Best Hypoallergenic Dogs: A Guide For Families and Kids
So you’re getting ready to select a new dog for your home. You’re pretty excited, but you also realize that choosing the perfect pet for your home isn’t always the simplest of tasks. After all, there are a lot of considerations that need to go into choosing the right dog for a family. For starters, you need to think about the dog’s temperament and personality, and how they will overall fit into your family.
Of course, there’s another huge consideration that you need to make when it comes to choosing a dog if you have people in your household with allergies – is the dog hypoallergenic?
In reality there’s no full way of knowing how your family members are going to respond to a dog, and whether their sinuses can tolerate the dog in question. With that being said though, hypoallergenic dogs are usually a better choice for households with allergies. If you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog for your home, here’s everything that you need to know.
What is “Hypoallergenic”?
So what does hypoallergenic mean? Hypoallergenic usually tends to be a word that you will find listed on certain products, since the products in question are designed to ensure that the user doesn’t get an allergic reaction to it.
It ultimately means that the thing in question does not contain many things that are common allergens. There’s no set definition of hypoallergenic though, so it can sometimes be difficult to know for certain whether you will have a reaction to it or not.
Let’s just get one thing out of the way first and foremost – technically, hypoallergenic dogs don’t exist. Ultimately you can’t really have a hypoallergenic dog because the things that cause the allergies, such as fur, dander, and certain proteins on the skin are present in all dogs.
They’re living, breathing creatures. They are not products that we can specifically manufacture to reduce allergic reactions. Not even breeding can give you that kind of result.
Instead, Dogs that are marketed as hypoallergenic are usually ones that have certain characteristics, for instance they may not shed a lot or at all.
Some factors that determine whether a dog is considered to by hypoallergenic include:
- Low Shedding – Dogs that are seen as hypoallergenic generally don’t shed as much as other dogs. This means that they produce less dander, a common allergen.
- Minimal hair – if they have very minimal or no hair at all, the dander isn’t going to be as likely to stick to the dog in question. The dander usually sticks to the dog’s hair, after all.
- Coats are short and have just one layer – dogs with more than one coat tend to have an undercoat that they can shed. This means that the dander is more likely to come off with the undercoat as it sheds.
Ultimately, a hypoallergenic dog is one that is less likely to leave dander around your house. It’s usually not the fur of the dog that’s the main culprit of allergies, in fact it’s usually the dander that’s the problem. Dogs with a lot of fur, double coats and dogs that shed a lot are far more likely to provoke an allergic reaction in a person.
With all of this in mind, having these characteristics only reduces your chances of having an allergy to the dog in question. It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for you to have an allergy to them. It is usually just a case that there are some dogs that produce certain proteins in their skin that people aren’t as allergic to.
In addition to this, it can also apply to two dogs of one breed. You may be allergic to your sister’s Afghan hound but not to your own, for instance.
Breeds of Hypoallergenic Dogs?
So now that you know what a hypoallergenic dog is, you may be wondering which breeds are usually considered to be hypoallergenic. Well, as it turns out, there are many breeds that are classed or marketed as hypoallergenic, so you have a lot more choices than you may have thought you did initially.
Here are just a few of the great choices you can have for your family if you or another family member has allergies.
Wait, the Afghan hound is hypoallergenic? This may seem almost unbelievable based on the sheer amount of fur that these dogs have. In reality though they’re one of the best dogs out there for allergy sufferers.
They have very silky coats and don’t shed very often. They look super cute too, with fuzzy short coats as pups and luscious long, silky locks when they are fully grown.
These dogs do require quite a bit of grooming, as you may imagine based on the length of their coats. With that in mind though, grooming can be an excellent bonding activity, so you may not mind!
So what are the pros and cons of having an Afghan hound? Well, these dogs are quite energetic and can run for miles! They’re a fantastic choice for an active family that likes to go on walks a lot. They’re pretty independent, and they have a lot of love to give to their families.
They are sure to fit right in with your family. As we have already established, the Afghan hound doesn’t tend to shed a lot and they don’t tend to smell a lot. Just remember though that they will need to be brushed every day and the grooming can be quite a lot of maintenance!
