Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Shed?

Your heart has been yearning for a doggie companion for a while now, but every time you’re about to take the plunge, thoughts of a runny nose, swollen sinuses, and burning eyes stop you right in your tracks.

Does this sound like you?

Well, we’re about to help you find the right companion. One that won’t trigger the dreaded allergies and bring you all the pleasure and joy a four-legged companion should!

Hypoallergenic dogs, or the non-shedding variety, are popular for a reason. Pet allergies are much more common than you may think. Also, more people are allergic to dogs than to cats. Go figure!

No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic – let’s just get that out there right away. But some breeds are way better for allergy sufferers than others. Dogs that don’t shed are a good start.

Remember, we as human beings shed too. Dead skin cells, hair, nail matter – yes, I know it’s not pleasant to think about, but no living creature is absolutely shed-free. You aren’t and neither is your dog.

But, let’s start with the basics

Why are some dogs hypoallergenic?

There’s a common misnomer at play here. The general misconception many people have is that allergy sufferers react to a dog’s fur. It’s much the same with cat allergies. This is simply not so.

Allergic reactions to pets are mostly your body rebelling against proteins found in the dog’s saliva, or in their urine. These proteins bind to the dander in pet fur, and as this fur, or shed, is spread throughout your home, it triggers your runny nose, sneezing fits, and burning eyes.

The main reason certain dog breeds are considered hypoallergenic is that they don’t shed, or shed a lot less, than most other breeds. Less shedding means less dander accumulation in your home, and in turn, this means fewer allergic reactions for you!

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Shed?

How do I live with an allergy AND a pooch?!

You’re not alone. This is actually a question so many people ask. Many of us have had dogs for a long time, and our allergies showed up later in life. Yes, this happens!

So, we’re not likely to give up our love for dogs and having a dog, but living with allergic reactions isn’t pleasant either.

Here are a few tips to balance the scales in your favor.

Create a space in your home that is free of allergens

One space in your home should be completely off-limits to your dog. If your allergies flare up and become unbearable, it will give you a safe room. Because, as you know, the quickest way to bring the allergic reaction to heel, is to remove yourself from exposure as soon as humanly possible.

Humidify your space, and use a HEPA filter when you vacuum

Even after deep cleaning, trace elements of dander can remain in the atmosphere. HEPA filters will reduce this tremendously, and leave the air clean and breathable with very few remaining allergens.

Bath time

A once-a-week bathing routine (your pet, not you!) is ideal for keeping dander in check. You don’t want to overdo the bathing because your dog’s skin is a lot more sensitive than you may think.

Use a proper shampoo – asking your vet about this is always a good idea, especially if he or she knows your dog well.

Quit blaming the pooch!

Some things have traditionally been blamed on the dog, especially if they happen in company. And we don’t suggest you change those.

However, when your nose starts to flare up, and your eyes turn into slits so narrow you can blindfold yourself with dental floss, it’s not always the dog’s fault. It could very well be something else.

A quick battery of allergy tests will help show you exactly what causes your body to react the way it does, it will spare the dog a whole heap of blame, and will help you to manage your health better in the long run.

If you just can’t stand living without a dog anymore, and you’re about to throw allergy caution to the wind and get a puppy, here are a couple of breeds that should make life a lot easier for you.

10 Hypoallergenic breeds that simply don’t shed

#1 The Tibetan Terrier

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Shed?

Hypoallergenic isn’t synonymous with hairless. Not at all. The Tibetan Terrier is great because they hardly shed at all. They love attention and exercise (like most terriers do), they stand around 15-inches at the shoulder and tip the scales at around 20-pounds.

They love their families and make superb watchdogs.

#2 The Maltese Terrier

These little guys are cuddly in the extreme, especially as puppies. It’s mostly because their coats are so silky. Even with that gorgeous coat, they don’t shed on your clothes, your furniture, or your carpets. Talk about the best of all worlds!

They’re fearless, sprightly, incredibly playful, intelligent, and they have an infinite capacity to give and receive love.

And if this is your first time as a pet owner – they’re just PERFECT!

#3 The Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is friendly, loyal, and they’re hypoallergenic. I have friends with fewer positive attributions!

The only hair your Shih Tzu will lose is the hair you remove when you brush the dog. They look like miniature lions, yet they’re anything but fierce. These little guys stand around 10-inches at the shoulder and weigh in at around 15-pounds.

They’re more than happy with small-space living, but they have to get time with their humans! If they don’t, they’ll tell you they’re unhappy by making it difficult to housetrain them!

#4 The Brussels Griffon

As friendly as the neighborhood do-gooder, and a brilliant watchdog too. That’s the Brussels Griffon. They don’t shed, and they bond easily with entire families – including little kids!

And, if you’re an empty nester, this pup will make your day. It will need you as much as you need it!

#5 The Portuguese Water Dog

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Shed?

Their coat hardly sheds. The Portuguese Water Dog is an energetic and loyal breed, they LOVE water (that name gave that away, right?!) and they are full of energy.

Keep them active, and they’ll be the happiest canine imaginable. These Porties adapt to just about any environment and are loving and affectionate additions to existing families.

#6 The Soft-coated Wheaten Terrier

When you see the word terrier, you can know you’re dealing with a high-energy breed. They’re super-clever and incredibly agile. They don’t require all that much exercise and will adapt well to an apartment.

These guys are NOTORIOUS for being the friendliest pooch on the block!

#7 Any Poodle (Standard, miniature, or Toy)

Many consider this breed to be the smartest dog in the world. They’re truly responsive and highly trainable.

They are equally fantastic as a family pet, or a single-person companion, and will adapt to a large house or a smaller apartment with ease.

As far as hypoallergenic breeds go, this is one of the top choices.

#8 The West Highland White Terrier

This little guy has the dog-world nickname of “Westie”. He’s a friendly little dude with absolutely no hang-ups.

The Westies are great watchdogs, they’re hardy, and they are hypoallergenic too. Granted, they’ll shed a little, but this is negligible.

#9 The Bichon Frise

This little guy is easy to train, despite his independent streak. What a personality!

The Bichon Frise has a hypoallergenic coat and is generally sheared in a maintenance-free puppy cut. And they’ll take ALL the attention you can give them!

#10 The Kerry Blue Terrier

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Shed?

If you want to get really fancy, it also goes by the moniker, Irish Blue. This little dog is a working breed, specifically bred to hunt, guard, and herd. The texture of their coat is similar to human hair, and they don’t shed.

They’re super-smart, and require lots of attention and exercise. If you run or jog, or spend time outdoors, and want a companion to share your interests – this is the little pooch for you!

Things to remember about hypoallergenic dogs

Know where your pet allergy stems from. Your specific allergy could be from more than just dander, or even fur, so low-shed or no-shed dogs could still trigger the runny nose and burning eyes. And also bear in mind that most allergies stem from the proteins in urine and poop.

Chat to your medical practitioner as a final step before setting out to pick your pooch!

That said, a hypoallergenic dog, provided you pick the right breed, won’t shed. You’ll be spared the triggers for your allergies and that’s half the battle won.

A parting shot

Next to a new baby, a new puppy is probably the most exciting event in life. That little creature reminds all of us why life is worth living. Always make sure you get all the accessories upfront – the treats, toys, and tools – just like you would for a human baby.

And make the little one your friend from day one. You’ll never have more loyalty or unconditional love from any other source!

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