For us dog owners, it's hard to imagine a life without our furry friends. Unfortunately, because of dog allergies, some people haven't been able to enjoy that companionship. But there is hope; hypoallergenic breeds of dogs that don't shed have become more popular than ever.
Dealing with dog allergies
Dog allergy symptoms can be debilitating for those with severe adverse reactions to pet dander produced by the dog's hair. When dogs shed their fur, the dander stays with the hair as it falls. Everywhere a dog goes in the house and sheds some hair, dander will stay with it.
While most of our bodies can take this, those with dog allergies cannot live with it. Fortunately, there are several dog breeds that don't shed, greatly minimizing the amount of hair and dander that will be left around. While a hypoallergenic dog won't eliminate allergies, a shed-free dog combined with proper grooming and cleaning habits can allow them to be easier managed.
Best hypoallergenic dog breeds: dogs that don't shed
For those with pet allergies, choosing the right breed of dog can be a chore. Here's a list of the most popular hypoallergenic dogs that don't shed:
These tall and lean dogs look like Greyhounds with a long and silky coat of fur. While they don't shed, their long coat needs to be properly maintained lest it turns into a matted clump. These loving and loyal dogs will also need plenty of exercise to expel all their energy.
American Hairless Terrier
This hairless breed is a great companion for the whole family. Like most terriers, the natural hunting instinct is strong in this one, so a daily walk is needed to release that energy. Despite being bald, these dogs will still need occasional baths to keep their skin healthy.
Unlike other terriers, this breed has a combination of soft and hard fur rather than a wiry coat. Its unique look is similar to that of a lamb. Regular brushing and occasional trims are the only grooming required. Lots of playing and daily walks will keep this breed happy.
With its beautiful white, soft, and curly coat, the Bichon Frise looks a lot like a miniature poodle. While this hypoallergenic breed doesn't shed, the fur never stops growing. It requires regular grooming to avoid a messy and matty coat. They love to play and are great for kids and adults alike.
These tiny, energetic dogs resemble the Chihuahua except that they are mostly hairless. The head, tail, and feet are the only areas with fur, making grooming easier. Their sensitive and unprotected skin can be vulnerable in very high or very low temperatures. They will need sunblock in the summer and a sweater in the winter.
Coton de Tulear
This Royal Dog of Madagascar adores their humans and will be forever loyal. The soft, fluffy white coat will need regular grooming and daily brushing to prevent matting.
Unlike the Miniature Schnauzer, yet similar to the Standard Schnauzer, this big dog's coat is hard and wiry. Their fast-growing hair needs to be trimmed, groomed, and brushed regularly. These protective working dogs love to have something to do, which makes daily exercise a priority.
Irish Water Spaniel
Like other spaniels, the Irish Water Spaniel is sweet and incredibly energetic, requiring plenty of daily exercise. They have a thick double coat of curly, water-repellent fur that doesn't shed but will need to be brushed occasionally.
Kerry Blue Terrier
This intelligent breed loves to spend time with its people more than anything. Their soft hypoallergenic coat will need regular grooming and brushing to minimize matting. The long hair on the face needs extra attention to keep it clean and healthy.
This affectionate breed provides valuable companionship and loyalty for its owners. The high level of energy in this breed means they need regular exercise. Their poodle-like coats are thick and will need regular grooming, brushing, and trimming.
These dogs may be tiny, but they'll defend you to the end. They also love to play and snuggle, making them great dogs for kids. The soft white coat often needs brushing as it can easily get tangled.
This smallest version of the schnauzer is very protective of its family, making it a good watchdog. These keen dogs are easy to train and obedient. Unlike the other schnauzers, it has a double coat of soft hair that needs regular trimming.
Peruvian Inca Orchid
This hairless breed comes in several different sizes from which to choose. These loyal and energetic dogs require plenty of daily exercise. Especially as puppies, their hairless skin can be extra sensitive to the sun. It is recommended to regularly wash the skin and put sunscreen on during the hot months.
Available in standard, miniature, and toy, poodles are a favorite among dog owners with pet allergies. Their coat of soft and curly hair may lose a few strands of hair at times, but not enough to cause issues in most cases. Regular brushing will limit it.
Portuguese Water Dog
These loving and highly energetic dogs are best suited for those with active lives. They make great companions for hikes and long walks. Their waterproof and wavy coats need regular grooming.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
This is another working dog breed that needs plenty of exercise. They are great with kids and adapt well to any environment. Their soft wheaten-colored hair needs regular brushing and grooming to avoid matting.
Spanish Water Dog
Like their Portuguese cousin, these dogs have lots of energy and need a physically active owner. Their working background and loyalty make them great watchdogs. And different from the Portuguese version, their curly coat doesn't need any brushing. However, it is recommended to shave them once a year.
This medium-sized Schnauzer will quickly become a part of the family and especially loves playing with energetic children. Their fearlessness and loyalty make them great watchdogs. The wiry coat, especially around the legs and face, needs to be brushed and groomed regularly.
You can get this breed in several different sizes and varieties. They come in toy, miniature, and standard sizes and can be either hairless or coated. The coated Xolo should be brushed regularly to avoid matting. The hairless Xolo's sensitive skin needs protection in extreme climates. Use sunblock in the summer and a sweater in the winter.
Minimizing the symptoms of dog allergies, even for dogs that don't shed
Here are some simple steps to take further to reduce any chance of allergic reactions to pet dander:
-Keep a dog-free room in the house that you can go to if you feel the allergies coming on. Since you spend the plurality of your day in your bedroom sleeping, it is best to choose that as your dander-free zone. Yes, that means that you shouldn't let your dog sleep with you.
-If you have carpet, you should clean it regularly to limit the dander that sticks to it. When possible, try to keep your dog in rooms of hardwood or tile floors.
-Change clothes after a playing session with your pup. Like carpet, cloth and wool is really good at trapping dander.
-Cover air vents with cheesecloth or other filtering materials. Central heat and hair can spread hair and dander all over the house through the duct system. Furthermore, using hvac hepa filters for your main unit works incredibly well.
-Bathe your dog often. The more the dog's coat is cleaned of dead hair and dander, the less chance you have of allergic reactions.
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