Advertisement

Best dogs for people with allergies

Best dogs for people with allergies
GREKOVS/SHUTTERSTOCK

Do dogs make your heart go thump, your eyes water, and your nose tickle? If you’ve got allergies, check out these hypoallergenic options.

No dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic

No dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic
RAWPIXEL.COM/SHUTTERSTOCK

We hate to break the news to you, but even dogs that are considered hypoallergenic can set off some people’s allergies. What causes all of that sneezing and wheezing? It’s not usually an animal’s fur, believe it or not. The real source is often a protein found in the saliva and urine of dogs and cats, notes veterinarian Jerry Klein. “This protein sticks to the dead, dried flakes from your pet’s skin, called dander,” he says. “Contrary to popular belief, there is no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic dog, but there are a variety of breeds considered less allergenic that allergy sufferers tend to do well with.”

Are your allergies more of the hayfever variety? Read our guide on how to survive allergy season.

What makes a dog less allergenic?

What makes a dog less allergenic?
KSENIYA RESPHOTO/SHUTTERSTOCK

Hypoallergenic dogs usually have a predictable, low or non-shedding coat, which produces less dander. “Because these dogs don’t shed or shed very little, the allergy-causing dander that sticks to their fur doesn’t get released into the air or onto the floor as much as with a shedding dog,” says Dr. Klein. “Some individual dogs may even cause fewer allergy symptoms than others. In fact, two dogs of the same breed can each give off very different levels of allergens.”

Allergies or not, nobody wants a home full of animal hair, so discover how to keep your home animal-hair free.

How to make life easy and less sneezy

How to make life easy and less sneezy
Lightfield Studios/Shutterstock

If you suffer from allergies, you’re likely to do better with dogs that have less fur, says veterinarian Jeff Rockwell. Plus, you can take extra precautions to cut down on potential issues. “There are shampoos that help to reduce dander, dried saliva, which lessens allergenicity,” adds Dr. Rockwell. “You can also wipe down your dog with unscented dryer sheets to make [him] less allergenic.” He adds that over time, people tend to acclimate to their own pet’s dander (but not necessarily the dander of other dogs).

Don’t miss these 14 cleaning hacks every dog or cat owner should know. 

Opt for a purebred pup

Opt for a purebred pup
EWA STUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCK

While mutts are wonderful, it’s a good idea to choose a purebred if you have allergies. Why? You’ll have a better idea of what you’re getting and whether or not your new BFF will set off your sneezing. “The bonus of selecting a purebred dog is their predictability in size, coat, care requirements and temperament. The coat is especially important for allergy sufferers,” explains Dr. Klein. “For someone with pet allergies, we recommend that he/she visit an owner or breeder with the breed of interest for several hours to test allergy sensitivities before making the commitment of bringing a dog home.” But with so many dogs to choose from, how can you pick? Dr. Klein has a few ideas for allergy sufferers and created this list of hypoallergenic dogs for you to check out.

Chinese Crested

Chinese Crested
DARINA MATASOVA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Looking for a playful, loving and utterly devoted hypoallergenic dog? Dr. Klein suggests the Chinese Crested. These dogs not only tend to be attentive housemates, but they’re also very in tune with their human families. This breed comes in two varieties: hairless and powderpuff. Aside from the obvious visual difference, the powderpuff needs to be brushed daily to remain clean and pleasant to pet. Its coat is different from most hairy breeds: The undercoat is shorter, and the outer coat is a veil overlay, making it easy to brush. On the flip side, the hairless Chinese Crested doesn’t have this type of hair, so shedding isn’t much of a problem – and there’s limited doggy odour.

Basenji

Basenji
MOLICA AN/SHUTTERSTOCK

This compact breed has a glistening, low-shedding short coat that generally requires no more than a quick once-over with a soft-bristle brush or a rubber grooming mitt every week. Dr. Klein refers to the Basenji as dignified and intelligent. But, he says, make sure you can meet their high exercise needs and the challenges that come with training this catlike canine.

Find out the 15 everyday habits of great dog owners.

Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terrier

The Bedlington Terrier is known for its curly, woolly, lamb-like fur. While its coat doesn’t shed much, it does grow fast, so regular clipping is necessary. In terms of demeanour, the Bedlington Terrier is gentle, lovable, fairly active and likes to be the centre of its family’s attention. Loyal to the core, this hypoallergenic dog also has a reputation for being protective of its loved ones.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise
KELLYMMILLER73/SHUTTERSTOCK

Bichons have plush, velvety hair that grows continually and doesn’t shed. Still, hypoallergenic dogs aren’t necessarily low-maintenance dogs when it comes to grooming. Dr. Klein says that regular brushing, monthly baths, and relatively frequent haircuts are musts for this breed. Personality-wise, Bichons are adaptable family companions who get along well with other dogs and children. Alert, confident and curious, they are generally playful and happy.

Affenpinscher

Affenpinscher
KIMMO MANTYLA/SHUTTERSTOCK

Affenpinschers are known to be loyal, affectionate and entertaining. Their small size and moderate exercise requirements make them great apartment dogs. But even better, the Affenpinscher’s medium-length, wiry coat is usually considered hypoallergenic, and this breed typically doesn’t bother allergy sufferers. Their coat, however, does require some regular maintenance and should be tended to twice a week.

Can you guess the dog breed based on its puppy picture? Take our quiz!

Never miss a deal again - sign up now!

Connect with us: