How Are Unicorns And Hypoallergenic Dogs Alike?

Answer: Neither One is Real

by: Alex Thom
Do hypoallergenic dogs exist?

"My child is very allergic to dogs, which breeds are hypoallergenic?"
"My dog has hair, not fur, so he's hypoallergenic."
"This dog doesn't shed, it's hypoallergenic."


There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog.


Any breeder who indicates that their animals are hypoallergenic is flat out lying to you, and any dog ownerwho thinks they own one is, unfortunately, misinformed. Although some breeds may affect some people less, the fact is that fur is not the cause of allergies. The proteins in the animal's saliva or urine are actually the culprit. When the dog sheds skin (dander), or fur, those proteins are stuck to the fur or dead skin, and that's what causes the allergic reactions. And as you probably know, every dog has saliva, and they all pee.

Although the internet (and people) love to promote these miraculous hypoallergenic pups as reasonable options for those with allergies, it's very important to do your research to see if a breed can be tolerated if you have a family member with allergies. As mentioned, some breeds seem to affect certain people less, so not all hope is lost if you have your heart set on adding a canine friend to your family. 

Here are a few tips:

 Dogs with hair (not fur) don't shed, so they release less dander into the air.

 Smaller dog = less dander, therefore less potential reaction.

 People don't build tolerances, so if allergies exist when you bring a pet home, it's probably not going to improve, and may actually get far worse, since the allergens are in such close proximity. (Although sometimes kids outgrow pet allergies, but who wants to bet on that when bringing a sweet dog home?)

 Keep the dog out of bedrooms.

  Use a HEPA filter vacuum and air cleaner.

 Bathe the dog weekly to remove loose dander.

My family has a small Yorkshire Terrier-Maltese cross dog, and my extremely allergic husband tolerates her very well. But he'll have a major asthma attack around many other breeds, so it took us awhile to find one he could live with. Before bringing a sweet animal into your life that may have to be re-homed due to allergies, or that will cause a family member to suffer, do your homework. Visit shelters or breeders to see if the dog can be tolerated, and don't fall for the lies some dishonest breeders will tell you about any hypoallergenic breeds.

Want to help debunk more allergy myths? Read here!