As many as 10% of people are allergic to household pets. We love our furbabies, and we love to have them. However, it can be a tough sell to our loved ones to get a dog when they suffer from pet-related allergies. How can we convince our housemates to get a pet when they suffer from allergy symptoms that make them miserable? In this article, we discuss the best hypoallergenic dogs that can give us all the cuddles and none of the sniffles!
Best Hypoallergenic Dogs
Poodles are an immensely popular breed. They come in 3 sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. They also display a variety of coat colors. Poodles exhibit trademarks of intelligence, energy, and a hypoallergenic coat. While you don’t need to keep up the “poodle cut,” poodles require regular grooming by a professional to keep their coat tamed and healthy. Bred as water dogs, poodles love to swim. In fact, the signature poodle cut protects joints and vital organs when they swim in cold water. Well-adapted to time in the water, a poodle’s coat will grow in cords if left to grow naturally.
Afghans are medium-sized dogs with long, flowing coats. These sighthounds require daily brushing and exhibit coats in a wide variety of colors. Their gorgeous coat isn’t just for show either; it protected these dogs from the harsh mountainous conditions where they originated. Afghans are aloof and dignified. They are an ancient, athletic breed; one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. The origin of the Afghan Hound predates the written word by several thousand years, so its exact origin is unknown. Most agree the breed originated in the area that includes Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Here, they served as hunting companions and status symbols. Learn more about Afghan Hounds here.
Bichon Frises are gentle and happy dogs. Though small, they have plenty of playful energy. Bichons do not shed, making them one of the best hypoallergenic dogs. They do, however, need regular grooming to prevent mats. Closely-associated with Europe’s nobility in the 13th century, this breed has retained its primary purpose as a lap dog and companion animal.
The Maltese is another small, energetic dog with a hypoallergenic coat. Their long, silky white hair needs daily brushing to stay healthy and mat-free. Despite their diminutive size, Maltese are adaptable, hardy, and make excellent watchdogs. They fear little and are surprisingly agile. They shed very little, live long lives, and get along well with children and other animals.
Portuguese Water Dog
This medium-sized breed is most commonly known for its strong athletic abilities. As a result, it needs an equally energetic family. As their name suggests, they are creatures bred for the water and have the waterproof coat to match. Portuguese Water Dogs originated all along Portugal’s coast. They worked alongside fishermen, herding fish into nets, retrieving items from the water, and even taking messages between boats and the shore. Their coat is generally either clipped all over to one inch or given a “lion clip,” where a groomer cuts the hindquarters and muzzle down to the skin. Their hypoallergenic coat can appear tight and curly to loose and wavy. The coat requires extensive care and grooming. Learn more about the Portuguese Water Dog here.
Bedlington Terriers are a lesser-known breed whose curly, wooly coat resembles that of a sheep. This breed is easily-identified by their signature coat as well as their tasseled ears, scimitar-shaped tail, and curvy bodies. Bedlingtons make excellent family pets: soaking up attention and protecting their people. Their coat does not shed, making them an excellent choice for families who are allergic to pet hair. Though gentle creatures, Englishmen created Bedlington Terriers to hunt vermin in the mining territory in Northumberland. They even used them in pit fights. Instead, nowadays, we find these terriers snuggling their favorite family members. Learn more about Bedlington Terriers here.
Shih Tzus are one of the best small dog breeds. They have long double coats that come in a variety of colorations. Known for their gentle, affectionate natures, Shih Tzus make excellent family dogs and are especially great with children. This breed’s long coat requires daily brushing, but their body size makes this task relatively quick and easy. Now, if you don’t want to deal with routine brushings, consider getting your Shih Tzu a short-cropped “puppy trim.” In any case, Shih Tzus have been wonderful lapdogs for potentially thousands of years; there are records of this breed decorating the laps of Chinese emperors.
Hairless Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
One thing to consider if you’re allergic to pet hair is a pet with no hair at all! Here are two of the best hypoallergenic dogs that are hairless:
American Hairless Terrier
Have you ever heard of the American Hairless Terrier? This breed is an off-shoot of the Rat Terrier. It is also the only hairless dog breed indigenous to the United States. In 1972, a hairless pup was born to healthy, coated Rat Terriers in Trout, Louisiana. Fast forward to 2016: the AKC recognized the American Hairless Terrier as a separate breed. Hairless Terriers are smart, playful, and curious, with the courage and determination all terriers possess. Their lack of a coat means they need baths more often than the average dog. Learn more about the American Hairless Terrier here.
The Chinese Crested is a small, mostly hairless dog: other than a crested head and feathery tail, they lack a coat. These lively, alert dogs are quite attentive to their human families. They’re in tune with their household and even do well with gentle children. With no hair, this dog has virtually no odor, and no shedding to irritate pet allergies.
Is a Hypoallergenic Dog Right For You?
If you – or a family member – suffer from chronic allergies associated with dogs, a hypoallergenic dog might be the solution you’re looking for. Many of the best hypoallergenic dogs also make amazing companions. Which breed is right for you?