So, you want a dog but have an allergy attack whenever you’re around one? You’re not alone! According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, as much as 10% of the population in the U.S. is allergic to dogs. While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, it’s possible to find less-allergenic dog breeds. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat that produces less dander. Dander, which clings to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in people. Even though dogs that are hypoallergenic don’t truly exist, many breeds make it possible to enjoy the companionship of a dog, even if you suffer from allergies.
There are also ways to prepare your home to help keep allergens at bay when you have a dog. Be sure to wash your pet’s bed often, keep up with his grooming, and don’t let him sleep on your bed. It’s also helpful to remove heavy carpets and drapes that can trap dander. Vacuum cleaners for pet hair also help remove allergens, and some can even groom the hair and dander right from your dog.
Best Breeds for Allergy Sufferers
Afghan Hounds are known for being aloof and dignified. They require regular exercise and grooming. They should be bathed and brushed twice a week.
American Hairless Terrier
The American Hairless Terrier is a lively, friendly, and intelligent companion. The breed does well with children and is also good for city dwellers due to their minimal exercise needs — regular walks and indoor playtime will do. They also need regular bathing and nail trimming.
The gentle, loveable Bedlington Terrier is known for its curly, wooly coat that resembles a lamb’s. The breed doesn’t need intense exercise — regular playtime and daily walks will do.
The Bichon Frise is a naturally gentle, happy, playful dog that loves activity. The Bichon’s hair continually grows and doesn’t shed, so regular grooming is important to prevent mats.
The Chinese Crested is an alert, playful dog that thrives on human companionship. They are small and do well in families with gentle children. Cresteds shed little to no hair.
Coton de Tulear
The Coton de Tulear is a small, hardy dog that is happy, eager to please, and loyal. The breed gets along well with other dogs and children. Their long coat requires daily grooming.
The Giant Schnauzer is intelligent and can be territorial, naturally feeling protective of its family. The breed needs a lot of exercise and loves having a job to do. They require regular grooming.
Irish Water Spaniel
This strong, intelligent breed is the clown of the spaniel family. Irish Water Spaniels are active and energetic, needing daily exercise. Their water-repellant double coat requires brushing every few weeks.
Kerry Blue Terrier
The Kerry Blue Terrier is energetic and fun-loving. The breed enjoys being part of an active family that can provide daily exercise. Their coats need regular brushing and trimming.
The Lagotto Romagnolo is a happy dog with tons of energy, needing plenty of activity. They are affectionate and devoted to their owners. Their thick curly coat is similar to that of a Poodle. They require trimming and regular brushing to prevent mats.
Though small, the Maltese is known for being brave, playful, and fearless. They have long, silky white hair that needs to be brushed daily to prevent mats.
The Miniature Schnauzer has a natural protective nature that makes it a great watchdog. The breed is smart and cheerful, and adapts well to different living environments. Their double coat requires clipping.
Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)
The Peruvian Inca Orchid can be hairless or coated — the hairless variety does well with allergy sufferers. They also come in three different sizes small, medium, and large. The breed is loyal and protective of its family. They also have a great deal of energy, needing regular activity. They have minimal grooming needs.
The Poodle comes in three size varieties — Standard, Miniature, and Toy. The breed is exceptionally smart and active, needing daily exercise. Their trademark coat requires regular professional grooming.
Portuguese Water Dog
An athletic breed, the Portuguese Water Dog needs vigorous daily exercise and would do best with a very active family. PWDs are intelligent, loyal workers. Their waterproof coat requires regular maintenance.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
This happy dog is active and needs plenty of exercise daily. The breed adapts well to city, country, or suburban living, and does well with children. They have a silky, soft coat that needs regular grooming to prevent mats.
Spanish Water Dog
The Spanish Water Dog is a lively, hardworking dog with natural protective instincts. They are a high energy breed that does best with an active family. They require little grooming for their curly, wooly coat. No brushing is needed, but at least once a year they should be shaved down.
The Standard Schnauzer is a sociable, affectionate breed that has a fondness for kids. They are athletic dogs that need daily exercise. Their beard and leg hair should be brushed often to prevent mats.
The Xoloitzcuintli comes in three sizes — toy, miniature, and standard. They also come in two varieties — hairless and coated. The hairless has a smooth, tough, protective skin and the coated has a short, flat coat. They’re calm, tranquil, and attentive, and can also be aloof. They have moderate exercise and grooming needs.