What dogs are good, and bad, for a person with dog allergies

Pet allergies Learn which dog breeds are the best and worst for dog allergic people.


When it comes to dog allergies, the breeds are not all the same.

Some dogs do not provoke an allergic response in most people with dog allergies, while others cause more extreme reactions.

The best way to prevent an allergic reaction for a dog-allergic person is to not have a dog. However, for those people who choose to have dogs anyway, it is possible to minimize the reactions.

dog allergies

About Dog Allergies

When someone is allergic to a dog, the actual reaction is to the dog’s saliva. Since a dog licks its skin and fur in order to groom, it spreads the saliva all over its body. Once the antigens in the saliva dry, they can easily become airborne and spread quickly. In addition, fur sheds and skins cells (dander) flake off distributing the allergens throughout the house.

Sometimes people think they are allergic to dogs when they really are not. Often they have had an allergic reaction to some other thing when they were exposed to a dog. The only definitive way to diagnose an allergy is to have a skin-prick test administered by a medical professional.

While the best way to handle a dog allergy is to avoid dogs entirely, measures like washing a dog frequently, running air purifiers and keeping the dog out of bedrooms will help reduce the allergens in the environment. In addition, hard flooring holds fewer allergens than carpeting and blinds are easier to keep clean than draperies.

Low Allergy Dogs

While no dogs are completely non-allergenic, some breeds are more suitable for people with mild allergies who still want to live with dogs. The hairless breeds are the least likely to cause problems for allergy sufferers since they do not shed; they still lose skin cells, but they are easy to bathe regularly. Hairless breeds include the American Hairless Terrier, the Chinese Crested, the Mexican Hairless and the Peruvian Hairless.

Wire-haired dogs such as Yorkshire Terriers, Kerry Blue Terriers, Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers and Bedlington Terriers are low-shedding and low dander. Poodles and Bichon Frise are also known for low dander production and successfully cohabit with many allergic people. Some other breeds believed to be less allergy producing are the Basenji, Havanese, Irish Water Spaniel, Italian Greyhound, Lagotto Romagnola, Low-Chen, Maltese, Schnauzers, Shichon, Shih-Tzu and Portuguese Water dogs.

Poodles, Terriers, Shichon, and Bichon Frise are all known for being not only allergy-friendly but social pets who are good companions. Generally gentle and good with children, they are all ideal dogs for many people.

High Allergy Dogs

Allergic dog owners should make a point to avoid some breeds known for their high dander production. These dogs shed a large amount of skin, spreading additional allergens throughout the environment. The list of high dander dogs includes Cocker and Springer Spaniels, Irish Setters, Bassett Hounds, German Shepherds, Afghan Hounds, Doberman Pinschers, and Dachshunds.

Due to their size, large dogs shed more hair and more dander. So the larger the dog, the more allergens there will be in the environment. Hair length also has an impact since long fur holds more saliva than a short piece of fur does.