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Hypoallergenic Dogs Cause Fewer Allergies: True or False?


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Is it true that hypoallergenic dogs exist and that they cause fewer itches, sneezes and watery eyes? If so they’re the perfect pal for those of us with dog allergies. It’s certainly true that dogs that don’t shed tend to be called hypoallergenic dog breeds. But can such a dog exist and what does ‘hypoallergenic dog’ actually mean?

Since we all know dogs are a human’s best friend, why should anyone be without them? That’s why PD Insurance is answering your questions about these types of dogs – so you can choose the right furry BFF.

Regardless of whether you have dog allergies or you simply don’t like flyaway fur, here’s what you need to know…

Maltese are hypoallergenic dogs that don't shed

Hypoallergenic dogs: fact or fiction?

While dogs that don’t shed or shed very little are loosely termed hypoallergenic dog breeds, they may still cause allergies. If you’re wondering how bad these allergies can be, the truth is that it’s a bit of a sliding scale. But then again, that’s already the case with allergies.

Dog allergies, meh 😕

Of course, those who suffer from dog and cat allergies know all about the range and severity allergies can take. It can be sneezing, itching, red/itchy/watery eyes, constricted breathing, hives, confusion and more. On some days a person can have no symptoms while on others it’s just one or two, but sometimes it can be the full house.

Allergies are so hard to pin down because they change according to pet, household, and season. They even change according to the number of other stress factors and allergens a person is exposed to and sometimes out of the blue they disappear altogether with seemingly no reason or rhyme. Talk about mysterious!

person with dog allergies may seek dog breeds that don't shed

Do hypoallergenic dogs exist then?

Yes. Hypoallergenic dogs that don’t shed do actually exist. But given they may still cause allergies to some extent let’s look at how and why they’re considered hypoallergenic at all. To explain this, we’ve answered two simple questions:

1. What is hypoallergenic? 

People often mistake hypoallergenic to mean ‘no allergies’ but in reality it just means ‘slightly allergenic’ and ‘relatively unlikely to cause allergies’.

2. What causes dog allergies? 

Dander (tiny flecks of dead skin cells that pets shed) causes allergies, along with the protein in a dog’s urine and saliva. Essentially it’s not the fur that people are allergic to.

Now that we’ve cleared up that hypoallergenic doesn’t mean 100% non-allergenic, and that fur isn’t the real reason for allergies, there’s something else you need to know.

Even though the dander causes the allergy, dogs that don’t shed also produce less dander. Ultimately this means they produce fewer allergens, making them hypoallergenic dogs. Whoohooo!

schnauzers are on the hypoallergenic dog breeds list

25 hypoallergenic dog breeds

Now you know you can find dogs that cause fewer allergies, let’s look at some popular dog breeds that don’t shed. In no particular order, here’s the PD Insurance list of hypoallergenic dog breeds:

  1. Afghan hound
  2. American hairless terrier
  3. Barbet
  4. Bedlington terrier
  5. Bichon frise
  6. Bolognese
  7. Brussels Griffon
  8. Chinese crested
  9. Coton de tulear
  10. Irish water spaniel
  11. Kerry blue terrier
  12. Lagotto romagnolo
  13. Lhasa apso
  14. Maltese
  15. Peruvian Inca orchid (hairless)
  16. Poodle
  17. Portuguese water dog
  18. Schnauzer (miniature, standard, giant)
  19. Shih Tzu
  20. Soft coated wheaten terrier
  21. Spanish water dog
  22. West highland white terrier
  23. Wire fox terrier
  24. Xoloitzcuintli (hairless)
  25. Yorkshire terrier
Always be mindful that two dogs of the same breed can produce different quantities of dander and that each person can react to allergens differently. 
this is one of the dogs that don't shed much

Why is it some dogs don’t shed?

You’ll notice there are two main things about dogs that don’t shed:

  1. Shooting the breeze. Some dogs are called hairless dogs because they’ve barely any fur at all – you can even see their skin. Similar to hairless cats, these dogs don’t have much to shed and have very sensitive skin.
  2. Hair vs fur. While some dogs surprise by having almost no fur, others actually don’t have any but instead actually have hair! The signature quality of hair vs fur is that hair simply carries on growing whereas fur has a standard length and once it grows to that length it goes through cycles of shedding.

Regardless of whether yours is hairy, furry or hairless, they deserve some good old routine pet care that includes grooming.

What about hypoallergenic cats?

Like dogs you also get cats that cause fewer allergens. We’ve put together a full guide on hypoallergenic cats so you can find your favourite low allergy breed.

Then again, if you’re someone with an ultra-furry pet (some have two layers), we’ve got your back too. Simply read our article on how to remove pet fur.

If you're interested in hypoallergenic dogs read about low allergy cats too

Free pet insurance for dogs, hypoallergenic or not

When you buy a pet insurance plan with PD Insurance you get the first month (or more) FREE. Choose between three doggy plans (or kitty plans) to cover pet health bills for things like accidents, illness and dental.

In addition to bills for surgery, hospitalisation and more, your pet plan also covers third party liability in pet insurance. If your pet ends up damaging others or their property your plan can help protect you financially.

With no-lock-in contracts, take out your fast and easy to use online pet insurance today. Click below to get a quote.

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