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The Best Dog Breeds for People With Asthama & Other Allergies

At A Glance

Animal lovers with dog allergies or asthma can still keep dogs as pets. There are several hypoallergenic dog breeds that shed minimal hair and produce substantially less dander than other dogs.

  • Poodles, Bichons, Schnauzers, and Terriers are some popular hypoallergenic dog breeds.
  • These different dog breeds require varying levels of exercise and grooming, so potential pet owners should consider these factors before getting a pet.

Last Updated on: Jun 23, 2023

 

If you’re battling asthma or severe allergies but are yearning to bring home a pup, hypoallergenic dogs may be just what you’re looking for. While it’s important to note that technically no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, that shouldn’t deter you from finding a furry companion to brighten your days.

“Many people believe that exposure to other dogs will trigger their allergy symptoms, while exposure to a hypoallergenic dog will not. However, objective scientific studies don’t support the idea that any dogs are hypoallergenic”, shares Dr. Sandra Hong.

According to the Allergy Foundation of America, 30% of Americans have pet allergies to some degree, but 50% of the population has pets at home. “All dogs have allergenic proteins, ‘hypo’ just means less, not zero”, shares Dr. Courtney Jackson Blair, owner of the Allergy and Asthma Associates.

So, what’s a sniffle-prone animal lover to do?

If you don’t want to whip out the antihistamines regularly, here are some hypoallergenic dog breeds that may be excellent pets.

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Terriers

Terriers are one of the best dogs for people with allergies. Wire-haired breeds are especially known for producing less dander. There are different terrier breeds, but the ones listed below are among the top terrier breeds for pet lovers with allergies.

best dog breeds for allergies and asthma - infographic image

American Hairless Terrier

The American hairless terrier is a good option if you suffer from allergies or asthma. These dogs only have hair on their eyebrows and whiskers, which means they are among the few dogs that don’t shed. Some varieties of this breed are not completely hairless, but they have very fine, short fur.

American Hairless Terriers are also friendly, lively, and intelligent, making them ideal companions for families with children and city dwellers. They don’t need much exercise aside from regular walks and indoor playtime.

Bedlington Terrier

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Bedlington Terrier

Bedlington Terriers are another great option for those with allergies. These small to medium-sized dogs have a curly, wooly coat. Best of all, their coat sheds minimally. They also produce less dander, which is good news for people with allergies.

This breed is patient and very tolerant of children and makes excellent pets for families with young kids. They also make good guard dogs. And while they do not need intense exercise, they need enough space to be able to run and play, whether outdoors or indoors.

Kerry Blue Terrier

Kerry Blue Terriers shed very little. They have a wavy, silky, and hypoallergenic coat that is low maintenance and doesn’t shed much. Regular brushing ensures their coat remains free of mats.

Kerry Blue Terriers are a friendly and energetic breed. They will do well with active individuals or families that ensure they get regular exercise.

Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier

The Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier is another excellent breed for people with allergies. While this breed does shed, their shedding is minimal compared to other breeds. They have a soft and silky coat that doesn’t produce much dander, but they need to be brushed and groomed regularly, as allergens (like dust and pollen) may often get stuck in their fluffy coats.

This breed also has a friendly personality, making them ideal companions for families with little kids. They are very affectionate and playful but need plenty of exercise, else they can get restless.

Afghan Hound

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound has long, silky hair, but rarely sheds and produces minimal dander. It must be brushed regularly and groomed monthly to maintain its hypoallergenic coat.

However, this is a high-energy breed and needs access to large, enclosed areas where they can run freely. Athletic owners will find this breed a perfect match, as they can go on long runs and enjoy vigorous exercise. They are excellent jumpers and sighthounds, so high fences are recommended if you plan to let them off-leash.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise has a soft, curly coat that doesn’t shed or produce much dander. And just like any other hypoallergenic breed, this breed, too, must be brushed regularly to maintain its coat.

The Bichon’s hair continually grows, so regular grooming is a must to ensure the hair remains mat-free. These dogs are adored for their personality and are often dubbed “canine comedians.” They are playful and energetic, and interact well with other dogs and children.

Chinese Crested

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested, a unique and slender toy breed, has spotted pink skin and a spiky hairdo with tufts of hair on the head, tail, and ankles. This breed can be hairless or coated with smooth, soft skin.

Both varieties are relatively hypoallergenic; even the coated type sheds little to no hair. They are also virtually odorless, playful, and alert. Additionally, they do well with families and children. The hairless Crested may require careful grooming, including sunscreen and skin treatments. This is a slightly high maintenance breed and needs daily brushing to avoid matting.

Coton de Tulear

The Coton de Tulear is a lively, witty, and happy-go-lucky companion dog that is also hypoallergenic. The breed has a soft, white coat that is easy to maintain. They require daily brushing, conditioning, and regular grooming sessions.

They are fairly active and require moderate exercise, such as daily walks at a slow pace. They do well and can keep themselves occupied but may need attention. The Coton de Tulear is notoriously affectionate and will thrive with an owner who can give it plenty of time and attention.

Schnauzer

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Schnauzer

Schnauzers come in three sizes: Giant, Standard, and Miniature.

Giant Schnauzer

The largest Schnauzer variety has a double coat that can either be solid black or salt-and-pepper. Their double coats are dense, wiry, and weather-resistant. They have a soft undercoat and harsh outer coat.

That said, they must be brushed at least weekly and groomed regularly to maintain a healthy coat. Giant Schnauzers are hypoallergenic, intelligent, territorial, and naturally protective, making them ideal guard dogs. However, they need vigorous exercise and plenty of mental stimulation. Despite their size, they are great with children and are loyal to their families.

