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Hypoallergenic Dogs - Which Breed Suits Allergy Sufferers?

What Does The Term "Hypoallergenic Dog" Actually Mean?

A hypoallergenic dog is one that has a decreased tendency to provoke an allergic reaction in humans. What this means is that if you bring a hypo-allergenic dog into your life you are reducing or minimizing the possibility of the dog triggering an allergic response. It should be noted here that there is not a dog breed that is completely "allergy friendly" - although some breeds come pretty close.

soft coated wheaten terrier
The Beautiful Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

What Causes Us Humans To Have An Allergic Reaction To Our Dogs?

An allergic response is triggered when our immune system reacts to a perceived threat. Some people have a bad reaction to the flaky dead skin cells (dander), saliva or secretion from the sebaceous glands of their dogs. Allergy sufferers can also react to the dust, pollen and dirt that gets caught up and spread around by their dogs.

This sticky allergy causing dander floats through the air, fixes itself to walls and all other areas frequented by your dog.

What Makes A Dog Breed Hypoallergenic?

Ok so we've determined that it is the dander that causes us to become irritated. Therefore it is dog breeds that produce less dander (or retain it) that are considered to be hypoallergenic.

Portugese Water Dogs

Hypoallergenic or "low-dander" dog breeds are most commonly:

  • Single coated.

  • Hairless.

  • Non Shedding (or low shedding).

  • Generally smaller dogs.

  • Dogs that retain their hair and dander - like a Poodle with its tight curly hair.

What Can We Do To Reduce Dog Allergies?

There are many ways you can alleviate the irritation caused by your dog. Take a look at the list below and apply the tips that are relevant to your situation:

  • Carefully choose your dog - select one that is considered to be hypoallergenic. This could include spending some time with your breed of choice before you commit to bringing one home for good. Dog breeders are also a great source of information in matters such as this.

    maltese puppy

  • See an allergy specialist - it may be as simple as this as some allergies are very easy to treat.

  • Ensure that you brush your dog regularly which will mean that the dander is deposited in the brush rather than throughout your home.

  • Give your dog a regular bath (once a week). This will keep your dog's skin healthy, supple and strong.

  • Wash the walls in your home and also your dog's bedding.

  • Vacuum every few days to scoop up the tiny dander particles.

  • Leave your windows open when possible to air your home and flush the dander away.

Which Dog Breeds Are Considered To Be Hypoallergenic Dogs?

Which breeds are less likely to cause you to sneeze, break out in a rash or suffer an asthma attack?

The following list of dog breeds are generally considered to be allergy friendly or hypoallergenic dogs:

Poodles & Poodle Hybrids Schnauzers
Portugese Water Dogs Maltese
Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier Lhasa Apso
Yorkshire Terrier Shih Tzu
Irish Water Spaniel Kerry Blue Terrier
Basenji Beddlington Terrier
Havanese Fox Terrier (wire)
Cairn Terrier Airedale Terrier
American Hairless Terrier Chinese Crested
Bichon Frise

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Some Other Pages You May Be Interested In:

How to choose your puppy from a litter.

Which dog breeds are best for families & children?

Discover how to groom your dog yourself at home.

Please consult the services of a Professional Dog Trainer, Behaviorist or Veterinarian before implementing any of the advice contained on this site.