With that being said, an Afghan hound may have trouble around people it doesn’t know. It’s not a great dog to have around strangers, as it is usually quite aloof. It chooses its pack and likes to stick with it! Remember too that an Afghan hound is going to need plenty of backyard space to explore and exercise in.
These are large dogs with a high amount of energy so this is an essential thing for them. Likewise, it’s important to remember that these dogs have a chase instinct that’s difficult to ignore, which can make walks somewhat difficult if you live in an area where there are a lot of small animals.
They can be challenging to train too, but are definitely worth it if you do put in the time and effort to train them. These dogs are generally a better choice for dog owners with a lot of experience.
American Hairless Terrier
The name probably tells you a lot about why this dog is hypoallergenic – it doesn’t have hair! There are certainly versions of this dog that have tiny amounts of hair, but it really is quite miniscule. Since they either have no or very little hair, you can expect that the dogs aren’t going to shed a whole lot, which is perfect for allergy sufferers.
These dogs can suffer from skin issues with their ears though if they are exposed to the sun. Because there isn’t any fur protecting the skin, the dogs may struggle with sunburn. As a whole though they’re fantastic as a hypoallergenic breed. They’re not the most common dogs out there either.
There are a lot of benefits to having one of these dogs too. They are incredibly fun and good natured. You will certainly have an easy time getting a lot of affection out of an American Hairless Terrier, making them the perfect family pet! Unlike the Afghan hound that we mentioned just previously, they also don’t require a lot of maintenance in the looks department.
There’s no need to give them daily brushes or spend a small fortune on grooming all the time because they either have very little fur or none at all. They are also energetic dogs, so they’re a good choice for active families.
Of course, there are also some disadvantages to these dogs, depending on what your priorities are. For instance, these dogs are extremely independent. They aren’t really lap dogs that will insist on being glued to the hip with you. This is both a good and a bad thing depending on you as a person.
You will also need to ensure that their skin is well looked after when the weather is extreme, such as when it’s super cold or incredibly hot. They are also prone to chasing after small prey animals, so be warned if you have any rabbits in the home or if you walk in locations where there are a lot of small animals.
The next option on our list is the Bedlington Terrier. These dogs are very unique looking, so they are sure to attract attention when you are out on walks! In fact, in regards to the look of their fur, they resemble sheep in many respects. These dogs love all of the attention that they get too, so they’ll be well suited to households where they are able to get a lot of love and affection.
These dogs have very curly coats that aren’t quite wiry but aren’t super soft either. You would think that given the combination that these dogs would have a habit of shedding, but this actually isn’t the case. In fact they are one of the most hypoallergenic dog breeds out there.
They will require quite a bit of grooming and clipping though since their coats grow really fast, even if they don’t shed. You will need to take good care of them!
So what about pros and cons? These dogs are around medium size – they’re not super big or small either. They also have a very unique appearance which is a lot of fun! These dogs run very quickly and have a lot of energy, so they’re great if you like to get a lot of activity into your day too. They also aren’t super boisterous in the house either, which is quite the rarity for terrier breeds.
With that being said, these dogs can get into quite some mischief if you haven’t trained them well, such as hole digging, barking and they can be quite stubborn. They aren’t ideal to have if you live in a multi pet household since they can be prone to aggression towards other dogs.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have plenty of time to give them in order to ensure that they aren’t bored. Boredom is one of those things that’s going to contribute to a destroyed house, after all!
The Bichon frise is a popular dog with a snow white coat and enough personality for an entire village. They’re a joy to have in any household, and are the ideal dogs to have around children, people and even other dogs. If you’re looking for a lap dog then look no further than one of these cuties!
They don’t tend to shed a lot, despite their large amounts of fur. Most of the time if one of these dogs does end up shedding, the hair will get trapped in the undercoat. This does mean that you will need to keep them well groomed, but otherwise they’re ideal if you have allergies.
These dogs are great with other pets and children, as we’ve already said, making them a good family pet. They’re very small and super playful. If you need a watchdog then they’re also a good choice, but they don’t show any aggression either which is ideal.
Unfortunately they are quite well known for their tendency to bark a lot, so if this is something that you wish to avoid then you will need to work hard on your training. Speaking of training, these dogs can be quite difficult to housebreak, so that’s something that you will need to keep in mind.
