Is Any Dog 100% Hypoallergenic? What Experts Say

Hypoallergenic dog breed. That phrase has been thrown around in the circle of dog lovers for far too long.

If you’re interested in having a dog as a pet but struggle with allergies around them, the idea of a dog being unlikely to cause an allergic reaction sounds appealing.

It means you can fulfill your dreams without putting your health at risk.

However, to say that a dog can be 100% hypoallergenic sounds like a stretch to many experts.

The American Kennel Club dispels the idea that a dog can be completely hypoallergenic.

According to the American Kennel Club, “the truth is, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs, dog breeds, or mixed-breeds, but there are many dog breeds that are less allergenic for people with dog allergies.”

This short guide will look deep into the subject matter of hypoallergenic dogs to help allergic dog lovers out there make the right decision.

Everyone deserves to have a pet if they so choose. 

Is Any Dog 100% Hypoallergenic?

Woman Holding a Full Grown Maltese Poodle Mix Dog

Sadly, the American Kennel Club is right on this one. No dog is the perfect example of a hypoallergenic dog breed.

As someone prone to allergies, your ability to cope with a breed depends on two things: 

  • How severe are your allergies?
  • The number of allergens produced by the dog breed

All dogs produce allergens, regardless of the amount. An example of an allergen that’s found in all dogs is dander.

All dogs produce dander, and it is known to trigger allergies. Saliva is another allergen that no dog is void of.

In and of themselves, the saliva and dander aren’t the causes of allergic reactions. Instead, they contain protein particles, which are the true allergens.

According to VCA Hospitals, the dander and saliva are often found on the dog’s skin. This is why high shedding dogs are hazardous to allergic sufferers.

When they shed, the hair goes all over, leaving saliva and dander that the allergic sufferer can get into contact with.

Dogs that drool are also more likely to trigger allergies.

Having said that, some dogs don’t produce as much dander and saliva.

Some of these dogs also hardly shed, which means the allergens remain on them and don’t get to the environment.

These are the dogs we term hypoallergenic. They are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction, thus they are more advisable for allergy sufferers. 

To conclude, let’s use a parody of a popular statement in Orwell’s Animal Farm: No dog is 100% hypoallergenic but some are more hypoallergenic than others.

How Do You Know Which Dog Breed Is Hypoallergenic?

Couple Happy with their Apricot Labradoodle Pup

No dog walks around with a sign on its head that reads “I am unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.”

But some attributes make these hypoallergenic dogs safer for allergy sufferers. They include:

  • Low Shedding: These dogs hardly shed, so you won’t get hair all over the place. 
  • Small Hair: Some hypoallergenic dogs have long fur, but the hair is more in curls and doesn’t fall off easily, even while combing. 
  • Drooling: Hypoallergenic dogs don’t have drooling issues, especially when they are healthy. Most of them don’t emit bad odors too.

Dive Deeper:
20 Curly Haired Dog Breeds That Are Totally Gorgeous

Examples Of Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Close Up Black Poodle Dog Standing on Floor

There are many dogs considered hypoallergenic and highly recommended if you or someone in your family is prone to allergies.

We’ve written our findings on these breeds that you should read, but here’s a list of a few to get you started:

  • Poodle
  • Maltese
  • Affenpinscher
  • Basenji
  • Bichon Frise
  • Chinese crested
  • Giant Schnauzer

Dive Deeper:
15 Best Small Hypoallergenic Dogs That Don’t Shed

Can Hypoallergenic Dogs Still Trigger Allergic Reactions?

Humans are different. Dogs are different too. Whether or not a breed will trigger allergies in you depend on both you and the dog.

While hypoallergenic dogs are less likely to cause allergic reactions, there is no complete certainty.

Someone can be safe with a Poodle but find himself allergic to Maltese. 

Also, the severity of allergies varies from one individual to the other.

Some people are so sensitive that even a little contact with dander can set them off. Others can tolerate a certain extent. 

The danger in choosing a dog breed recommended for allergy surferers is generalizing. Understand how your allergies work and find a dog you can cope with.  

Dive Deeper:
14 Best Large Hypoallergenic Dogs That Don’t Shed

Tips For Allergy Sufferers

Maltese Dog on Bed in Bedroom

Even with a dog that is hypoallergenic, you can’t afford to be careless if you’re prone to allergies.

Here are some tips to make your pet parenting experience free of itching, sneezing, and other frustrating allergic reactions:

  • Spend some time with the breed of your choice to know if you’re safe with it. Only when the pup (or adult dog) passes the test should you bring it home. 
  • Put on disposable gloves when grooming.
  • Do not sleep on the same bed with your dog, and teach it not to jump on you or the couch.
  • If your dog likes to chew, buy some chew toys to stop it from biting into furniture.

Final Thoughts 

Being allergic to dogs is not a death sentence (at least we hope not!).

With a lot of hypoallergenic dogs out there, you can find the best one for you and your family.

They come in different sizes, and many are good for both new and old pet parents.

Once you know how severe your allergies are, you can figure out which breed you’ll be safer with.

You May Also Like:
55 Best Non-Shedding Dogs (Small & Large Breeds)

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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