child allergic to dog

Hypoallergenic Dogs – Dogs for Allergy Sufferers

Hypoallergenic dogs or non-shedding dogs are terms used to describe a breed of dog that is safer for people with allergies. No dog breed is 100% allergy-free.

Highly allergic people may always be affected to some degree, while those with mild allergies may tolerate specific dogs quite well.

The allergen for most people is not the hair but the protein formed by the dog’s saliva and dander. Protein production can differ between dogs so each dog can affect allergic individuals to varying degrees.

Even hypoallergenic dog breeds that are considered non-shedding, have saliva and dander. And the reality is that all dogs shed somewhat, including non-shedding dogs.

Non-allergenic dog breeds are a good starting point in your quest for the best dog breeds for allergy sufferers. You won’t be able to stop dog shedding entirely. Just impossible; we all lose some of our hair and your dog is no different. And there is still the dander and saliva to contend with.

Three Factors That Make a Dog Worse for Allergy Sufferers

  1. The size of the dog can be a factor because the largest dogs have the most body surface, thus more area to contain dander. Smaller dogs naturally have less dander. A small hairless dog conditioned with oils will have the least amount of allergens.
  2. Dogs spending much time outside can pick up outdoor pollens and other allergens, bringing them back in on their feet and fur.
  3. Dogs that bark a lot can disperse saliva and shake off dander. Opt for a calm dog.

To start you in the right direction in making the best possible choice, we have compiled a list of those considered to be hypoallergenic dog breeds.

Small Hypoallergenic Dogs

 Medium Hypoallergenic Dogs

Large Hypoallergenic Dogs

These are but a few of the dogs thought to be typically hypoallergenic.  Others include: Bichon Frise, Brussels Griffon, Bedlington Terrier, Barbet, American Hairless Terrier, Kerry Blue Terrier, Chinese Crested and the Irish Water Spaniel.

Are the Goldendoodle and Labradoodle Hypoallergenic?

The answer to this is, maybe.  These combo dogs are as cute as can be.  They combine the intelligence of the Poodle with the agreeable, friendly nature of the Labrador Retriever or the Golden Retriever.  This makes for a wonderful family dog and a fantastic kids’ dog.  Whether they are hypoallergenic or not can depend on whether they are first-generation or beyond.  It can be questionable with first-generation breeding.  Ask questions of the breeder.

Try to introduce the new dog into your home on a trial basis, carefully monitoring any effects on the allergic person.

Once you have chosen from among the non-allergic dog breeds and determined that dog fits in with your lifestyle, there are things you can do to help reduce allergens caused by the dog.

Allergies to Dogs do Not Mean You Can’t Have a Dog

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Grooming Your Dog to Lessen Dog Hair Allergies

  • Bathe your dog several times a month, using a mild shampoo.  I use and really like Jax and Daisy Dog Shampoo.  Not only is this shampoo mild; it also has anti-itch components, to help keep your dog from scratching so much.  Scratching naturally disperses dander into the air, creating more allergy opportunities.

 

  • Brush your dog regularly to eliminate excess hair before it gets the opportunity to float into the air.  Use a grooming tool specially made to get the hair loose and removed.  I love this Pet Grooming Brush.  Works great on my three furry creatures to remove the hair before it makes it’s way to the furniture and floors and the air I breathe.

Selecting The Right Furniture Can Help With Dog Hair Shedding

Learn to recognize furniture that is best if you have a shedding dog.  Leather, vinyl or similar smooth surface furniture is more dog hair friendly.  A damp cloth will easily remove any dog hair left behind.  Fabric upholstered furniture allows the hair to become trapped within the fibers, making it more difficult to remove.

For help with eliminating dog hair in your home see How to Get Rid of Dog Hair.

Dog Training Can be The Best Ally For People Allergic to Dogs

Dog training may seem a bit of a surprise element when dealing with the topic of dogs and allergies.  However, it is quite an important piece of the allergy solution.  Training your dog to stay off the furniture and off of his humans will help to keep the hair off of you.  I say this with a bit of guilt since I am totally guilty of allowing my dogs to jump all over me and lounge on the furniture.  I do have a sensitivity to the dog hair and dander but not severe,  If your allergies are more advanced, you may want to do as I suggest and not as I do.

