Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

The term “hypoallergenic” is often used in reference to dogs that are less likely to cause allergic reactions. In the dog world, the general consensus is that these are some ways in which you can determine whether a dog would be hypoallergenic or not. While this list is not exhaustive, it is of a lot of help while determining the perfect breed for your health.

How do I know whether or not a dog is hypoallergenic?

Dog breeds that shed less are more likely to be hypoallergenic, since the dog’s dander and saliva stick to the hair and are not released into the environment. However, protein expression levels play a major role and amount of shedding alone does not determine degree of allergic reaction. “Even if you get a hairless dog, it’s still going to produce the allergen,” says Dr. Wanda Phipatanakul, chair of the Indoor Allergen Committee for the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology in the newsmagazine U.S. News & World Report.  “How hypoallergenic a particular dog is for a particular person may vary with the individual dog and the individual person.” If a person is allergic, they may be best able to tolerate a specific dog, possibly of one of the hypoallergenic breeds. Dr. Thomas A. Platts-Mills, head of the Asthma and Allergic Disease Center at the University of Virginia, explained that there are cases in which a specific dog (not breed) might be better tolerated by a specific person, for unknown reasons. “We think there really are differences in protein production between dogs that may help one patient and not another,” Dr. Platts-Mills said.

All dogs shed, and all dogs produce dander and saliva in some degree. As noted above, the amount of the allergenic protein present on the dander and in saliva varies by breed. Also, the amount of the allergen can be reduced or eliminated in individual dogs by treatments such as bathing. But for most breeds, when not regularly bathed, even a dog that sheds very little or has little dander can trigger a reaction in a sensitive person.

Size may be a factor in determining the most suitable hypoallergenic dog breeds. It is possible that the total body surface area of the dog is more indicative of reduced production of allergens than its breed. Smaller dogs will also leave fewer environmental pollutants containing dog dander and dog allergens (reduced fecal matter, urine and saliva). Small hairless dogs may be less likely to cause allergic reactions “because it’s so easy to bathe them and the dander falls off them. Dogs may leave behind urine, saliva and fecal matter as allergen sources. Dogs with access to the outdoors may introduce outdoor allergens such as mold and pollen with larger animals tracking in more of these allergens. It is well established that most individuals with dog allergy also suffer with additional environmental allergies. Individuals with dog allergy may also be at increased risk for human protein hypersensitivity with cross-reactivity of dog dander allergen and human seminal fluid.

Which are the best hypoallergenic dog breeds?

While no dog has officially won the “hypoallergenic dog breed” award of the year (yet), here is a list of some dogs that tend to be better fighters of allergens and related health problems.  Again, no dog is “really” hypoallergenic. In reality, some are just less likely to cause allergic reactions.  Here are the top ten hypoallergenic dog breeds:


 Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

The Samoyed is a sneezing owner’s dream come true. This breed does shed, but you’ll find no doggie odor or dander, making these dogs the perfect option for people with allergies. They’re known for being laid back, gentle and “smiley,” so they’re great around kids.


  1. Penny says

    Please, please, please! The Samoyed is NOT hypoallergenic – it really isn’t. This incorrect information has the potential to cause heartbreak to families and uncertain futures for samoyed puppies. We want our babies to have happy lives with their families – not to end up in rescue or worse because the puppy or grown dog aggravates a family member’s allergies. Do hope you will consider removing the Sammie from your list. Thank you.

    • Ceej says

      I am severely allergic to dogs and cats. If I am around them (ex. German shepherds, Chihuahuas, Huskies, and even the Bichon frises) for more than 5-10 minutes I begin wheezing, coughing and experience trouble breathing and hives. With that said, in my school we have a PT program which uses dogs to help patients regain mobility. The dog of choice is the Samoyed. The Samoyed owner was in my class and sat near me with this dog and I was scared to death but did not develop a reaction. I sat near him for 3 hours and even petted him. It was amazing since I’ve only been able to do this with Schnauzers. I think the article makes it clear that some may develop a reaction while others may not and in this case the Samoyed was great for me. I’ve now added the Samoyed to my list of potential pets.

  2. ChiChiMom says

    Why isn’t the Chihuahua mentioned? 30 yrs ago when I suddenly became very ill and diagnosed with cronic servere asthma I was forced to give up my cats, birds, and ordered to stay away from other animals. Eventially he told me I could have a poodle or chichi. I grimmished at the thought of either. But he was right, and who knew? 30 yrs, 12 chi chis, improved my life in many ways including having my life saved from a bear ( we live in Alaska) by my very smart 8 lb best friend.


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