds of dogs that tend to cause less allergy symptoms.
A common misunderstanding is that there are truly hypoallergenic dogs, completely safe for those with allergies. The allergens dogs produce that make you itch, sneeze or sniffle are caused by their dander. While there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, there are breeds that shed less. Dogs that shed less frequently, also release less dander into the air, which means less allergens in your home to cause symptoms.
Although a dog may be considered hypoallergenic, this also doesn’t mean they are safe for you personally. Before taking home a pup, consider seeing an allergist to rule out all breeds you may be more sensitive to.
Below, we’ve come up with a list of dogs that are considered safer for those with allergies.
Afghan Hounds are known for their long, silky hair but they also don’t shed much since their hair grows long. As puppies, they have short, fuzzy coats. Once they start to grow, their new coat comes in that requires regular grooming.
As they are a larger dog, the Giant Schnauzer is best for those that have more energy and space to give them the right amount of exercise. The have a dense double coat consisting of a soft undercoat and harsh outercoat. Their coats require brushing weekly and frequent trimmings.
American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier is on the list of safer choices for those with allergies for an obvious reason – they can come coated or hairless. Hairless is more likely to be the best option, but the short shiny coat requires minimal maintenance as well. Since they hardly shed, a quick brush through with a soft bristle brush once a week is good.
Compared to the Giant Schnauzer, these pups are a lot smaller version making them better for smaller sized homes or living places. These pups shed minimally, generally resulting in less allergy symptoms. “The Miniature Schnauzer has a double coat—a wiry topcoat, with a soft undercoat—that requires frequent brushing, combing, and grooming to look its best.” (American Kennel Club AKC)
Kerry Blue Terrier
Kerry Blue Terriers come in many colors. Fitting to their name they can have hints of blue to their color, but not a bright blue as would normally come to mind. Since they don’t shed, they need to be regularly brushed and groomed to keep their coat manageable and prevent matting.
The Basenji has a short coat that helps them withstand more heat than breeds with a longer or thicker coat. Their coat requires minimal care but should still be brushed once in a week in order to rid them of any hair that has died or shed off.
This breed is known for its curly coat and is often compare to a lamb due to their looks and mannerisms. While their coat doesn’t shed, it grows fast and will need to be trimmed more often.
Bichon Frise are a good choice for those with allergies to due minimal shedding. However, they need to be brushed and groomed more frequently. The hair that they do shed tends to get caught in the undercoat.
Coton de Tulear
Colton de Tulear is a safer choice for those with allergies due to their only occasional shedding. Unless you want your pup to have a short cut, you will need to brush them daily. Daily brushing is important to preventing matting and having to shave your pup.
In order to prevent their coat from tangles and matting, a Havanese needs to be groomed daily. Due to their only occasional shedding, these are one of the dogs that is a safer choice for those with allergies.
Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel’s seasonal shedding makes them good option for allergy sufferers. Their coat requires weekly brushing and trimming every couple of months to keep their coat looking good.
The Matese’s long, white coat sheds infrequently making them a great choice for those with allergies. Although they have reduced amounts of shedding, their coat requires daily brushing in order to prevent tangles and matting to their coat. Their small size gives them the ability to fit in great with any size home or living space.
Within the Poodle breed, there are a variety of options when it comes to type and color. The Poodle breed consists of standard, toy or miniature and is known for a white coat but will also come in other colors. Their infrequent shedding makes them a great pet for allergy sufferers, but their grooming is high maintenance. Many Poodle owners opt to keep their Poodle’s coat shorter because if you don’t brush their coat down to the skin, the hair will mat and will need to be shaved off.
Other than their head, the Lagotto Romangnolo’s double coat of hair consists of thick, tight curls. Their minimal shedding makes them great for allergy sufferers. Proneness to matting of the coat varies from dog to dog, so it is a good habit to groom them regularly.
Portuguese Water Dog
The seasonal shedding of the Portuguese Water Dog makes them a safer option for those with allergies. Their coat is dense and requires extensive grooming, including daily brushing.
These pups have hair that naturally grows long, leading to less shedding and generally less production of allergens. Their coat requires daily brushing and the hair on top of their head should be trimmed short to keep it out of their eyes.
There are two variations of Chinese Crested dogs – hairless and powderpuff. While the hairless Chinese Crested dogs require less work in terms of their coat, their hairlessness makes them prone to skin issues. Their infrequent shedding is what makes this breed hypoallergenic.
The Powderpuff Chinese Crested has an undercoat shorter than the long overlay, making them easier to brush. This differentiating factor also makes their coat mat quicker than others, so they will need to be brushed occasionally to prevent this.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
The Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier sheds infrequently but requires some work when it comes to maintenance. Their daily grooming requires a couple steps in order to remove dirt or loose hair and prevent matting.
Standard Schnauzers require regular grooming. The infrequent shedding of their coat makes them one of the better choices for those with allergies. That is, if their coat in being hand-stripped. Otherwise, clippering can lead to more dirt and shedding within your household which would defeat the purpose of getting a hypoallergenic breed.
These cute Yorkies make the perfect pet to fit in purses or laps. Their small size in general produces less allergens than larger dogs. A Yorkie’s hair is like human hair. Their hair is what makes them hypoallergenic, but it also requires the same level of maintenance as human hair. Their coat can be kept long but needs to be brushed daily and trimmed on their face to avoid eye irritation.
The fluffy coat of the Bolognese has hair, rather than fur. While they don’t shed, their coat requires daily grooming.
Best Hypoallergenic Dogs by Size
- Small Hypoallergenic Dogs include the American Hairless Terrier, Miniature Schnauzer, Bichon Frise, Shih Tzu, Toy Poodle, Chinese Crested, Bedlington Terrier, Yorkshire, Colton de Tulear, Basenji, Havanese, and Maltese
- Large Hypoallergenic Dogs include the Portuguese Water Dog, Giant Schnauzer, Standard Poodles, Afghan Hound, and Irish Water Spaniel.