What are hypoallergenic dogs? One question anyone with dog allergies will want to know all about. 

While you can search the answers on the web, you’ll no doubt come across conflicting information and confusing terminology — and probably be more confused than when you started. 

So, that’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide, to share with you the facts.

Hypoallergenic Dog Meaning

What does it mean when a dog is hypoallergenic? Well, the prefix ‘hypo’ originates from ancient Greek and means ‘under,’ ‘beneath,’ or less than normal. The word hypoallergenic simply means less likely to cause allergies. 

All dogs carry allergens, but hypoallergenic dogs won’t trigger allergies as severely as other breeds. Contrary to popular belief, these breeds aren’t allergy-free, they’re just more allergy-friendly. 

Thanks to hypoallergenic dogs, those with allergies can have a furry friend in their life. 

However, how do you tell which breeds are and which aren’t?

what breeds are hypoallergenic.

What Dogs Are Considered Hypoallergenic?

Now we know what the word hypoallergenic means, it’s time to define what makes a dog hypoallergenic

But first, let’s straighten out one crucial point. 

What Causes Dog Allergies?

A popular misunderstanding is that dog allergies are caused by canine hair and fur. The truth is, the hair isn’t the problem — specific proteins trigger an allergic reaction. Currently, there are seven of these proteins (known as Can Fs). Experts have identified a link between six of them — to dogs’ urine (Can F5), saliva, and dander (Can F1, F2, F3, F4, and F6). 

But how do they end up triggering a reaction? Well, for example: 

  • Saliva — when a dog licks their fur, the protein coats their hair, and when a person pets their pooch, this can lead to an allergic reaction. Plus, being in direct contact with dog drool could also result in allergy symptoms. 
  • Dander — allergies are also caused when a dog sheds their fur and their dander is released into the atmosphere. Heavy-shedding breeds not only lose a lot of fur, but a lot of dead skin cells too. This is why a Labrador isn’t a suitable pet for someone with allergies, but a low-shedding Poodle is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. 
  • Urine — it’s believed the urine allergen is secreted from the male dog’s prostate gland when they pee. You’re at risk from exposure if your pooch has an ‘accident’ in your home, or your dog dribbles on themselves, and you then touch your pooch.  

Something that you may also need to consider is that even if you get a hypoallergenic dog, they could still trigger allergy symptoms — you can react differently to different breeds.

What Type of Dogs Are Hypoallergenic?

The type of dogs deemed hypoallergenic are those that release the least amount of allergens. In that, they:

  • Don’t drool excessively.
  • Have a low-shedding coat. 

And, while a hypoallergenic dog cannot ever be completely allergen free, their risk of causing an allergic reaction is significantly lower than other breeds.

What Are the Best Hypoallergenic Dogs?

To avoid falling in love with a breed that will cause a reaction, people with allergies often want to know what is the most hypoallergenic dog? These canines come in all shapes and sizes and fit all lifestyles. To give you some idea of the best non-allergenic dogs, the following breeds are popular choices for people with allergies: 

Purebred Hypoallergenic Dogs

For the full rundown of allergy-friendly canines, check out our comprehensive hypoallergenic dogs lists for small, medium, and large breeds.

Hybrid Hypoallergenic Dogs

Poodles are the original hypo-mix dog, and they’ve been successfully used to produce a wide range of allergy-friendly cross breeds, such as: 

But, there have also been other successful hypoallergenic mixed breeds, including:

  • Maltese Shih Tzu.
  • Morkie ( Maltese/Yorkshire Terrier).
  • Shorkie (Shih Tzu/Yorkshire Terrier).
what are hypoallergenic dog breeds.

Benefits of Hypoallergenic Dogs

Non-allergenic dog breeds are obviously good pets for allergy sufferers, but they have other benefits too. Here are a few of the reasons why a hypoallergenic dog is a good idea: 

Cleaner Home 

Is there anything worse than a house covered in dog hair? Heavy-shedding dogs like Huskies and Labradors will lose large amounts of fur — it will settle on your floors, furniture, and clothes. If you have a hypoallergenic dog, you won’t need to constantly vacuum up dog hair or try to cleanse the air in your home with an air purifier. Although, if you’re a clean freak, don’t let us stop you. 

No Seasonal Shedding

Many dog breeds shed their coats heavily in the spring and fall months. Canines need to get rid of their old fur to make way for their summer or winter coat. Seasonal shedding can last for several weeks, and during this time, your pooch will shed much more than usual, sometimes losing huge clumps of fur at a time. Hypoallergenic dogs don’t tend to ‘blow their coat’ and often only shed mildly throughout the year. 

Less Doggy Drool 

A dog that drools excessively isn’t hypoallergenic — think St Bernard, Boxer, or Bulldog levels of slobber. So, without stating the obvious, as hypo dogs tend to be low droolers, you’ll have less slobber to contend with.

What Dogs Are Not Hypoallergenic?

There are a huge number of dogs that aren’t hypoallergenic — including breeds like, the: 

Can You Make Your Dog Hypoallergenic?

Have you already brought your dog home and realized they’re the cause of your itchy skin or constant sneezing? If that’s a yes, you’ll no doubt be looking for ways to make your pooch more allergy-friendly. Unfortunately, dogs are either hypoallergenic or not. You can’t stop an Akita or German Shepherd from shedding entirely, just like you can’t teach a dog to talk! 

However, there are steps you can take to try and control your dog’s shedding cycle and keep as much fur out of your home as possible. 

So, if you want to reduce your dog’s shedding, try out these top tips: 

1. Brush Al Fresco

Regular brushing should be a consistent part of your dog’s weekly routine. Brushing is a great opportunity for bonding with your pup, and reduces matting, tangles, and painful knots in their coat. From an allergy perspective, this is crucial — as it helps release dead hair and dander from your dog’s coat in one go. 

