Are you considering a pooch for your kids? But, do the mind-pictures of all the shedding make your nose run upfront? Fear not! Not all dogs will shed tons of hair throughout your house, and not all breeds will cause unbridled allergic reactions in your household!
There are several breeds that really are the best hypoallergenic dogs for kids, and we’re going to discuss a few of them.
Perhaps the single most important question to ask yourself is – are your kids ready for a canine?! Do you have the kind of environment where a pooch will thrive, and where your kids will thrive if a dog is added into the mix?
If your kids are good with dogs, and if they behave well when they’re around dogs, that is a resounding yes.
If your child or children are allergy sufferers, that’s not necessarily the end of the world. Some great hypoallergenic breeds will limit allergic reactions to the bare minimum.
It is critical to also make sure that you and your children have proper time to care for a dog. This doesn’t only involve feeding and watering. Doggie care is also about attention. Dogs are social animals and they’re clever animals. This means they need mental stimulation and proper attention as much as they need physical exercise.
Here are a couple of hypoallergenic breeds you may want to consider.
#1 Poodles – they’re full of energy and shed very little
These are really clever dogs. And they’re super-easy to train. Above all, they’re wonderfully hypoallergenic.
Because of their high energy levels, they make great playmates for kids. The original purpose of the breed was retrieving waterfowl, so games, challenges, and tricks are right up their alley.
In fact, on the intelligence scale, they’re just behind the Border Collie, which makes them insightful little problem solvers.
They do shed (contrary to popular opinion, all dogs do), so they have to be subjected to a proper grooming regime. A short clip makes things infinitely easier.
You have three Poodle varieties to choose from. There is the standard, the miniature, and in between those two is the toy. For small kids, the Standard Poodle is ideal, because it counts patience as one of its main character traits. For older children, the toy is a great choice.
They can be nippy if they’re not trained well, so supervision is important.
Standard Poodles live for around a decade and the smaller varieties often make it to fourteen or fifteen years.
As a hypoallergenic dog, poodles shed very little and they release minimal dander into the air.
- Very little shedding from the curly coat
- Great with kids, but supervision is required, especially in the beginning
- The shapes and sizes make it a great choice
- If you clip the coat, minimal grooming is required
- They can be nippy if they aren’t trained well
- The breed does sometimes present with genetic disorders
- Because they’re clever, they need to be entertained. Leaving them alone for long periods is just not an option
- If not properly trained, they can bark a lot
2. Basenji – this one is small and hairless
If you want a proper hound, but don’t want to break your head with a large size and shedding issues, the Basenji begs for your attention.
This dog doesn’t stand very tall and is gorgeous to look at. Especially the brindle and tri-color varieties. The Basenji is renowned for its energetic and inquisitive character and is an alert dog that simply loves attention and exercise.
Basenjis are fantastic with kids in general but are at their best which the children are a little older. They will devote themselves to their family but remain rather aloof with people they don’t know.
These are independent dogs and aren’t great at learning tricks. If you’re a family that likes to spend time outdoors, the Basenji will fit right in.
It’s not known as a barker. When it does bark, it has a peculiar sound. It’s almost a yodel.
Basenjis don’t require excessive grooming – a good brushing now and again will do the trick. They also don’t smell!
- The Basenji is an active and alert dog
- It rarely barks
- Great with kids
- It doesn’t smell and sheds virtually nothing
- Only needs to be brushed twice a week
- It can grow impatient with smaller kids
- It’s independent – loves to do its own thing
- They’re prone to issues with their eyes and kidneys
3. The Affenpinscher – fearless while it lies in your lap
Someone once said the worst thing you can do to an Affenpinscher is to show it to itself in the mirror. Their courage far outweighs its size.
In France, people call it the mustached devil, and the Germans call it the monkey-faced terrier.
These little mutts are loyal to a fault and incredibly affectionate. They bond with their families and are territorial about their people, toys, and their food.
They’re probably not the best choice for small, grabby kids. They can get irritated and this can result in muted aggression.
The Affenpinscher needs to be trained specifically because it’s prone to boredom. It also thrives on rules and boundaries.
The Affenpinscher’s coat is wiry and rough and it needs to be clipped regularly. As long as that is coupled with a proper grooming routine, it doesn’t exacerbate allergic reactions at all.
Originally, these little mutts were working dogs. They were kept to kill rodents around living quarters.
Because it’s small, the Affenpinscher adapts well to apartment living. It is not noisy and its outsized courage will make it face off against anything that moves when it is aggravated.
