Unfortunately, many dog lovers are held back by allergies. However, you don’t have to let itchy, watery eyes or sneezing hold you back from getting the pet of your dreams. Some common breeds of dogs are non-shedding and hypoallergenic so they make a great fit for allergic households.
Pet allergies are a common reason why some households don’t have pets. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Research about 10-20% of the global population has allergies to dogs and cats. People who are allergic to cats or dogs may experience symptoms such as sneezing, a stuffy nose, red or itchy eyes, hives, or coughing.
When thinking of allergens, it is commonly believed that dog hair is the biggest trigger for allergic reactions. However, the reaction is actually caused by pet dander. Dander is the flecks of skin shed by dogs and other animals that attaches to pet hair.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies. For this reason, certain non-shedding dogs are a popular pet among allergic households. When finding a dog that won’t cause an allergic reaction, it’s important to look for one with a hypoallergenic coat that produces less dander. Dogs that have non-shedding coats or are hairless tend to do well in allergic households.
11 Popular hypoallergenic or non-shedding dogs
1. Afghan Hound
Afghan Hounds are known for their thick, silky coats and elegant stature. Though they are known for their fur, the Afghan breed sheds infrequently and is a surprisingly hypoallergenic dog. Their athletic hound build makes them great hunting dogs and they are known to be loyal and independent.
2. American Hairless Terrier
American Hairless Terriers come in both hairless and coated varieties. This smart, inquisitive dog is playful and a good choice for allergy sufferers. Because they don’t have hair, sunburn can be a concern.
3. Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a playful and peppy small dog breed. Their thick, white coats are soft and do not shed. Bichons are friendly and make great family dogs, especially with children.
4. Chinese Crested
Known for their spiky “crested” mane, the Chinese Crested is an affectionate toy breed that doesn’t shed, making them great for dog owners with allergies. They have a fun personality and can either be hairless or coated.
While not technically a breed, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are hypoallergenic and friendly dogs and have risen in popularity in recent years. Because they are mixed with poodles, Goldendoodles and Labradoodles are non-shedding and are good for people with allergies.
6. Irish Water Spaniel
The Irish Water Spaniel is a medium to large breed with a long, curly coat that doesn’t shed. One of the best swimmers of all the dog breeds, the Irish Water Spaniel is brave and hardworking but playful and affectionate with people.
The Maltese is a gentle and charming dog in the toy group. They have long, floor-length coats that are surprisingly hypoallergenic and their agile nature makes them popular in dog shows. Maltese dogs are non-shedding and have a long lifespan.
One of the smartest dog breeds, Poodles have fluffy coats and can come in three size varieties: standard, miniature, and toy. Poodles are hypoallergenic, active, and intelligent dogs that are easily trained and don’t shed.
9. Portuguese Water Dog
The Portuguese Water Dog is a medium-sized dog with a hypoallergenic coat of tight, low-shedding curls. A working dog, the Portuguese Water Dog used to serve as a helper on fishing docks and boats, retrieving things from the water and helping herd fish into nets. They are easy to train and intelligent, making them great family dogs.
Schnauzers are a smart and spirited breed of farm dog hailing from Germany. Due to their smart and fearless nature Schnauzers make great watchdogs and are protective and playful with children. Their wiry, tight-fitting coats are non-shedding and hypoallergenic.
11. Yorkshire Terrier
Yorkshire Terriers, known affectionately as “Yorkies,” are a toy-sized breed with floor-length, silky coats. Their coats are more like human hair than animal fur and do not shed and are hypoallergenic. Yorkies are a compact dog with an affectionate and feisty temperament. Before they became lap dogs Yorkshire Terriers worked as ratters in mines and mills.
Choosing a hypoallergenic dog
Finding a hypoallergenic, non-shedding dog is a great way for allergic households to still have a pet. There are many other breeds beyond this common list of non-shedding dogs, so do some research on the different types of dogs to find what is right for you.
It is important to note that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. Some people are only sensitive to dander while others with more severe allergies can react to allergens found in the saliva, urine, and feces of dogs as well. There are many breeds of dogs that are suitable for owners with asthma and allergies, but it is best to speak with a medical advisor before adopting a dog.