Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds: Myth or Reality?

Are you an animal lover but unfortunately allergic to dogs? If yes, then you might have heard of “hypoallergenic dog breeds”. These breeds are said to produce fewer allergens and are marketed as a solution for those who suffer from allergies but still want to have a furry friend. But is this claim true, or is it just a myth? In this blog post, we will explore the concept of hypoallergenic dog breeds, how they differ from regular dog breeds, and whether or not they are truly hypoallergenic. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of owning a hypoallergenic dog and some common misconceptions surrounding this topic. So, let’s dive in and separate fact from fiction when it comes to hypoallergenic dog breeds.

What Are Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds?

Hypoallergenic dog breeds are those that are known to produce fewer allergens than other breeds. They are not completely allergen-free, but they are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to pet dander.

The level of allergens produced by a dog is largely determined by the type and amount of proteins found in their skin, hair, and saliva. Hypoallergenic breeds typically have a coat that is less likely to shed, which means there is less dander in the environment. Some hypoallergenic breeds also have a different type of coat that is less likely to produce allergens.

It’s important to note that not all dogs within a hypoallergenic breed will be suitable for allergy sufferers. Each individual dog produces a different level of allergens, so it’s important to spend time with a dog before adopting to see if you have a reaction. Additionally, some people may be allergic to multiple types of allergens and may still experience symptoms even with a hypoallergenic breed.

Are Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds a Myth?

The term “hypoallergenic” can be misleading when it comes to dogs. While some dog breeds may produce fewer allergens or shed less, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. This is because most people who are allergic to dogs are actually allergic to a protein found in the dog’s saliva, urine, and dander, not their hair or fur.

It’s important to note that not all allergies are the same. Some people may be allergic to only certain breeds, while others may be allergic to all dogs. Additionally, allergies can vary in severity from mild irritation to more serious respiratory issues.

Which Dog Breeds Are Considered Hypoallergenic?

There are several breeds that are often marketed as hypoallergenic. These include:

  • Poodle
  • Bichon Frise
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Maltese
  • Yorkshire Terrier
  • Shih Tzu
  • Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  • Chinese Crested
  • Kerry Blue Terrier
  • Schnauzer

It’s important to note that even with these breeds, individual dogs may still cause allergic reactions. It’s always best to spend time with a dog before bringing them home to see if you have an allergic reaction.

Why Do Some Breeds Produce Fewer Allergens?

The main reason some breeds are considered hypoallergenic is due to their low-shedding coat. Allergens found in dogs are primarily found in their dander, saliva, and urine. Dogs that shed less have less dander and hair in their environment, which can reduce the amount of allergens in the air.

Additionally, some breeds have a different type of coat, such as a single coat, that sheds less and may produce fewer allergens. These breeds may also have less hair around their mouth and eyes, reducing the amount of allergens that can spread through their saliva.

It’s important to note that while hypoallergenic breeds may produce fewer allergens, they are not completely allergen-free. People with severe allergies may still experience symptoms around hypoallergenic dogs, and it’s always important to spend time around a breed before deciding if it’s a good fit for your allergies.

Can You Be Allergic to a Hypoallergenic Dog Breed?

Yes, it is possible to be allergic to a hypoallergenic dog breed. While some breeds produce fewer allergens, no breed is completely hypoallergenic. The proteins that cause allergies are found in a dog’s skin cells, saliva, and urine, so even dogs that shed very little can still trigger allergic reactions in some people.

Allergies to dogs are caused by an overreaction of the immune system to certain proteins in a dog’s dander, saliva, or urine. When a person with dog allergies comes into contact with these proteins, their body produces histamines and other chemicals that cause symptoms such as sneezing, itching, and watery eyes.

While some breeds are less likely to cause allergic reactions than others, individual dogs within a breed can still produce varying levels of allergens. It is important for people with allergies to spend time around a dog before bringing them into their home to see if they experience any symptoms.

Tips for Living with a Dog if You Have Allergies

If you have allergies but still want to live with a dog, there are several things you can do to minimize your exposure to allergens:

  • Bathe your dog regularly to reduce dander and allergens.
  • Use air filters to reduce airborne allergens.
  • Vacuum frequently to remove allergens from carpets and upholstery.
  • Wash your hands after playing with your dog to remove allergens from your skin.
  • Keep your dog off of furniture and out of bedrooms to reduce exposure to allergens.
  • Consider immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, to reduce your sensitivity to allergens.


Hypoallergenic dog breeds are not a myth, but it is important to understand that no breed is completely allergen-free. Some breeds do produce fewer allergens than others, and if you have allergies, it may be worth considering one of these breeds. However, it is important to spend time with the breed you are interested in and see if you have an allergic reaction before bringing one home. With proper management, it is possible to live with a dog even if you have allergies.

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