Guest Post by John Woods
Allergies and dogs? Not an ideal combination.
Watery eyes, runny noses, sneezing, itching, rashes. . . the list goes on.
If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from allergies, you are probably interested in finding out about hypoallergenic dogs. A hypoallergenic dog is simply a dog that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other dogs.
Many people mistakenly believe they are allergic to dog hair, but they are actually allergic to a protein found in the saliva and urine of dogs. As long as dogs continue to pee and drool, there’s no escaping the allergic reaction.
The reason we react when we come into contact with the hair of animals or simply live in the same environment is because when dogs groom themselves, they transfer the reaction-causing protein to their skin, fur, and hair.
What’s so special about hypoallergenic dogs? They still drool and pee, don’t they?
They do, but they usually shed less than other dogs, meaning less rogue hair in the environment. They often have curly coats which trap shedding hair and dander, and they often require more regular grooming which can keep allergens at bay. Hypoallergenic dogs also usually have hair as opposed to fur.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of owning a dog, without the headache of annoying allergies, enjoy this list of the top five hypoallergenic dogs:
A curly coat crossed with a curly coat — it’s looking optimistic for allergy sufferers.
Both the Bichon Frise and Poodle are deemed hypoallergenic in their own right, so when they are mixed, it's not surprising they make our list. Both coats trap dust and dander, reducing how much is shed into the environment.
They do fall high on grooming maintenance for the same reason, but at least this keeps the allergens at bay. Most owners clip their Bichon Poodle into a Teddy Bear cut for lower maintenance, but they still need brushing three to four times a week. Feisty, affectionate, and playful, a Bichon Poodle makes a great companion.
This is a designer cross breed which results from mating a Labrador with a Poodle, loved for their friendly nature and the athleticism of both breeds combined. Labradors shed a lot, so ensure your Labradoodle is more Doodle than Lab if you are trying to keep allergies at bay!
Just as popular as the Labradoodle, the Goldendoodle is a result of mating a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. Later generations are slightly more predictable but be mindful of first-generation. Goldens are excessive shedders, so if your Goldendoodle is more Golden than Doodle, you may instead have tumbleweeds of hair, everywhere. The poodle coat produces the hypoallergenic dog.
We can thank Barack Obama for the rise in popularity of these guys. They are docile, intelligent, and obedient.
Classed as a medium in size, this pure-bred was a historic worker. They are deemed hypoallergenic as they simply don’t shed as much as other dogs; however, they still produce dander so they can still cause reactions for allergy sufferers.
They tolerate kids and pets when raised with them, so they are great additions to active homes.
Unlike the name implies, the Chinese crested actually comes in two varieties — Powderpuff and Hairless. But even the hairless still have tufts of fur on its paws, tail, and head. The Powderpuff is totally covered, boasting a long, soft coat.
The reason it is deemed hypoallergenic is simply that, even with hair, it sheds less than other dogs.
They are loving, playful, and loyal companions. But remember, they have skin so can produce dander, which can cause a reaction in allergy sufferers.
It’s clear that no dog is totally allergy-safe, but certain breeds are less likely to cause a reaction.
Be mindful if you are considering a crossbreed, especially if one of the parents are heavy shedders.
First-generation mixed breeds can be unpredictable, so you may be better searching for a later generation, for example, the puppy from two Labradoodle parents who both have the poodle type coat.
Research any breed before bringing them home just to check they’re likely to fit in with your lifestyle.
John Woods is a member of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, a graduate in Animal Behavior and Welfare, and a recognized author by the Dog Writers Association of America.