Read time: 6 mins
05 Apr 2023
Love dogs but don't love sneezing? We empathise. Many allergies to dogs are actually a reaction to their hair and dander, so sharing a home with a shedding pooch is a no-go.
But don't give up on the idea of adopting a furry family member. There are many low-shedding dog breeds which are less likely to get all up in your nose.
Some pet parents really don't mind a bit of fluff. If you don't have an allergy (or a posh sofa) you may simply shrug and get on with the daily vacuuming.
However, if you suffer from a dog-hair intolerance, that's not an option. It also could be that you have a job where you have to look super-smart or you work in an environment where stray hairs are a no-no.
Hypoallergenic is a term that refers to things which are believed to be less likely to cause allergy symptoms.
For example, you may have seen bedding described as hypoallergenic and this is often purchased to prevent the likelihood of dust mites, which trigger allergic reactions.
So what is a hypoallergenic dog? Truth be told, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic.
Many people believe that dogs with certain types of non-shedding fur are hypoallergenic, but this isn’t technically the case. This is because it is not just fur which can trigger allergy symptoms, but also dander (dead skin cells) and saliva, we all know how much some pooches like a kiss!
Having said that, there are certain breeds that are considered to be better for allergy sufferers because they are less likely to shed large amounts of fur. Poodles are a popular option, but there’s many to choose from in our list below.
Some of the most popular small but mighty non-shedders include:
A less-well known breed, the Basenji is a fabulous family dog, known to make an endearing, yodelling sound. Not only does the Basenji not moult, but this ultra-clean dog will groom itself, like a cat.
The adorably lamb-like, woolly coat of the Bedlington Terrier stays on the dog, not on the rug. And generally speaking, most terriers have wiry coats and are a low-shedding group.
With a name that translates to "fluffy white dog", it's hard to imagine that the snowy-coated Bichon Frise doesn't shed. But cuddle them all you like, there's no hair coming off here.
Small in stature but big in personality, Brussels Griffons are highly energetic and intelligent. A pint sized Einstein if you will. Plus, they have a beard even Dumbledore would be impressed by.
A tiny Ancient-Greek breed – is appealing, popular and kind to allergy sufferers. These toy dogs have silky fur and sweet natures. They get on well with other pets, so you could always team one with a hairless cat to create the perfect, shed-free duo.
This adorable breed also keeps hair-loss on the down-low, as well as being a playful, cheerful little friend.
The same also goes for the adorable Shih-Tzu which doesn't moult much but does need regular and thorough grooming. With a pom-pom tail like theirs, it’s hard not to think you have your own personal cheerleader.
Have you ever noticed how a Yorkshire Terrier's long, fine fur is closer to human hair than a typical dog coat? Unlike lots of long-haired pet parents, the Yorkie won't shed strands all over the house. But they will demand a fair bit of brushing.
Not too big, not too small. There are plenty of medium-sized breeds that are known for their low-shedding characteristics:
The Irish Water Spaniel is a low-moulting breed with a curly coat that repels water. These are upbeat pups who love playing, children and, of course, swimming.
Similar to the Irish Water Spaniel, Portuguese Water Dogs have a signature curly coat known to aid their love of swimming. Can't picture one? Google "Barack Obama's dogs" and you'll soon get some super-sweet pics of this presidential pooch, chosen because of family allergies.
Allergy-friendly dogs come in all shapes and sizes, here are some of our favourite bigger breeds that won’t have you reaching for the antihistamines.
Amazingly, the elegant Afghan Hound doesn't leave silky strands all over your sofa. Their glossy coats scarcely moult – but yes, you've got it, they need a lot of brushing to keep them tangle-free
One of the most incredible-looking sneeze-safe dogs is the medium-sized Hungarian Puli. Their eye-catching dreadlocks make them the funkiest looking dog we've ever seen. Bred to be herders, they're surprisingly nimble beneath all that non-shedding wool.
The curly-coated standard Poodle is known for being a low-shedder, as well as being a lovely, intelligent family member. If you're thinking about getting a Cockapoo or Labradoodle, the Poodlier the better when it comes to shedding.
Like a Miniature Schnauzer but want to go large? Their giant cousins also have fabulous, low-shedding coats. And those eyebrows! If Denis Healey was a dog…
Dogs naturally develop a thicker coat in the winter as their body responds to a drop in temperature. This helps to keep our pooches nice and toasty, with the added bonus of making them even more cuddly.
As the colder months come to an end, there is no longer a need for this thicker coat and dogs begin to shed their excess layers around the spring-time. This is when you will see the most significant shedding, but it is nothing to be concerned about, just think of it as your pup getting sunbathing ready.
If you think that your dog is shedding unusual amounts of hair, it is best to get it checked by your vet.
Extensive hair loss could be a result of something more serious, like a parasite (fleas, mites, lice), bacterial infection or fungal infection. An insufficient diet could also be a factor. If there’s a lack of protein, fat and other essential nutrients in a dog’s diet their hair will become dry and brittle, making it more likely to fall out.
Regular grooming is needed to keep your dog’s coat under control. Using a soft-bristled brush on your pooch once a week will help to tame unruly strands, as well as getting rid of any dander and dirt.
Feeding your dog a nutritionally complete and balanced diet is one of the most important ways to ensure that their coat is in tip top condition. Their food should contain a quality protein source, as well as vegetables (carrots are always a strong contender) and an energy source, such as lentils or quinoa.
Butternut Box is tailored specifically to your dog’s needs. We will ask you some questions when you sign up, including whether or not your dog has issues with their skin or excessive shedding. This helps us to make sure that we are recommending meals that will give them luscious locks, such as our Salmon To Love recipe, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
So, if you have allergies or prefer not to clog up your vacuum, don't despair. There's a huge variety of low-shed breeds out there, with a dog to suit all lifestyles and households.