They don’t like being alone either, so they may not be the ideal choice if you are frequently out of the house without them.
The Chinese Crested is yet another unique looking dog that comes in both hairless and coated varieties. Thanks to their minimal amounts of hair, these dogs don’t tend to shed. You’re going to need to groom them regularly, particularly focusing on their skincare because it can be quite sensitive. They are a great choice if you want a hypoallergenic dog.
These dogs are also very playful and fun to have around. You’ve probably seen them in a couple of different movies in your time too! They’re fantastic watchdogs that are also docile with strangers, and work fantastically well alongside other pets in the home.
They can be somewhat fragile though as they are a toy breed, and are very difficult to housebreak too. They can be known for their habits of trying to dig out of areas if they are confined too.
Coton de Tulear
You may not have heard of the Coton de Tulear before, but these are the most adorable dogs. You wouldn’t think if you looked at one that they would be hypoallergenic, but they are! They look almost like white cotton candy, and they barely shed at all, which is perfect if you need a hypoallergenic dog.
They are perfect family dogs, are very happy and energetic and are a good choice if you want a little shadow that will follow you wherever you lead!
If you’re in the market for a really big dog, look no further than to the Giant Schnauzer. The name is hard to spell, but they are very easy to love! These dogs are the perfect working dogs and they make great companions. They’re clever and easy to train, and you will never meet such a loyal dog.
You can expect a small amount of shedding from these dogs, but it’s so little that you’ll barely notice it. If you groom and bathe them regularly then you are a lot less likely to have dander circulating in your house. If you’re an allergy sufferer that loves big dogs, this is the dog for you.
Irish Water Spaniel
These dogs have a luscious curly coat, and they are super tall too! They’re active dogs that are big fans of the open water. If you live near the beach, then these dogs are in their element. They do shed a tiny bit depending on the season but as a whole they are very hypoallergenic.
You will need to ensure that they are brushed and trimmed fairly regularly, but beyond that they are very low maintenance. They’re beautiful dogs that will take up a big chunk of your heart when you add them to your household!
Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier is a unique looking dog that can also come in a blue color, making them extra unique! They’re known for their alert nature and their abilities to be great family dogs. They don’t shed, though you are going to have to brush them a lot since they have curly, medium length coats. They’re a good choice if you are looking for a fairly large breed of dog.
This is another dog you may not have heard of, but you should definitely look into them! They look like little teddies, and are just as lovable as you would expect. They are known for their strong senses of smell, and they work hard too – ideal if you’re looking for a working dog.
They have curly and thick hair, yet they are very hypoallergenic since they don’t shed a lot. Make sure that you are keeping on top of a regular trimming regime to keep their fur in good condition. Otherwise these dogs are a great choice for allergy sufferers, and will be a real asset to your home.
This tiny little ball of fur will add oodles of love to your home. They have beautiful white coats and barely shed at all, though you will need to ensure that they are crooked and brushed regularly if you don’t trim their fur often.
They’re friendly dogs that are the perfect lap dogs. They are happy and will love your family a lot, so why not consider one?
These gorgeous dogs are similar to the schnauzers we mentioned earlier on the list, but they’re miniature! In such a small dog though, you may not expect the high levels of energy that you get with them!
They’re ideal if you lead an active lifestyle and want a dog that can participate in that lifestyle with you. They’re also good as guard dogs if you happen to need one. They don’t shed a lot, despite the amount of fur that they have. Just stay on top of grooming and both you and your pooch will be happy.
Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)
You would be lucky to find one of these rare dogs! They originally come from Peru and are very loyal and ideal as guard dogs. They can be tall, short or medium sized, and can either be hairless or have fairly short coats. You’re going to need to keep on top of their skin care regimen to keep them healthy, but you have no need to worry about these dogs setting off your allergies.
When people think of hypoallergenic dogs, they may think of the poodle. The poodle is a popular dog for a reason – it has a lot of love to give and it looks very elegant. They’re intelligent dogs that don’t tend to shed a lot. Maintaining a good grooming schedule will be necessary with these dogs, so keep that in mind if you plan on getting one.
