If you love dogs but suffer from allergies, here are our top 10 small hypoallergenic dogs that are considered the best match for mild allergy sufferers.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as three in 10 people with allergies in the United States have pet allergies.
So, for those who live with pet allergies, is it actually possible to get a dog that is hypoallergenic? Keep reading to find out the answer!
What Causes Allergies in Humans from Dogs?
It’s not a matter of short hair or long hair either, because your dog’s fur isn’t what’s carrying the allergens that irritate you. The source of allergic reactions comes through dander – dried, dead flakes of your pet’s skin.
But it’s not the dander itself that causes the allergic response. It’s most often due to a protein that’s present in the saliva and urine of dogs.
This protein sticks to pet dander, so when fur is shed, so is dander, which then spreads in your house, and later reacts with your body as you breathe it in or come into contact with it.
What Exactly Is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
The term hypoallergenic is used to refer to breeds that are less likely to stimulate allergies in people. But it’s important to establish that no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic or allergen-free. The American Kennel Club (AKC) also says that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic.
Therefore, even if you have a hypoallergenic breed, this doesn’t guarantee that the dog won’t cause an allergic reaction for someone in your household who has allergies.
But don’t get bummed out if you’re a dog lover with pet allergies. Of course, hypoallergenic dog breeds are much more unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in comparison to other breeds.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds are considered as such because they have more predictable, non-shedding coats that produce less dander. Therefore, you won’t be a sniffling, sneezing, runny eyed mess on a regular basis.
10 Small Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
Now that you have a better understanding of what types of dogs are considered hypoallergenic, let’s talk about some of the best small hypoallergenic dog breeds for allergy sufferers.
1. Miniature Schnauzer
|Average Height||12-14 inches|
|Average Weight||11-20 pounds|
Miniature Schnauzers shed very little, and are considered to be hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people with COPD, allergies or asthma.
They have a short, double coat, with a hard and wiry outer coat and a softer undercoat. The undercoat does shed a little, but the hair gets tangled in its outer coat rather than shedding away the dead or loose hairs from the body.
Since they only shed a tiny bit, Miniature Schnauzer’s are a popular breed for people who have pet allergies, or even those who just don’t want hair all over their house and clothes.
2. Bichon Frise
|Average Height||9.5-11.5 inches|
|Average Weight||12-18 pounds|
The Bichon Frise is one of the most charming little dogs around, with their tightly curled fluffy white coat and large, expressive eyes.
Bichon Frise are among the most hypoallergenic of dog breeds, thanks to the dense, curly coat that does not shed much but catches any hair that is shed.
This characteristic, while wonderful for making this breed hypoallergenic, does have a downside. You will likely find that you need to brush your Bichon Frise at least several times a week.
|Average Height||9-11.5 inches|
|Average Weight||7-10 pounds|
The Affenpinscher is a wiry-haired terrier-like toy dog. Aside from being incredible adorable, these dogs are known for their hypoallergenic properties.
If you look at the American Kennel Club’s list of hypoallergenic dogs, the Affenpinscher tops the list. That’s because the list is arranged alphabetically, but the point still stands.
Its wiry and hypoallergenic fur is considered cleaner than other dogs. Although they are in the hypoallergenic category of dog breeds, Affenpinschers indeed shed a little. While Affenpinschers require little grooming, it is advised that their coats be stripped regularly.
4. Chinese Crested
|Average Height||11-13 inches|
|Average Weight||8-12 pounds|
Although its called a Chinese Crested dog, this breed is not actually from China. Contrary to what their name represents, it is considered that the Chinese Crested dogs are related to the hairless dog breeds of Mexico.
This elegant toy dog craves human companionship. It comes in two varieties: Hairless (with hair on its head, tail and feet) and Powderpuff (with hair all over).
Allergy sufferers can’t go wrong with the Chinese Crested. The Hairless Chinese Crested has little hair on his body, so there’s little dander or shedding. The Powderpuff variety of this breed has a full coat of soft hair that won’t have you reaching for the tissues.
5. Coton de Tulear
|Average Height||9-11 inches|
|Average Weight||9-13 pounds|
If you’re looking for the perfect family hypoallergenic dog, the Coton de Tulear might be just the breed for you. It is a sweet-natured, loving bread that easily fits into any family’s lifestyle and routine.
