Dogs are magical and perfect creatures that can make everyone’s lives just a little bit brighter… unless you’re allergic to them, in which case, everything is pretty much terrible. OK, that might be an exaggeration, but being allergic to dogs and owning one can still be quite difficult. Sure, getting to cuddle a cute puppy is kind of worth the sniffles and the dry throat, but it would still be more ideal to, you know, not feel terrible the minute a doggo comes your way. Luckily, there is hope for even those with really bad symptoms: There are some dog breeds that are best for people with allergies, so that everyone can enjoy these pets.
For starters, there’s
no such thing as a fully hypoallergenic dog. That’s because “a large part of allergies to pets is dander, which comes from the skin,” according to Dr. Stephanie Austin, DVM, and medical director and veterinarian of Bond Vet. “Even if adopting a hairless or low-shedding pet, the animal will always have skin, so there’s always a possibility of allergies. That said, less shedding could potentially mean less bothersome allergy symptoms in some individuals.” Shedding is, after all, the major problem — when the pet dander is released into the air, it triggers allergy symptoms. Less shedding means less dander in the air.
It’s important to remember, though, that even if you get one of the
best dogs for allergies listed below, you could still experience some allergy symptoms, so you should speak with a doctor if you’re worried about that. You’ll find that some dogs affect you differently than others, so experimenting and doing a lot of research should be part of the process when searching for a furry friend.
The dogs below are known for not releasing as much dander into the air, and that’s a good thing. Check out the
best dogs for people with allergies:
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Dogs that are better for people with allergies can still be super fluffy, and the
Bichon Frise is proof of that. These adorable dogs are gentle, happy, and playful. But most importantly, they have a white hypoallergenic coat that continually grows and doesn’t shed, so they’re great for people with allergies. They are also still soft and velvety. A Bichon Frise is also very adaptive, and gets along well with children and other pets.
schnauzers — mini, standard, and giant — are great for people with allergies because they naturally produce less dander than other dogs. They don’t shed or drool as much as some other dogs do either. On top of that, schnauzers have plenty of energy, and they’re super smart, devoted, affectionate, and spunky, making them a fun dog to play with. They are easy to train and they make great family dogs.
Labradoodles are so wonderfully fluffy that they can come across as a terrible nightmare for someone with allergies. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Thanks to their curly hair that is more similar to wool than fur, labradoodles don’t pick up as many allergens when outside as other breeds do, so they can be great for people with allergies. And look at them! They’re perfect! Still, these aren’t always considered hypoallergenic dogs, so be sure to really look into them before getting one.
Also usually known as
Yorkies, these cute little dogs are great for allergies since they don’t shed or have a lot of dander. In fact, Yorkies don’t have fur, they have actual hair, which is another reason they’re great for anyone with allergies. But the only thing is that, because of that hair, Yorkies require a lot of grooming. Their hair needs to be brushed nearly every day to avoid tangles and knots, and they also need to be shampooed quite regularly.
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Shih Tzus have more of a hair-like coat than fur, so they are considered a hypoallergenic dog. But, also like Yorkies, they do require some pretty heaving grooming to keep their hair neat and clean. Shih tzus don’t shed as much as other dogs, and grooming them regularly can reduce the amount of dander that they produce. They’re also super affectionate and easygoing, and they’re tiny and adorable. What’s not to love?
Poodles, like labradoodles, are super fluffy like a stuffed animal, but they’re still hypoallergenic. Their unique coats are wool-like and non-shedding, so they have less dander than other dogs. They also have a great personality that have made them very beloved. They are smart, easily trained, they get along with other dogs and kids, and they’re just fun to be around. This is another dog breed that requires a lot of grooming, but it could be worth it.
One of the best things you can do if you have allergies is to find a dog with little to no hair — like an
Italian greyhound. These guys have a thin coat and barely shed. They also don’t drool very much, which is another plus for anyone with allergies. Aside from that, greyhounds are incredibly loving and loyal, and they love to play. They’re low-maintenance, so if you want a dog that’s good with allergies but doesn’t require a lot of grooming, this is the dog for you. Another thing to note? They’re sensitive to cold weather, so if you live somewhere that is usually chilly, they might not be the best idea.
These adorable puppies don’t shed and have very little dander, which is great for someone with allergies. They have even
been described as very “cat-like” when it comes to their grooming habits. Another bonus? They don’t bark! This cuts down on drooling and slobbering that could cause allergies. They do make an odd yodeling noise and can be hard to train since they’re stubborn, but they are also very lovable.
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Look at this fluffy doggo! This breed might seem like a nightmare for someone with allergies, but actually, they don’t have an odor or dander. While
samoyeds do shed a lot, their unique coat means that it’s not going to bother you. They have such a thick coat that it prevents the dead skin (which usually causes allergic reactions) from becoming airborne. It’s worth pointing out though that the hair that sheds could have dander attached to it from other allergens like pollen and saliva. Samoyeds are also super happy and gentle, and thanks to their thick coat, they love cold weather.
Thanks to its small size and its coat, these little dogs don’t shed that much. And even if they do, no need to fret because a
Maltese’s white hair is hypoallergenic, and it’s composed of a single layer with no undercoat. It grows straight, without curl or kink. They also have very low dander, which is another reason why they’re so popular among people with allergies. Lively, energetic, and affectionate, they are also just extremely cute and tiny, and they love to cuddle.
