For most people, dog hairs do not matter. But people with allergies have trouble with dog hair. It makes living with a dog or a cat a struggle. They cannot even visit friends with pets. The reality is that pet dander can act as a trigger for allergies. And people with allergies have to find alternatives. Which are the best dogs for allergies and asthma? Are there really hypoallergenic breeds? Let’s talk.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, more than 30% of people in America have some kind of pet allergy.
The good news is that even people with allergies can own pets. Since 2009, hypoallergenic breeds started to gain attention. The First Family (President Obama and Michael Obama) adopted a Portuguese water dog. And that is when people started paying attention to dog breeds that help with allergies and asthma.
We have to note, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. And dog hair is not the only trigger for allergies. Yes, dander, part of pet hair, causes most pet allergies. But you also have to consider saliva as a trigger. That is why no breed is 100% hypoallergenic.
We can also say there are ways to prepare your home for a dog. You can keep allergens at bay. For example, you need to bathe your dog often, keep up with his grooming, and keep him away from the bed.
Understanding the term hypoallergenic
Before we get to the dog breeds for allergies, let’s define the term hypoallergenic. What does the term mean? Well, the term started in the 1950s, implying “below normal” or “slightly allergenic”. The term explains something that causes fewer allergic reactions.
What does the term have to do with dogs? Well, hypoallergenic breeds are essentially dogs that do not shed. Dander, part of pet hair, serves as the leading cause of pet allergies in humans.
When the dog sheds, the allergy-causing dander gets released into the air, on the floor, and in furnishings. There are dogs that shed a lot, and then there are dogs that do not shed. For example, people owning a Jack Russell Terrier live constantly with hair in their homes. Poodles, on the other hand, leave no hair behind.
Dogs that do not shed have less dander. And they also keep the dander within their coat, they do not release it into the air. This makes it easier to contain dander and allergies. Now let’s take a look at our top 10 picks for hypoallergenic dogs.
Top 10 Hypoallergenic Breeds
Arguably one of the best dogs when it comes to all the factors. Great for a family dog, small, easy to take around, and friendly with people and animals around.
The Bichon Frise is one of the most gentle and playful dogs . He loves activity but also loves spending time with his family. His hair grows continually and doesn’t shed. One of the downsides is that he needs regular grooming to prevent mats in the hair. This might make the grooming bill quite high.
But when it comes to grooming, the Bichon has some of the cutest and most adorable hairstyles and looks.
This alert and playful dog thrives on human companionship. He is small in size and does well in families with children. Most Chinese Crested dogs have no hair at all. They shed little to no hair.
One downside is their neediness. This breed is very social and needy. If you do not pay attention to him, he might suffer from separation anxiety.
That can lead to barking problems and destructive habits. Do not expect to leave them alone in a confinement area for a long time. They might try to climb out of it or dig out of it and escape.
The Chinese Crested is generally a clean, odor-free dog, making him perfect for apartments.
American Hairless Terrier
Here is another hairless breed. As with most terriers, the American Hairless is an intelligent companion who needs a lot of exercise. He is playful and energetic. He does well with children. The AHT can do well in cities, making him perfect for city dwellers.
He does require regular walks but can do well with indoor playtime. Intelligent, extremely loving, this dog makes a great companion for many owners.
Popular as an aloof dog, many experts consider the Afghan hound the dumbest dog in the world. But that is not the case. He just has a different type of intelligence. He is a sighthound, bred to hunt using his extraordinary speed and eyesight. Because he can look standoffish and reserved, many consider him a less friendly dog.
But he is just stubborn and independent. As with most hounds, he requires regular exercise and a lot of running and training. His silky hair needs regular bathing, and brushing at least twice a week.
If you want a dog that looks like royalty, the Afghan hound and his thick, fine, silky coat, and tail with a ring curl at the end will do the trick.
Remember, he has a laid-back character who wants his own space. Sometimes, it is best to let them alone when they want “me time”.
In the past several years, the Yorkshire terrier has earned a reputation as one of the most beautiful toy breeds. One of the smallest dogs on this list, he reaches a weight between four and six pounds. That makes him suitable for a seat on the plane with other passengers.
Like many toy breeds, the yorkie is a great pet, especially for senior citizens. Families with little children have to be careful. You do not want to step on the little dog.
The biggest downside is barking. Yorkies are a vocal breed. They have a lot to say, and will not hold back. They are also territorial as most terriers.
Coton de Tulear
This small and hardy dog loves to please its owners. He is loyal to the bone and gets along with other dogs and children. One of the downsides is the coat. While hypoallergenic, the Coton needs daily grooming to keep his silky coat healthy.
Like most small dogs, he is often quick to bark when he sees or hears something new. You must train him properly as a puppy to prevent barking problems later in life.
He sleeps between 12 and 14 hours on average. But he is not a lazy breed.
This Asian toy breed originates from Tibet. Popular for their short snout and large round eyes, the Shih Tzu definitely has a royal look. They look funny and adorable at the same time.
Best part about owning a Shih Tzu? They live a long life and do not suffer from many illnesses. Great as a family pet, they get along with other dogs and animals as well. But their docile personality makes them the best companion for children.
Prized for their companionship, these plush canines are loyal, affectionate, and always ready for a cuddle session.
If you want something unique and rare, look no further than this breed. The Italian breed of dog is among the rarest breeds in the world. Originating in the marshlands of the Delta del Po in the eastern part of the Romagna region, the name means “water dog”. Think of it as the Italian version of the Portuguese water dog.
This breed has tons of energy and needs plenty of activity. Affectionate and devoted to his owner, the Lagotto can also make a good watchdog. When trained to bark, they will fill the role of a watchdog. But the problem is without proper training, they might bark too much.
After all, he is a truffle-hunting dog. His instinct is to dig and sniff. Great at scent work, this agile dog has a natural desire to track things. Pay attention to your flowers in the garden.
He is very intelligent and easy to train, so make sure to train him before he starts using his natural instincts where he shouldn’t.
Did you know that the Poodle is the second most intelligent dog? He is just behind the Border Collie on the list of most intelligent dogs. The Poodle is also a breed of water dog. There are different varieties, depending on the size. Poodles go from standard to toy size.
Great family dogs, they are energetic, smart, and easy to train. Poodles do best with plenty of exercises for their mind and body. As a highly intelligent dog, this breed needs plenty of mental stimulation.
One downside is they are extremely sensitive to stress. And that stress can cause digestive upsets and neurotic behaviors. They just need a peaceful and harmonious home.
Portuguese Water Dog
Our last dog on the list of dogs for allergies is the one that popularized the term hypoallergenic. Once President Obama got a Portuguese water dog, the term started gaining steam.
This athletic breed needs vigorous daily exercise. He does best an active family. Loyal and intelligent workers, they enjoy one on one playtime. Because they get along with children and other animals, they can excel in almost any setting. But that also makes alone time difficult for the dog. You can leave them for four to six hours, but any longer and they might develop destructive habits.