Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?

A niche breed that hits 110% on the cute factor, the Shiba Inu is bursting in popularity throughout the US and Europe.

Already popular in Japan (the 4th most common breed according to Japanese pet insurance statistics) – the rest of the world is waking up to this meme-famous dog with a beautiful coat and a fun-loving temperament.

are shiba inu hypoallergenic
Are Shiba Inu hypoallergenic?

Are Shiba Inu dogs hypoallergenic? This is a question that many potential dog owners are asking. The answer is not quite so simple. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Shiba Inu dog breed and determine whether or not they are hypoallergenic.

We will also discuss the symptoms of an allergic reaction to some dogs and offer some tips on how to deal with allergies. You can own a Shiba Inu if you have allergies! But you might need to take some extra precautions.

Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?

snoozing shiba inu sleeping
A cute Shiba Inu catches some sleep on a comfy pillow

If you get allergies, you may wonder if the fox-like Shiba Inu is hypoallergenic. They are not. They produce dander (like all dogs) but their two-layer coat is particularly prone to shedding the allergy-causing dander.

So no, Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic.

Because they shed fur, it allows lots of dander to escape. This dander can spread throughout your home and furniture – as well as aggravate your allergies. If you are considering getting a Shiba Inu, you will need to be prepared to deal with these allergens.

There are some things that you can do to help minimize the effects of allergies when living with a Shiba Inu. First, make sure that you keep your home clean and free of allergens. Vacuum and sweep regularly, and mop often. You should also consider using an air purifier to help filter out any allergens in the air.

What is Dander in Dogs

Pet dander is the tiny, invisible particles that come off of a dog’s skin. These particles are made up of dried skin cells, as well as bits of hair. When a dog sheds, these particles become airborne and can cause serious allergies in some people.

Some people react to dander touching their skin, others breathe it in. Dander can also get into your clothes and hair, which can cause a reaction long after you’ve been around the dog.

Why Do Shiba Inus Shed So Much?

shiba inu dog outdoors
An energetic Shiba Inu outdoors enjoying nature

You Shiba Inu will not only shed all year round, it will also lose its coat twice per year. This is known as “blowing” its coat.

This occurs when the weather changes typically. The dog’s body begins to change its coat.

We are talking SERIOUS volumes of dog hair lost when this happens.

Like grab a trash bag and hope your vacuum isn’t overwhelmed.

For an allergy sufferer, these times of year must be approached cautiously. There will be lots of additional dander in the air and around the home at these times. You will need to take extra steps to keep your home clean and free of allergens. Vacuum and sweep often, and use an air purifier to help filter out any allergens in the air.

When Your Shiba Inu Blows Coat

When your Shiba Inu blows coat (usually twice per year) you will need to either take your dog to the groomer, you dry some more intense DIY grooming at home.

Groomers have powerful hair dryers that can help to blow out your coat, allowing all of the loose hair to escape.

If you are grooming at home, you will need to try using a tool like a Furminator. This tool helps to remove the loose hair from your dog’s coat (which will help to reduce the amount of dander in your home)

They are safe to use… but you need to watch some YouTube videos so you know how to use them effectively. They can be sharp and scrape skin if used improperly!

Could You Shave a Shiba To Prevent Shedding?

curly tailed shiba inu at the beach
A curly-tailed Shiba Inu having the time of its life at the beach

Shaving a dog with a double coat is rarely a good idea. Most groomers would strongly advise against shaving your Shiba Inu, as it can actually cause more problems than it solves.

Shiba Inus have a thick, double coat of fur that helps protect them from the elements. This fur also helps to keep them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. shaving your dog’s coat can actually disrupt this natural process and make them uncomfortable.

In addition to this, shaving a dog’s coat can cause them to lose more hair. This extra hair loss can create an even bigger mess and aggravate allergies.

So How Do Dog Allergies Work?

Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic, but neither are any dog breed. Yep! You heard that right, there are no truly hypoallergenic dogs.

As an expert in Poodle Mix and non-shedding family dogs, people get surprised when I say this. But the truth is that although some dogs are very close to hypoallergenic, there is no 100% allergy-friendly breed.

Do you know what causes the allergy in people allergic to dogs? It is the dander we talked about earlier. NOT the actual hair.

It is a protein that comes from the skin. If your dog has skin, it has dander. Therefore all dogs can trigger some type of reaction.

Shedding or double coat fluffy dogs tend to result in much higher allergy and asthma risks for their owners.

Non-shedding dogs tend to have lower risk, and are considered hypoallergenic.

An airedale terrier
An Airedale Terrier with a top grade two color coat. An example of a large non-shedding dog.

Examples of non-shedding and “close to” hypoallergenic dog breeds

If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms near a dog, you likely have some form of allergy to dogs: itchy eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, asthma.

If you are unsure, you could consult with your doctor to determine if you have an allergy to dogs. There are simple tests you can take to determine allergies.

Simple things you can do if you already live with a Shiba Inu you are allergic to

  • Try to vacuum your house every day.
  • Pick up any pet hair from areas where people can touch it- couches, chairs, sofas, the floor.
  • If you have a dog in your home and someone else is allergic to them or visiting that has allergies to dogs- try keeping the animal outside as much as possible.
  • Remove carpeting and rugs (places that dander accumulates)
  • Keep your clothing in drawers or away from the dog
  • Restrict access to the bed (don’t let your Shiba sleep with you if you are allergic)
  • Bathe the dog regularly
  • Buy a fan or air filter that is HEPA grade.

Before You Adopt a Shiba Inu

dog names ending in Y shiva inu
This super cute Shiba Inu is looking for a good dog name ending in Y or IE – thoughts?

If you are considering adopting a Shiba Inu, there are a few things you can do before making your decision to see whether or not allergies will be an issue for you.

  1. Get a test with your doctor and check for dog dander allergy
  2. Actually spend time with a Shiba Inu. You can ask the breeder if you can visit for a few hours, or find one on a local Facebook group. People are very willing to help – you just need to ask!

Shiba Inu Allergy Conclusions

If you are considering adopting a Shiba Inu, it is normal to worry about whether or not they will be hypoallergenic.

There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog – but Shiba Inus DO NOT even come close. They shed great volumes of hair at least twice a year, and most allergy sufferers are triggered by them.

If you already have a Shiba Inu living with you and feel like it is bothering your allergies, try limiting close contact time with them while keeping your home clean of pet hair at all times for best results. HEPA filters and reducing soft furnishings tend to help greatly.