By grooming your dog regularly in the yard, the released fur and dander stay outside — instead of settling on your carpets and furniture in your home. 

2. De-shed Their Coat 

There are several grooming tools available that are used to de-shed dogs with thick, double coats. De-shedding combs gently remove fur from a dog’s undercoat swiftly and help manage the natural shedding cycle. 

If you have a dog that blows their coat in preparation for the change of seasons, using a de-shedding brush means you can take control of peak shedding periods. This helps lower the amount of dog hair that will inevitably fall out in big clumps around your home if left to its own devices. 

3. Bath Your Pooch Regularly

Different dog breeds have different bathing schedules, but keeping your dog’s coat clean and healthy is a good way to minimize shedding. 

A decent doggy shampoo every now and then will improve the condition of your dog’s skin. Healthy skin equates to healthier hair follicles, and the stronger the hair, the less shed fur there will be. 

Also, regular bathing will remove dander and dead hairs from your dog’s coat, which in turn, reduces your risk of coming into contact with the allergens. 

4. Feed Your Hound a Healthy Diet 

Looking after your dog’s skin and coat starts from the inside. If your dog is eating highly processed kibble, they’re unlikely to be getting all the nutrition they need. 

A dog’s diet is key to the integrity of their skin, and the health and condition of their coat. When your pooch isn’t getting enough fatty acids, like omega 3 and omega 6, their skin won’t be as hydrated and moisturized as it should be. When dogs have dry skin, they can become more at risk of excessive shedding. 

Make sure your dog is always well hydrated and feed them food rich in protein and adequate levels of fat, vitamins, and minerals. If you aren’t sure what is the best dog food for your particular breed, a vet will be able to advise you. 

There is no way you can turn a shedding dog into a non-shedding dog. However, by following these tips, you can manage your dog’s natural fur fall and potentially reduce the amount they lose.

Dog Allergy Symptoms

If you aren’t sure if you have a dog allergy or not, a doctor can perform a blood test or skin test to find out. A dog allergy test looks for the presence of Immunoglobulin E. Your doctor will also assess your symptoms to correctly diagnose a dog allergy. 

As well as visiting the doctor, you can look out for the following symptoms next time you are in the company of a canine: 

  • Coughing. 
  • Sneezing. 
  • Post nasal drip. 
  • Itchy nose. 
  • Itchy mouth/throat. 
  • Congestion.
  • Red and watery eyes. 
  • Swollen face. 
  • Difficulty breathing (if asthmatic).
  • Itchy skin. 
  • Hives. 

If you notice these symptoms are more severe when you’re around a fluffy Pomeranian than when you’re stroking the silky coat of a hypoallergenic Maltese, dog allergies could be to blame.

what makes a dog hypoallergenic.


The 100% allergy-free dog is a pure myth, but several breeds have a lower likelihood of causing a problem. Living symptom-free with a furry friend is possible — allergy sufferers need a hypoallergenic hound in their life.

If you’ve been wondering what are hypoallergenic dogs? — this article has hopefully provided you with all of the answers. While there are no guarantees, you stand a better chance of controlling your allergies with these breeds, than others.

Hypoallergenic Dogs FAQs

What Do You Mean by Hypoallergenic Dogs?

There is no such thing as a completely allergy-free dog. However, several breeds — classed as hypoallergenic — possess qualities that limit the chances of triggering an allergic reaction. 

What Breed of Dog Causes Most Allergies?

Dogs that shed a lot of fur are often the worst dogs for people with allergies. Dog saliva can also trigger allergic reactions, so drooly pooches aren’t good canine companions for allergy sufferers either. Pugs, Bull Dogs, Huskies, Labradors, and Dobermans are a few of the worst dog breeds for people with allergies. 

What To Do if You Are Allergic to Your Dog?

If you have dog allergies, living with your pooch can be problematic. You can deal with your allergy symptoms by:

  • Using an air filter to clean the allergen particles and dog hair from your home. 
  • Regularly vacuuming to reduce the amount of fur and dander in your environment. 
  • Brushing your dog regularly outside. 
  • Keep antihistamine medication to hand. 

Can You Build Immunity to Dog Allergies?

It’s possible to reduce the severity of dog allergies by having regular allergy shots. Immunotherapy works by increasing a person’s immunity by increasing the number of allergens per shot. 

What Is the #1 Hypoallergenic Dog?

The best hypoallergenic dog will depend on your lifestyle and what kind of dog you’re looking for. That said, Poodles and Poodle cross breeds (Doodles) are popular pooches. 

Why not take a look at our guide on the best hypoallergenic dog

What Is the Smallest Hypoallergenic Dog?

The tiniest hypoallergenic tail-waggers include:

Want to know more? Check out our small hypoallergenic dog breeds.

What Is the Biggest Hypoallergenic Dog?

Some of the largest hypoallergenic dogs are breeds such as 

For a full list, check out our Large hypoallergenic dog breeds.

What Is the Smartest Hypoallergenic Dog?

One of the smartest non-shedding dogs is the Poodle, but breeds like the Schnauzer, Portuguese Water Dog, and Australian Terrier are also high up on that list.

What Is the Cheapest Hypoallergenic Dog Breed?

Some of the cheapest hypoallergenic dogs are:

What Terriers Are Hypoallergenic?

There are a surprising number of terriers that are considered hypoallergenic, such as 

For a complete rundown, read our guide on Hypoallergenic Terriers.

What Breed of Dog Is Best for Allergy Sufferers?

The American Kennel Club suggests these breeds are for those people who suffer from allergies: