What Makes A Dog Hypoallegenic?

Written by: Tori Holmes

February 7, 2019

Anyone suffering from allergies knows what a nuisance they can be. Whether they’re inconvenient seasonal allergies or more series food or drug allergies, they can have a big impact on how you live your life.

Now imagine you were a dog lover with an allergy to dogs. Sure you could still have a dog if you were willing to suffer through bouts of sneezing, watery eyes, and hives, but what if there was another option?

What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?

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For dog-loving allergy suffers, hypoallergenic dogs seem like the perfect solution. I mean, the name literally suggests that there is a dog that won’t cause allergies, doesn’t it? Although they have been marketed that way, there is actually no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. However, there are specific breeds that people tend to have less allergic reactions to.

What Causes People To Be Allergic To Dogs?

Pit Bull Puppy Cuddling Human

Before we get into those breeds, we should probably cover what causes allergies to dogs. For the majority of allergy sufferers, a dog’s fur is not the issue.

Instead, things like dander and saliva are what cause the sneezing, watery eyes, and itchiness; all telltale signs your body is trying to rid itself of an allergen.

What’s interesting about these allergies is that a person’s reaction can change from dog to dog. In fact, two dogs have the same breed can give off completely different levels of allergens.

What Breeds Are More Likely To Be “Hypoallergenic”?


So if we know that no dog is 100% allergen-free, what’s so special about the so-called “hypoallergenic” dogs? Breeds that are considered hypoallergenic do actually have less of the allergens that humans react to. They may not be allergen-free, but the lower levels often do not cause problems with allergy sufferers.

Some of these breeds include Poodles, Irish Water Spaniels, Portuguese Water Dogs, Kerry Blue Terriers, and Bichon Frise, among others. As a group, these dogs have predictable, non-shedding coats, which produce less dander than other dogs. When combined, dogs with these characteristics tend to be more suitable pets for those with allergies.

What To Do To Minimize Allergic Reactions To Dogs?

dog with blue leash next to a human legs

Since even hypoallergenic dogs still contain allergens, it’s important to take steps to minimize your chance of having a reaction. This includes washing pet beds and blankets regularly, vacuuming and sweeping up any loose hair, avoiding carpets or curtains that could trap and hold these allergens, and of course, making sure your dog is washed and groomed regularly.

While no dog is 100% allergen free, suffering from dog-related allergy doesn’t mean that you have to live life without a four-legged best friend. There are numerous breeds that have a positive track record with allergy sufferers; it’s just up to you to find the breed that best suits you and your lifestyle. If you have any questions about which breeds are right for you, the American Kennel Club is a great resource. In addition, your local veterinarian will be able to answer any of your specific questions.

Reward Your “Hypoallergenic” Dog With BARKBOX!

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Do you have one of the above dog breeds? Or do you plan on getting one? Then why not treat them to something special with a monthly BarkBox subscription! For as little as $22 a month, you can receive 2 brand-new toys, 2 bags of delicious, all-natural, corn, soy, wheat-free treats, and a single meaty chew. It’s an incredible deal, and your pup (or future pup) really deserves it for…you know, being less likely to give you allergic reactions!

Sources: American Kennel Club, Scientific AmericanWebMD

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Written by: Tori Holmes

February 7, 2019

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