Dogs are man’s – and woman’s! – best friend— except when you’re allergic. When being around a pup means red eyes, stuffy nose, and shortness of breath, no amount of adorability can make it better. While plenty of people decide that canine affection is worth powering through their symptoms or have mild-enough allergies that a daily pill can counteract them, still too many people have to forgo the love of a dog because of their health.
If you fall into this last camp but dream of owning a dog, there’s another solution you should consider: hypoallergenic breeds! While there’s debate over whether or not a dog can be truly hypoallergenic, there are particular breeds that don’t have the features that trigger allergies — shedding, and dander. A non-shedding breed won’t spread allergens around your home, and most of them are free of the dander that’s the real trigger of pet allergies.
Which breeds fall into this allergy-friendly category? These ones — including one that doesn’t bark!
- Surprised? These little toy-sized pups might have long, silky hair, but they don’t shed or have an undercoat. It’s also becoming more and more common to give your Maltese the “puppy cut,” keeping their hair shorter and even easier to maintain— no sneezing required!
- Bichon Frise
They might be fuzz-balls, but Bichon Frises are still allergy-friendly. They’re also just friendly in general, eager to play and eager to please you— which their lack of shedding is sure to do! Don’t be worried by their small stature; this breed is strong and sturdy, and they’re always up for adventure.
- American Hairless Terrier
Sometimes when you’re worried about hair and dander, it’s best to just forgo the hair altogether! There are lots of hairless breeds out there, but the American Hairless Terrier is particularly good with children and doesn’t require a ton of exercise, making it a great option for city living.
Not only does this breed not shed— it doesn’t bark, either! Instead, this hunting dog will yodel or vocalize, but you won’t have to worry about constant yapping. With its self-grooming coat, super high energy, and independent nature, this dog is perfect for anybody with an active lifestyle.
Both the Giant and the Miniature Schnauzers are hypoallergenic! These active dogs love having jobs to do – especially as a watch dog – and while they do require regular grooming, you can keep their coats short. No matter where you live, these adaptable dogs will be happy.
- Italian Greyhound
This smaller dog also has a super short, nearly nonexistent coat that makes shedding a rare event. Their lack of hair does make them sensitive to cold, but they also do not need a ton of time outdoors to reach their exercise requirements— and they’ll also appreciate all those adorable sweaters we all secretly want to put on our pups!
- Portuguese Water Dog
This sweet dog is adventurous and intelligent, with a coat that can be curly or wavy but is always non-shedding and waterproof. They’re a great option for people who dream of owning a larger dog but thought their allergies would always prevent them!
- Shih Tzus
Another surprising breed! While their hair does require a lot of grooming, that’s because it doesn’t shed away. The small, affectionate dog isn’t always great with children, but it’s a great choice for people without children at home who want a fur baby to spoil.
- Bedlington Terrier
This breed is as gentle as the sheep it resembles. Though it’s larger than many other pocket-sized hypoallergenic breeds, its mild personality makes it a great companion for apartment living.
- Yorkshire Terrier
One of the reasons this adorable breed is so popular and gaining popularity is that it doesn’t shed and doesn’t have dander! Their small size also makes them perfect for apartment-dwellers, but if it makes you nervous, don’t worry— some Yorkies can actually grow to be up to 14 pounds.
You don’t have to know how to pronounce this breed’s name to know it’s a wonderful allergy-friendly option. Similar to Chihuahuas in both origin and coat type – Xoloitzcuintli can be both hairless and short-haired – this dog is much calmer than the other Latin breed, a loyal dog who just wants to look out for you.
- Lagotto Romagnolo
Not many people have heard of this working breed, but they should! The dense, curly coat looks like it would cause sneezing aplenty, but it doesn’t shed at all. Though it does require occasional trimming, this dog is otherwise so easy-going it’s one of the most low-maintenance breeds out there!
Poodles are strong, smart, and shedding-free! While they do require quite a bit of grooming, they’re also easy to train, and since they’re bred in standard, miniature and toy sizes, you can choose how much grooming you’ll do by picking a pup in a size you can manage. PLUS, most dogs cross-bred with poodles – like labradoodles, goldendoodles, cockapoos, etc. – inherit the hypoallergenic coat!
Want to learn more about allergy-friendly dogs and discover more hypoallergenic breeds? Check out this article from SheKnows and this guide from the American Kennel Club. Are you a dog-lover and an allergy-sufferer? Do you or have you ever adopted a hypoallergenic breed?