Allergic to Dogs and Allergies in Dogs Resource

Types of Allergy Friendly Dogs


If you have followed the previous articles related to allergy friendly dogs on this site, you should be acutely aware of the importance of doing your homework before buying a puppy or dog. This article considers the types or breeds of allergy friendly dogs in general terms, whereas subsequent articles will look at specific examples based on various attributes e.g. smaller sized, larger sized, hairless breeds etc.

Factors such as your lifestyle, whether you have a family with young children and your accommodation should be considered before buying an allergy friendly dog as these will impact the decision making process significantly. Therefore, when researching dog breeds, you should keep in mind not only whether they exhibit allergy friendly characteristics, but also find out what environment they prefer to live in, how safe they are around children and how much care, companionship and maintenance they require.

The breed of dog that appeals most should be arrived at through a careful process of elimination. Your will need to have weighed up the pros and cons of the various breeds and make an informed decision rather than pick one randomly. For example, many allergy friendly dogs are small or medium sized breeds and these may have a more ‘attention-seeking’ nature than larger breeds. Also, if you already own a dog, you will want to buy a breed that is compatible and will get along with it.

When you narrow down the choices and settle on one or two possible breeds, you will then be in a strong position to begin the process of sourcing a potential dog from a breeder or sanctuary. Before parting with your money, you need to appreciate the responsibility you are about to take on and have a good idea of how to look after the dog correctly, how to train and discipline it, and the best way to show your new pet affection. The ideal outcome is to have found a dog that meets your expectations, suits your lifestyle and is something you enjoy spending time with.

Types of Allergy Friendly Dogs - Pros and Cons

Grooming and brushing is a necessity with regard to allergy friendly dogs because less shedding is associated with its continued hair growth. This can lead to various problems including matting and tangled hair, skin rashes, eye infections and other issues related to poor hygiene. Brushing your dog daily and having it groomed every few months has both cosmetic benefits i.e. the dog’s appearance will be optimal, and health advantages to both the owner and dog i.e. it will reduce the build-up of allergens and reduce the risk of skin irritations for the dog. However, although research has shown frequent bathing of dogs reduces allergen accumulation, some dogs will experience dry or flaky skin as a result. If special shampoos that help prevent this problem do not work, lotions are available to help keep the skin hydrated and healthy. Unfortunately, such a regime may not suit all dogs, so you will need to find a bathing frequency that works for the dog in question. At the very least, aim to bathe dogs monthly for cleanliness and hygiene reasons as well as helping to reduce the build-up of allergens on the dog and around the home.

Allergy friendly dogs will generally live between ten to fifteen years, although depending on the breed in question, the range may be as much as from eight to eighteen years of age. Even though health issues can be a problem for many smaller breeds as they age, they can still make great pets for people who are at home a lot, the elderly and those who do not have very young children. Furthermore, allergy attacks triggered by such dogs tend to be less of a problem simply because their physical size limits the amount of dander produced and hinders their ability to climb onto beds and other furniture unassisted.

Although there are a variety of allergy friendly breeds to cater for the majority of people’s tastes, it’s possible that such breeds may not be to everyone’s liking as they do tend to be on the smaller side. Some dog allergy sufferers with mild symptoms opt to take allergy medication and have allergy vaccinations on a regular basis in order to have the exact breed of dog they require – especially if it’s a large, non-allergy friendly breed. However, from both a health perspective and one of straightforward inconvenience, such a course of action is not to be recommended.

Fortunately, if you are looking for an allergy friendly dog, you will have many breeds to choose from. These range in size from the small, for example the Bichon Frise, to larger dogs such as a Greyhound. While these dogs are called allergy friendly, it is important to note that this does not rule out entirely the possibility of experiencing some form of allergy response. In reality, almost any animal, (especially those with fur or hair) has the potential to trigger an allergic response in those predisposed to having them. Therefore, unless you wish to own a scaly skinned creature e.g. a snake, then it’s a question of risk assessment. For the vast majority of dog allergy sufferers who exhibit mild symptoms, choosing an allergy friendly dog represents a viable option because the severity and frequency may be better than with owning a non-allergy friendly dog. However, for those individuals with moderate or more severe dog allergy symptoms, it may not be possible to own any breed of dog. Severe allergic reactions or anaphylaxis can be life threatening, and people who are known to be at risk, must be monitored and treated by a qualified medical practitioner.

Finally, it should be noted that there are differences in opinion as to whether certain breeds should be included as being allergy friendly candidates. The American Kennel Club® ( for example, includes the following:

Bedlington Terrier
Bichon Frise
Chinese Crested
Irish Water Spaniel
Kerry Blue Terrier
Poodles (Toy, Miniature, Medium or Standard)
Portuguese Water Dog
Schnauzer (Miniature, Standard or Giant)
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Xoloitzcuintli (Toy, Miniature or Standard)

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