Like other terriers, these dogs have wooly hair that doesn’t shed very often, making them great for people with allergies. They do not
shed quite as often as some other dogs, which could produce less dander that some people might be allergic too. They also don’t drool very much, which could be another contributing factor for people with allergies. Airedale Terriers are also smart, loyal, and have a sweet temperament.
Yes, these dogs look like lambs, and yes, it is amazing. Like the other member of their family, the Airedale Terriers,
Bedlington Terriers have a wool-like coat that is often better for people with allergies — it almost resembles the coat of a sheep rather than a dog. The tight curl to their coat means that they almost never shed, or if they do, it’s a very low amount.
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Cairn terriers are great for people with allergies because, again, they shed minimally and may produce less dander. But there is definitely one important thing to keep in mind if you’re thinking of getting one: They only shed very little if they are being properly and regularly groomed. So if you don’t have time to do that, then this little guy might not be the best option.
Havanese dogs look like they have a ton of hair (and they kind of do!), which might make you assume they probably aren’t great for people with allergies. But that’s not true! These dogs actually have a silky coat of hair that works in our favor.
Havanese dogs don’t shed or drool much, and they produce less dander than other dogs who might trigger allergic reactions. However, it’s worth pointing out that they do need to be regularly groomed.
Want a super fluffy dog who may not give you allergies? Try the
Lagotto Romagnolo, an Italian bread often known as simply “Lagotto.” They are happy, affectionate, and lovable, and they’re also great for people with allergies. Their soft, curly, almost wool-like fur sheds minimally and doesn’t produce as much dander — it’s kind of similar to a poodle.
Irish Water Spaniel
Irish Water Spaniels have a pretty unique look to them. Their tightly curled coat, mop head, and naked tail definitely stand out and make them look really different. Another good thing about this unique coat? It doesn’t shed often, and causes this type of dog to often be known as a more hypoallergenic option. Oh, and another cool fact to note? Their coats are water-repellant.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
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Like many other terriers, the
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier is often thought of as a good dog option for someone with allergies. They need to be groomed often, but if they are, they won’t shed much at all, making them ideal for anyone with allergies. Their coat is also more like hair than fur, and they tend to bark a little less than other terriers, meaning they don’t drool as much or produce as much slobber as some other dogs.
Chinese Crested Dog
Chinese Crested Dogs are hilariously adorable. Their puffs of white hair along with a mostly hairless body make them stand out in any crowd, and it’s also the same thing that can make them a good pet option for someone with allergies. They don’t shed often (because they are mostly hairless!), and they don’t even have much of a body odor. They do need to be bathed quite often to keep themselves from getting too dry.
Kerry Blue Terriers
Like most of the other terriers on this list, the
Kerry Blue Terrier has a wool-like, tightly curled coat that just doesn’t shed often. They end up shedding about once every few weeks rather than a few times a day, which could be a good thing for someone with allergies. These dogs are super smart and full of energy, and they need consistent socializing.
Not only is the Affenpinscher a relatively easy dog to handle, it is “low-shedding, dander-retaining, and with little slobbering or drooling, so it’s an ideal dog for those people who suffer from allergies,” according to
Hypo Allergenic Dog. The Affenpinscher is known to be fearless, which is surprising due to their toy-like size, and incredibly loyal. The Affenpinscher makes for a great family dog that is low-maintenance and good with children.
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You would think with this long of hair, the Komondor would not be allergy friendly. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to know that they are! According to the
Komondor Club of America, “Like poodles, which also can be corded, Komondors are a good breed for those who have allergies to dog hair and dander.” The Komondor is a Hungarian breed with a long and chorded coat. The breed is most known for its work as a flock and sheep dog, and is one of the most recognizable breeds around due to its famous white hair.
Again, another dog with a ton of hair is the Puli. The Puli is another breed of Hungarian herding dogs and, like the Komondor, has a long chorded coat. The Puli can be black, white, brindle, cream, brown, or silver. The breed is much smaller than the Komondor but very similar, so if you are someone looking for a smaller dog but love the look of the Komondor, the Puli could be a great option. The breed also comes with a promising outlook for those who suffer with allergies. The Puli rarely drools nor sheds, making the breed a great option!
The Afghan Hound is famously known for its long, thick, and silky hair. Although the dog looks as though it would be quite particular, the breed, in fact is actually quite laid back. The Afghan Hound does not have a thick undercoat, which prevents shedding. According to
Hypoallergenic Dog, “these pretty pooches hardly shed at all. Although inevitably, there will be some hair loss — it has to be replaced after all — but, it’s remarkably systematic.”
Barbado da Terceira
The Barbado da Terceira is Portuguese and is a guard and herding dog. The breed has a long coat, so it does require plenty of maintenance and care. However, “this is a low-shedding breed which in turn makes it easier for allergic people to tolerate them as well,” according to
Academic Hound. As noted above, this does not always mean the dog is completely hypoallergenic: “Many people are actually allergic to dog saliva, as well as dander, so no dog is completely hypoallergenic,” says Academic Hound.
You can call these little guys “
Xolo” for short, since their full name is a little difficult to pronounce. These Mexican dogs are mainly hairless, although some have a short, flat coat, which is why they’re great for people with allergies — almost no shedding! Most allergies are triggered by shedding, skin cells, or the urine that can collect on hair, so having a hairless dog typically solves these problems. They are also great watchdogs, as they’re super loyal and alert.
Additional reporting by Siena Gagliano.