Best Hypoallergenic Dogs For Kids

The best hypoallergenic dog breed for kids is dependent on the size of the children and the lifestyle of your family. Smaller dogs should not generally be in a home with toddlers as the child can easily fall on the dog resulting in injury to the dog.  With smaller kids, it may be a better choice to opt for a medium-sized dog amongst the kid-friendly dog breeds that don’t shed.  All the dogs listed below are generally good with kids although each dog is an individual, with his own personality.

Top 3 Medium Sized Dogs That Don’t Shed

  • Bedlington Terrier – These good-natured, intelligent dogs resemble wooly lambs.  The Bedlington Terrier is a light shedder, resulting in fewer allergy problems for his people.  As in the case of most terriers, the Bedlington should get some exercise each day to work off the energy his active mind requires.  If you are a working family, be sure to walk or play actively with the dog each day, which shouldn’t be a problem with kids in the family.
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier – Another great terrier breed that is kid-friendly, happy dog and does not shed.  True to the terrier nature, the Soft-Coated Wheaten is intelligent and active, requiring some vigorous exercise or activity each day.
  • Portuguese Water Dog – A great choice for allergy-prone people, the Portuguese Water Dog was the breed chosen by the Obamas for their allergic daughter.  Bet they did some research! A highly active dog, the Portuguese Water Dog does require vigorous daily exercise.  An active family would be best for this dog.  Hikes in the woods or trips to the lake would be this dog’s dream. This dog generally loves kids and it’s tightly curled hair is non-shedding.  A water lover, the Portuguese Water Dog loves to go for a swim or wade.  Mud puddles will usually suffice, so watch out when it rains.  Bet the kids AND the dog would love that!

Top 3 Small Dogs That Don’t Shed

  • Bichon Frison – This hypoallergenic dog is a tiny ball of white fluff that is affectionate and cheerful.  The Bichon tends to be fearless as many smaller dogs are, not appearing totally aware of their tiny structure.  A playful, gentle dog, he will do better in a home without very small kids due to the possibility of his being hurt while dancing under the kids as they run and play.
  • Toy Poodle – The Toy Poodle is exceptionally smart and active.  Extremely loyal to his owner, as are all sizes of Poodles,  he will want to be by your side and can become your child’s best friend.  This dog requires regular exercise to keep him happy and should be professionally groomed regularly to keep his hair mat-free.  The Poodle comes in a Medium and Standard (large) size also, so can be a great non-shedding, hypoallergenic dog for people who want a bit more size in their dog.
  • Yorkshire Terrier – The Yorkie has long, silky, brow-silver hair that does not shed.  He will need to be brushed regularly to keep his hair tangle-free.  This tiny dynamo is fearless, playful and affectionate.  Walks and a little play with a ball or squeaky toy will keep him happy.

Top 3 Large Dogs That Don’t Shed

  • Standard Schnauzer – A family-protective, hypoallergenic dog that is highly intelligent and active, requiring an active family that will play with and walk him regularly. 
  • Standard Poodle – Like the smaller poodles, the Standard Poodle is smart and active.  He will enjoy long walks and daily romps with the kids.
  • Afghan Hound – The Afghan Hound is a gorgeous dog with long, flowing hair.  The most well-known color is blonde with a black mask on the face area.  There is also a black or silver coloration. Although beautiful, this non-shedding dog also tends to be headstrong and loves to run.  Unfortunately, not known to listen well, the Afghan Hound often chooses to continue running, even when called.  For this reason, you will need a sturdy fence for this breed.  It would be best if your kids are responsible and not likely to leave the gate or door open.

Most all non-shedding or hypoallergenic dogs require regular grooming, including bathing, brushing and trims to keep the hair mat-free.  Some of the dogs, though technically non-shedding, have double coats that will shed and mat under the topcoat. This makes them more likely to tangle.  

Allergies to dogs do not necessarily mean you can’t have a dog as part of your family.  It may take some extra effort on your part, beginning with selecting the best dog for allergy sufferers.  Once you have your best dog, good grooming habits, wise furniture selection, and proper cleaning will help to assure you have a long and happy life with your dog.

REMEMBER:  Most of the hypoallergenic dogs listed are purebred but you do not need to buy from a breeder or pet store.  Shelters across the country are full of these non-shedding dogs.  Visit one in your area and spend time with the dogs to find your new best hypoallergenic friend.

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