It's often heartbreaking for dog lovers who cannot get close to their canine pals because of the fear of allergic reactions. Yes, people can be allergic to dogs. All dog breeds produce dander, an airborne irritant that can cause allergy attacks. While most people do not get affected, people with pet allergies can experience allergy symptoms such as itching, sneezing, and breathing difficulty. As per data released by American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as many as 10% of the US population suffers from dog-induced allergy attacks. To be fair, some dogs also suffer from allergies and there are specific pet meds to treat these conditions.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds offer a simple solution to allergy sufferers. These dog breeds have special non-shedding coats. This, in turn, drastically reduces the amount of dander, which are invisible particles of dead skin cells that cause the allergies. Simply put, it's always recommended to pick hypoallergenic dog breeds if you or a family member is allergic to pets.
Are Hypoallergenic Dogs Rare?
Not really, right from Portuguese Water Dog to Bichon Frise there are many dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic. In fact, there are so many breeds to choose from you can find dogs that match your specific preferences such as size, behavioral traits, and trainability.
How to Adopt a Dog That's Hypoallergenic?
There are no shortages of dog breeds that fit into the hypoallergenic bracket. However, if you are looking to adopt, you might need to look around for a while. This is due to the fact that most shelters provide homes to mutts or mixed breed dogs. Finding specific pure breed dogs in shelters is often challenging. When they do end up in the system, purebred dogs find homes fairly quickly compared to mixed breeds. While bringing home a mixed breed dog is a great choice for most, allergy sufferers often cannot take that risk. This is because mutts have unpredictable physical characteristics. There is no way to tell if a particular mixed breed is hypoallergenic or not.
The best way forward is to find rescue groups that provide shelter to specific breed dogs. For example, if you are looking for a small dog, look for Bichon Frise rescue groups operating in your area. Even if you don't find a shelter near your home, you can always make the drive or request the rescue group to safely transport the dog.
Small Hypoallergenic Dogs
Medium-Sized Hypoallergenic Dogs
Portuguese Water Dog
Irish Water Spaniel
Kerry Blue Terrier
Large Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Bouvier des Flandres
There is no denying the fact that there more hypoallergenic small dog breeds than there are large ones. However, the above-mentioned list is by no means comprehensive. There are plenty of other dogs such Basenji, Labradoodle, Scottish Terrier, and Brussels Griffon that fit the criteria. There are also several water dog breeds and wirehaired dogs that are considered hypoallergenic.
Top 10 Non-Shedding Dog Breeds for Families
Chinese Crested: Energetic and ever-happy, these dogs love their humans. In fact, they are nicknamed velcro dogs because they like to maintain physical contact with their favorite humans. Their people-pleasing personality makes Chinese crested dogs highly trainable. They have a hairless body and they produce minimal danders and allergens. This is not a rare breed and you can probably adopt one by contacting a local rescue center.
Bedlington Terrier: When sitting on a green pasture, a Bedlington terrier looks like a fancy sheep. They have a calm yet affectionate demeanour and they are great with children. Much like others on the list, this is a low-shedding breed with a thick double coat that keeps allergy-causing particles trapped in. However, their hypoallergenic coats require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling.
Irish Water Spaniel: If you suffer from pet allergies and want an active medium-sized dog, then an Irish water spaniel is your best bet. This non-shedding breed has a weather-resistant coat. They were specifically bred in Ireland for retrieving catches from the water. Another advantage that makes the water spaniel a great family pet is that these dogs are not incessant barkers.
Kerry Blue Terrier: Next on our list of allergen-free dogs is the Kerry blue terrier. Always ready for a game of fetch, these dogs are highly intelligent and family-friendly. However, keep in mind that these dogs do not like to be teased or tormented. Therefore, it's advisable to brief children to be sensitive and caring when petting the dog.
Shih Tzu: Probably one of the most well-known breeds on our list, Shih Tzus are spunky little dogs that can be a part of any family. Compared to other toy breeds, a Shih Tzu are much less demanding and they usually don't go on a barking spree during socialization sessions. They are also great with other pets.
Yorkshire Terrier: Unlike the wheaten terrier, Yorkshire terriers do enjoy a bit of pampering. Due to their small stature, they often cannot endure rough play. However, these dogs are pretty independent and are more than happy to trot around the house doing nothing.
Basenji: If you want an allergy-free surrounding and a breed that comes with all the popular traits we love about dogs, then basenji is a definite pick. With short coats and classic doggie traits, basenji is an active and alert companion fit for any family. They make great guard dogs thanks to their acute sense of hearing. A fun fact about this breed is that they cannot bark. However, they do make other cute doggie noises to express their feelings.
Labradoodle: What happens when you breed two classic dog breeds. You get a hypoallergenic dog with amazing breed-specific traits. If you have allergies you cannot possibly adopt a Labrador retriever. However, you can combine the traits of a lab and a poodle to get the best of both worlds. Labradoodles get their hypoallergenic traits from poodles while retaining the familiar affectionate nature of Labrador retrievers.
Schnauzer Dogs: If you suffer from dog allergies and want a breed that produces almost no dander, then Schnauzers are a great choice. Both standard and miniature schnauzer breeds are hypoallergenic. Keep in mind that just because they share the same name doesn't mean that all schnauzer breeds have the same temperament. Check out fun facts and breed information about the exact breed you are planning to adopt.
Poodle Dogs: Poodles are readily-available dog breeds that are often found in shelters and rescue centers. They are faithful and highly trainable and best of all hypoallergenic. Much like schnauzers, there are several sub-breeds of poodles that all share the trait of being less allergic.