The Coton de Tulear is something of an allergy angel. Its fluffy white coat, although appearing quite dense, is remarkably fine, with a texture more reminiscent of the hair on your body than typical canine fur.
Combined with its non-shedding and low-dander count – that makes it highly hypoallergenic.
6. Lhasa Apso
|Average Height||10-11 inches|
|Average Weight||12-18 pounds|
Lhasa Apso is an adorable dog with a long, straight coat that comes in a wide variety of colors. This hardy, small dog breed originated in the Tibet mountains.
Lhasa Apso are as hypoallergenic as any of the breeds of dog with hair that continuously grows rather than fur that sheds often.
The breed tends to have lower dander levels overall, along with fewer reactions to their saliva. One key to keeping dander levels down is frequent grooming and bathing.
If you want a dog who is big enough to be athletic and independent but want to reduce the dander as much as possible, this breed is a great choice.
|Average Height||7-9 inches|
|Average Weight||under 7 pounds|
This is a sprightly, vigorous dog who excels not only as a companion but also as a therapy dog. Above all, they love to be with their people.
Malteses are considered hypoallergenic and this is thanks to their Poodle gene. This gene gives them a tight, curly coat that produces very little dander. In turn, there’s a dramatically reduced risk of your allergies acting up.
The toy size may also contribute to a lower amount of shed dander. They also shed very little, which further reduces the odds of them causing an allergy flare-up.
The long silky hair does require grooming, though, so take that into consideration.
8. Yorkshire Terrier
|Average Height||7-8 inches|
|Average Weight||7 pounds|
Yorkshire Terriers, also commonly called Yorkies, are often regarded as one of the most beloved dogs around. They’re adorable, fun to be around, and very loyal to their families.
On average, a Yorkie will weigh about 7 pounds. The size of a dog directly correlates to allergen exposure. The bigger the dog breed, the more allergy-causing proteins produced and released.
Moreover, Yorkshire Terrier hair is not like that of your typical canine. They have fine, human-like hair instead of fur.
Additionally, Yorkshire Terriers don’t grow undercoats and overcoats like many other dog breeds. That means Yorkies don’t shed seasonally, so they produce far fewer allergens than most dog breeds.
9. Toy Poodle
|Average Height||8-10 inches|
|Average Weight||4-6 pounds|
Toy Poodles are tiny dogs with lots of personality. Poodles make great pets since they are intelligent, goofy, and hypoallergenic.
Toy Poodles shed but way less compared to other dog breeds, because they have hair, instead of furs. Moreover, they have a tightly-curled coat that traps the dander, dead hair, and saliva coming from the body of the Toy Poodle.
If a Toy Poodle isn’t groomed often enough, their hair will continue to grow and grow. Even if you don’t go in for elaborate grooming styles, the Poodle’s naturally curly fur requires near-constant brushing, clipping and trimming to maintain.
A side effect of regular grooming is that regular grooming eliminates the dander and dead hair that is trapped in the Toy Poodles coat.
Keep in mind that if you neglect your Poodle’s coat, you could wind up at the veterinarian paying top dollar to treat painful skin infections.
10. Shih Tzu
|Average Height||9-10.5 inches|
|Average Weight||9-16 pounds|
When meeting a Shih Tzu for the first time, it is so easy to fall in love with their adorable looks and playful antics. Luckily, this breed does not drool or shed often, and has low dander.
The Shih Tzu is among the few breeds whose coat is made up of hair (like people) instead of fur, but they will shed their hair daily, just as people do. However because Shih Tzus have a double coat, it is common for hairs that shed to get stuck in the second layer of the coat instead of falling on the carpet or furniture.
These factors make the Shih Tzu a great option for those who suffer from dog allergies.
Owning a dog is a wonderful thing. Deciding on the right dog breed for you is hard enough. If you have allergies, the decision is even harder.
These small hypoallergenic dogs are becoming a super popular choice for people who suffer from pet allergies, finally making the dream of having a canine companion a reality! Smaller dogs shed less dander because they have less skin and less fur.
If you have pet allergies and still want to get a dog, it’s not a bad idea to talk to your doctor or an allergist to figure out how you can live in harmony with man’s best friend.