Hypoallergenic dog breeds
When people refer to hypoallergenic pets they’re describing an animal that is less likely to provoke an allergic reaction. If you sneeze whenever you think about dogs, we have bad news—a truly hypoallergenic dog breed does not exist. Dogs, like humans, shed skin cells known as dander that, along with fur and saliva, causes allergies in people. You may meet one or two hairless dogs, but you’ll never meet a dog without skin or saliva. So, unfortunately, you’ll never meet a truly hypoallergenic dog.
Some dog breeds, however, are less troublesome for people with allergies. Some have hair that grows to a certain length and then stops, and some have hair that grows continuously. Since the hair strands can be the source of allergies, the fewer hairs a dog sheds, the less fur accumulates around the house to trigger sneezes and sniffles.
Dogs with continually growing hair may receive frequent grooming—if they are bathed and brushed regularly, the presence of pet dander around the house will be reduced and allergen exposure decreased.
Here is our list of favorite hypoallergenic breeds to help you choose your perfect pooch.
Standard poodles originated from German rough-coated water dogs, although they are typically associated with France, where they were used as hunting dogs, with their characteristic coat style protecting them from the elements. Their unique bouffant also made them attractive to the French aristocracy, although the breed did continue to earn its keep by working in circuses, as police dogs, and in the military.
Standard poodles are highly intelligent, and they excel at obedience. They are as eager to please their owners as they are kind, and they are patient and playful with children, which explains their popularity.
The Shih Tzu probably originated in Tibet as a holy dog, but these lovable little dogs were later developed in China, where they enjoyed luxurious lives, keeping Chinese royals company for most of the Ming Dynasty. They also have been kept as house pets for hundreds of years.
Shih Tzus are sweet and playful, making them perfect companions for small and large families. Despite their dainty appearance, they are tough and sturdy, and can also be quite stubborn.
Based on the lifestyle of today’s Yorkie, you probably would not guess that, originally, this tiny breed was born to be a worker. True to the name, the Yorkshire terrier hails from the English area of Yorkshire and was used a working dog to catch rats in clothing mills. Eventually, these terriers rose through the class ranks, due in no small part to their beauty.
Although they are lap dogs today, Yorkies are true terriers at heart and what they lack in size, they make up for in grit. Yorkies, who have never been known to back down from a fight despite their small size, may be aggressive to unknown people and animals. However, they are loving and loyal to their owners, and you’ll never have a cuter lap-warmer than a Yorkshire terrier.
These lovable, small white dogs were first recognized in Malta and have been owned by royalty all over the globe for 28 centuries. Classified as a toy breed, Maltese have always enjoyed a life of luxury, with keeping their owners company their only job.
Maltese require meticulous grooming to maintain their beautiful appearance. They are gentle, affectionate, and full of energy, making them fabulous family dogs.
The miniature schnauzer was bred in the late 1800s as a small farm dog and ratter. The miniature schnauzer, which was created by breeding standard schnauzers with smaller dogs, such as poodles and affenpinschers, came to the United States in the 1920s and has been popular as a companion animal here ever since.
These schnauzers are playful and fun-loving, and generally friendly to everyone they meet, including unknown dogs and people. They do like to announce arrivals, and will bark at the sight of strangers, but their warnings quickly turn to affection.
Portuguese water dog
You may not be surprised that the Portuguese Water Dog (PWD) most recently comes from Portugal, where it was employed along the coast to help local fishermen. Their love of swimming paired with their water-resistant coats made PWDs a natural to herd fish into nets, retrieve broken nets, and courier messages between ships and from ship to shore.
PWDs arrived in the United States in 1958, and have recently enjoyed a popularity surge, thanks in part to President Obama, who adopted his family’s PWD, Bo, shortly after his inauguration. A faithful companion, the PWD is always ready to accept his master’s commands and to do his best to please his family. His working heritage makes him a natural at obedience training and agility competitions.
Which hypoallergenic dog breed should you choose to reduce your allergies?
It stands to reason that large dogs will create more dander and shed more hair than a small dog, so if you have the choice, opt for a smaller version, such as a miniature schnauzer instead of a giant schnauzer, or a toy poodle instead of a standard poodle.
You can also cut down on your allergy symptoms in the following ways:
- Restricting your dog to certain areas of the house
- Installing and regularly replacing air filters in your home
- Vacuuming frequently
- Bath your dog regularly
Because these breeds have continually growing hair, they will all need to visit a groomer every four to six weeks, so you should include this expense in your budget. But, with careful decision-making and care, you can enjoy one of these canine companions without a lot of allergy suffering.
No matter which lovable dog you gravitate to, be smart and learn more about Trupanion’s dog insurance to keep him protected.