Portuguese Water Dog
Another water dog that’s ideal for people who live by the ocean! They used to occupy the White House, which has made them more popular. They are of medium size, super easy to train and have gorgeous curly coats. They do shed during certain seasons so staying on top of grooming will be necessary, but they are otherwise very hypoallergenic. They make wonderful family pets!
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
This dog has a fairly long and soft coat in comparison to many other terriers, yet they don’t shed a lot as long as you groom them regularly. These energetic dogs are perfect for families and are super energetic, but be warned – they are rather stubborn!
Spanish Water Dog
These are wonderful hypoallergenic dogs with unique, beautiful coats. You will need to put in the work to maintain their coat, but it’s worthwhile and will be good for bonding with your pet! They are active dogs that love to play, and are also good watchdogs. All in all, they are the ideal pets that are sure to impress all of your friends with their beauty.
It’s not giant or miniature – it’s just the standard schnauzer. With that being said though, these dogs certainly aren’t boring – they are a medium height and are active and easy to train. They are very good in households with small children, and are incredibly loyal. Their coats don’t tend to shed much, just keep on top of grooming.
We bet you didn’t know about this dog! These are dogs that originate from Mexico and resemble two dogs we’ve already talked about on this list – the Peruvian Inca Orchid and the American Hairless Terrier. They are beautiful dogs that are very affectionate and make good watch dogs.
They can be big or they can be small, or anywhere in between. You can get them with fur or without. Like the other two dogs mentioned, they barely shed at all, but you are going to have to keep on top of a specific skincare regime to ensure that they don’t get hurt by the sun or inclement weather.
What Else Can Be Done to Prevent Allergic Reactions
So now that you know about the different hypoallergenic dogs out there, it’s time to take it one step further before your furry – or not so furry – friend comes home. What can you do in order to ensure that you minimize the risks of getting an allergic reaction from your dog?
Your dog’s diet can have a huge impact on his overall health and wellbeing. Not only is it important for your dog to eat in general, but your dog gets vital nutrients and vitamins from their diet that they need to keep them healthy in all aspects. Your dog’s diet has a particularly large effect on his coat. If your dog has a good quality diet, then their fur and skin will stay in a much better condition.
This in turn can reduce the chances of your dog shedding. Don’t just get any food though – food that is of a low quality is more likely to make your dog shed since the food doesn’t have the nutrients that your dog needs in order to keep their coat healthy. Only high quality dog food will do, and trust us – your dog will thank you for it!
It’s a good idea to keep on top of grooming, even if you do have a hypoallergenic dog. Make sure that you buy tools that are specifically made to deshed coats, and ones that also target any undercoats that your dog may have. Your dog will shed a lot less if you do this and keep on top of grooming.
Grooming is something that should be done on a daily basis with some dogs, but bathing often doesn’t need to be done as frequently unless your dog is extra attracted to muddy puddles and dirty water! Make sure that your dog is bathed on a schedule that works for the specific breed – sometimes this may be on a weekly basis.
It will help to ensure that the amount of dander on your dog isn’t as much, so you have fewer allergens floating around your home. Likewise, use a shampoo that’s especially made for dogs. Your store bought shampoo that you use on your own head is not going to cut it!
If you really want to reduce the number of allergens in the air in your home in general, it may be a good idea to get filters. They will help to take away the allergens and any pollutants that are in the air. It’s a good idea to look for HEPA filters for the job, and these are readily available in stores or online on websites like Amazon.
This one may seem obvious but keeping your house clean will also reduce the number of allergens in your home. Make sure that you are cleaning anything that may be a magnet to pet dander. This includes things like the carpet, curtains, couches and pillows.
You should stay on top of cleaning these as regularly as you can possibly manage in order to reduce the dander that is hanging around in your home. Regularly vacuum your home too as the dander from your dogs can have a habit of stickin around on the floor.
If you have allergies then you may worry that you are going to be robbed of the chance of having a wonderful four legged friend that you can love in your home, but this is thankfully not the case.
There are many hypoallergenic dogs that will make the perfect companions for you in your home, and they come in lots of sizes. You are almost certain to find at least one dog listed here that will be the perfect choice for your home!
Additionally, when you have your pet you can reduce the chances of allergy flare ups by staying on top of the right grooming care for your dog and keeping your home clean. With all of that being said, we hope you enjoy the company of your hypoallergenic dog!