- These are active little dogs that simply love to play
- It hardly sheds
- They’re well known for being funny and having a fantastic sense of humor
- They’re completely fearless
- They don’t make a noise except when it is necessary
- They can be quite territorial, especially with their food, so supervision is necessary with smaller children
- They need once-a-week grooming
- If they’re not sufficiently exercised, they can become moody and aggressive
- Health issues with the breed include eye and heart disorders, and occasionally problems with their hind legs
4. The Lhasa Apso – an ancient guard dog breed
These dogs are super-friendly with members of the family, but they will always be aloof with strangers. They’re snuggly and cute and great as guard dogs.
The breed originates from Tibet. It comes across as small and delicate, but is both hardy and a perfect dog to have as a pet. It does need enough exercise, so time considerations need to be carefully weighed if you’re considering one of these.
The purpose of the breed was to guard monasteries and temples high in the Tibetan mountains.
The Lhasa Apso hardly sheds, but it does require rigorous twice-weekly grooming to keep its hypoallergenic qualities intact.
- They’re completely protective of all members of the family
- If they’re clipped short, there is virtually no shedding
- They’re generally calm, but they also love to have fun
- They only need to be brushed twice a week
- They’re sturdy and healthy animals with few health concerns
- They’re not barkers
- They don’t do all that well with smaller kids
- They thrive on attention – they can get sullen when deprived
- They’re hyper-energetic – so they need a lot of play
5. Terriers – these have the patience of saints
Terriers are a great addition to almost any family. Be it a Cairn terrier, a Wire Fox Terrier, a Scottie, or a Yorkie – these need little grooming and shed virtually nothing at all.
They’re mostly medium-sized and most of them have a very strong prey drive. That’s what they were originally bred for, after all. To hunt pests and rodents, and other smaller animals.
They dig. A lot. They’re famous for it, so your manicured lawn may not survive their enthusiasm! Even so, they are astonishingly patient with kids.
Terriers generally live for around a decade, maybe a little more even. They’re easy to train, extremely loving, generally obedient (albeit with a mischievous streak), and great friends to have in the home.
When you’re out for a walk with a terrier, a leash is a must. Their prey drive will get them into trouble if they spit something interesting!
Terriers, by nature, make excellent first pets. They’re laid-back, loving and they can be seriously entertaining.
- They’re truly brilliant with kids
- They’re healthy and sturdy
- They shed virtually nothing
- They fit right into families
- Their prey instinct can get them into trouble
- Not great with other pets – especially smaller ones
How to manage a dog allergy
Absolutely anyone can have an allergy onset. It simply doesn’t discriminate. Some people have allergic reactions to cats, but not dogs. The opposite is true too. Other people have reactions to some breeds only.
You can even develop a pet allergy if you’ve raised pets all your life.
How do you know you have a dog allergy?
Be alert for the presentation of any of these signs when you come into contact with dogs:
- Itchy hives or rashes on your skin
- A tight or tightening chest
- Unexpected nasal congestion or a runny nose and watery eyes
- A swelling feeling in your throat
If any or all of these rings a bell, it’s probably a good idea to have a chat with your physician. An allergy test will confirm if you have an allergy to dogs.
The test itself is simple – a skin prick – and the results are usually available around twenty minutes later.
What are the causes of allergic reactions?
In short, you have an allergic reaction when your immune system identifies something you come into contact with as foreign or threatening.
Once this happens, the immune system sends antibodies to attack the foreign substance. This attack is what produces the reaction in your lungs, sinuses, and skin.
Dogs secrete proteins in their saliva. These proteins are transferred to the dog’s coat when they lick themselves, and then to you when you pet the dog or come into contact with hairs the dog sheds.
It is these proteins that cause dog allergy reactions in humans because the immune system identifies it as a foreign substance
Why is a dog hypoallergenic?
Look, no dog is ever 100% hypoallergenic. If you have a severe dog allergy, even hypoallergenic dogs can be a trigger.
Basically, if a dog is hypoallergenic, it sheds very little and produces hardly any dander.
A parting shot
The focus on hypoallergenic dogs has opened the doors for many allergy sufferers to own a pet. And this is great. No dog lover should ever be deprived.
If you have a family and have to take one of more members’ allergies into consideration when making your pet choice, the list of breeds we mentioned should cover your needs perfectly.
But, bear in mind, this is not only about your own well-being. It’s about the dog’s too. And a happy dog is a GREAT pet!