5 Top Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

No matter how much you adore the notion of sharing your life with a canine companion, the prospect can seem discouraging if you or another family member suffers from allergies. While the symptoms of a pet allergy are nothing to sneeze at, you may not have to veto the idea of dog ownership. Understanding the triggers of allergic reactions to dogs and making the right breed selection can have you and your family members breathing a little easier.

All Dogs Shed Allergens

People who experience bouts of sneezing, wheezing, coughing or itchy, watery eyes when they interact with a dog are not allergic to the pooch’s fur. These allergic reactions are triggered by exposure to proteins that are shed in the dog’s dander, or dead skin cells. These proteins, known as Can f 1 and Can f 2, are also shed in the dog’s saliva and urine, and they adhere to the dog’s hairs as well. All dogs shed these proteins, which is why there is no truly hypoallergenic dog. There are some breeds that shed their hair minimally, however, and this reduction in shed can be the perfect solution for dog lovers who suffer from allergies and still yearn for a furry friend. Consider one of the following top five low allergen canine breeds.

Poodles

The poodle is available in three different sizes. From smallest to largest, the three sizes are known as toy, miniature and standard. Poodles are active and highly intelligent. The poodle coat comes in an extensive variety of color choices. The curly locks grow continuously, forming long cords when the coat is not trimmed regularly.

Schnauzers

If you prefer the characteristic terrier visage, complete with bushy eyebrows and a charming beard, consider a schnauzer. Schnauzers are intelligent, loyal and full of spunk. Like the poodle, there are three different sizes to choose from when selecting a schnauzer. Whether you opt for the miniature, standard or giant schnauzer, the coat requires periodic clipping or stripping.

Portuguese Water Dog

Regardless of political ideology, few dog lovers can deny the charms of Sunny and Bo, the Portuguese water dogs who elevated their breed’s popularity while frolicking on the White House lawn during the Obama administration. This playful breed has an exuberant personality and loves children. The medium-sized dog weighs between 35 and 60 pounds, and the curly coat is available in several different color choices.

Chinese Crested

This lively toy breed is often touted as a hairless dog, but the Chinese crested is available in two variations. The powder puff Chinese crested sports a complete coat of long, silky hair. The hairless Chinese crested has a naked torso with silky hair on the head, tail and lower portions of the limbs. While the hairless Chinese crested offers less hair to groom, special care must be taken to maintain healthy skin. Chinese crested dogs are affectionate, playful and lively.

Bichon Frisé

This energetic, cheerful and playful toy breed thrives on human interaction and gets along well with children. The bichon frisé is a small dog, weighing between 10 and 18 pounds. The bichon frisé’s white, curly coat grows continuously and does not shed. Regular trimming is needed to maintain the breed’s powder puff appearance for which he is recognized.

Other Breeds to Ponder and Some to Avoid

The aforementioned five breeds are among the top popular hypoallergenic breeds. A few other breeds that make ideal companions for allergy suffers include:

Afghan hound
Coton de Tulear
Irish water spaniel
Spanish water dog
Soft coated wheaten terrier
Bedlington terrier
Kerry blue terrier

If you or a loved one in your household suffers from dog allergies, be sure to steer clear of breeds that are noted for skin problems, extensive shedding and excessive drooling. Some such breeds to avoid include:

German shepherd
Labrador retriever
Golden retriever
Basset hound
English springer spaniel
Cocker spaniel
St. Bernard
English bulldog
English mastiff
Boston terrier

Think Twice About Hybrids

A hybrid breed is one that is produced by crossing two specific purebred dog breeds. Hybrids are created to combine the most admirable traits of two breeds into one dog. Many of the popular hybrids were developed by crossing a poodle with a second breed to create more hypoallergenic breeds. For example, crossing the hypoallergenic poodle with the popular Labrador retriever created the Labradoodle. While this may sound like a desirable option, understand that there is no guarantee that the offspring will possess more of the poodle parent’s hypoallergenic coat as opposed to more of the allergenic traits of the Labrador retriever parent.

We Can Work Together

All of the aforementioned hypoallergenic breeds require frequent grooming to prevent their coats from matting and to reduce dander accumulation on their coats. Treat your cherished dog to his or her very own spa treatment in our grooming salon. Our compassionate team will work out a grooming schedule with you that will be tailored to meet your dog’s coat and skin care needs.

Our Recommendations
For general shampooing on a normal coat, we recommend Epi-Pet shampoos along with Epi-Pet coat and skin treatments for moisturizing and restoring the coat as a between bath freshen-up. We do not recommend flea and tick or human shampoos. Flea and tick shampoos are very drying and damaging to the coat and skin and you really only end just up with clean fleas! (a little industry humor) Human shampoos are only Ph balanced for human hair and skin. Baby shampoo is the absolute worst to use on an animal. An animal’s body chemistry is different, that is why we never recommend giving animals any human medications or other products intended for humans. If your dog has a dermatological condition we recommend consulting one of our veterinarians to determine specific condition and treatment options.

In addition to bathing and grooming your dog regularly, you can take a few simple steps at home to reduce allergic reactions. Some of these steps include:

Invest in a HEPA air filter for your home.
Remove carpets from your home.
Launder your pet’s bedding frequently.
Keep your dog out of the allergy sufferer’s bedroom.
Vacuum and dust your home frequently.
Maintain your dog’s healthy skin by giving him or her a fatty acid supplement.

By welcoming a hypoallergenic breed into your home, maintaining a grooming schedule for your dog and taking a few steps toward reducing allergens in your home, your family can savor the joys of canine companionship while keeping those pesky allergy symptoms at bay.

At Central Pet Care, providing our customers with the all the tools needed to be successful pet owners is a priority. That is why we created the New Pet Owner Checklist so that you’re ready to go from day one.

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