Standard Schnauzer

The original Schnauzer breed is larger than its miniature cousin. Their coats are thick and wiry, and they shed very little. Much like the other two varieties, they also need regular grooming sessions.

Their hair must be brushed daily and washed when dirty to remove allergens they may have picked up outdoors. This active breed is extremely social and affectionate and requires daily exercise.

Miniature Schnauzer

Miniature Schnauzers have hard, wiry coats that shed little, making them suitable companions for people with dog allergies. Their coats typically come in black, silver, or salt and pepper. They require frequent brushing and regular grooming but are easy to maintain otherwise.

Schnauzers are bright and friendly but also naturally protective. They can get along well with other animals and kids, making them great companions.

Irish Water Spaniel

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Irish Water Spaniel

Irish Water Spaniels are part of the Spaniel family. This hypoallergenic breed has a water-repellent double coat that requires gentle brushing every few weeks.

They are active, energetic, and intelligent and thrive well with daily exercise, long walks, or hikes. But they also need plenty of mental stimulation and usually respond positively to obedience training. Irish Water Spaniels can be reserved when meeting new people, but are loyal companions and generally low-maintenance.

Spanish Water Dog

Spanish Water Dogs have curly, wooly coats that require minimal grooming. Their coats are hypoallergenic and can be shaved once a year. Unlike other hypoallergenic breeds, Spanish Water Dogs do not require any brushing, as their coats have cords that may get damaged.

This breed is lively, full of energy, and protective. Fully-mature dogs are capable of long hours of strenuous activities like running, hiking, and snow-shoeing, making them the ideal dog breed for active owners.

Lagotto Romagnolo

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Lagotto Romagnolo

The Lagotto Romagnolo breed has a thick, curly, Poodle-like coat that requires trimming and regular brushing to avoid matting. Their rough, waterproof coat forms thick, tight curls all over the body.

They also have a double coat of hair (not fur), which may occasionally come off in little tufts. However, they do not shed a lot and are relatively hypoallergenic.

This breed is energetic and thrives on plenty of activity. They are also affectionate and loyal to their owners. Since they are pretty intelligent, they can be easily trained to perform complex commands.

Maltese

This small dog breed has long, silky hair that requires regular maintenance. Their coat needs to be brushed daily to avoid mats and tangles. They also need regular baths and deep conditioning to maintain their glorious mane.

The Maltese is playful and energetic but does not require vigorous exercise to stay healthy. It can adapt well to apartment living and will thrive on daily walks and indoor play. It is also gentle, affectionate, and loyal and bonds closely with its owners.

Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Peruvian Inca Orchid

The Peruvian Inca Orchid breed comes in both hairless and coated varieties. The hairless type is a good option for people with allergies. The breed comes in small, medium, and large sizes and is known for being fiercely loyal and protective of its family.

They are energetic dogs that need regular exercise and have low grooming requirements. It’s important to keep this breed indoors, though, as they require sunscreen when spending time in the sun. Giving your Peruvian Inca Orchid an occasional bath and regular grooming will help maintain its hygiene and appearance.

Poodle

Poodles have three size varieties: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. They are known for being highly intelligent and active, which means they require daily exercise. Poodles are excellent retrievers and love fetching toys, sticks, and balls.

The breed is a good choice for people with allergies since their coat does not shed. That said, their signature hypoallergenic coat requires regular professional grooming. Poodle owners may also keep their pet’s hair shorter to avoid allergens. Otherwise, full-coated Poodles require daily brushing to eliminate allergens and prevent matting.

Affenpinscher

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Affenpinscher

Affectionately called “monkey dogs” and “ape terriers”, this loyal and amusing hypoallergenic toy breed has a dense, harsh coat and comes in several colors. Their coats need regular brushing to prevent matting. However, they require infrequent grooming due to their slow-growing hair.

The Affen’s notoriously human-like temperament is a huge part of its charm, resulting in the breed gaining popularity among animal lovers. They are moderately active dogs that do not need strenuous exercise but will benefit from regular walks and indoor play.

Portuguese Water Dog

The Portuguese Water Dog has a hypoallergenic coat that must be groomed regularly and extensively, as it is quite dense and profuse, ranging from tight and curly to loose, wavy hair. An occasional bath, in addition to regular grooming, will help to keep them clean and looking their best.

The Portie is an athletic and active breed that requires vigorous daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. They are also intelligent and enjoy mental stimulation and obedience training.

Xoloitzcuintli

Best Dog Breeds for Allergies and Asthma - Xoloitzcuintli

The Xoloitzcuintli breed comes in three different sizes: standard, miniature, and toy. Additionally, they also have two different types: hairless and coated.

The hairless variety has smooth skin that works as protection, while the coated variety has a short and flat coat. Their coats are easy to maintain and only need occasional brushing. However, younger dogs may experience acne during adolescence and require special attention.

Xolos are active, enjoy long walks and playtime. Despite being generally calm indoors, young Xolos require ample exercise and structured play to maintain good health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Shed?

Yes, hypoallergenic dogs shed, but not as much as a “non-hypoallergenic” dog. Some breeds, like Poodles and Bichons, rarely shed and produce minimal dander, making them highly sought after.

How To Alleviate Dog Allergies At Home?

Regularly brushing and grooming your pet to minimize their shedding can help alleviate allergies to a great extent.

You should also vacuum frequently and use an air purifier with a HEPA filter. This will help eliminate dander that may have latched onto your dog’s fur and entered your home.

 

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Meet Sheryl, a dedicated pet mom with over 20 years of hands-on experience as a pet mom to various dog breeds, from German Shepherds to Shih Tzus. Join her on her pet-centric journey as she aims to empower pet owners with practical tips and guidance. With her experience and passion for pets, she strives to make a positive impact in the lives of pets and their devoted owners.