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Choose the best hypoallergenic dog for your family

Choose the best hypoallergenic dog for your family

Hypoallergenic dogs are for those with allergies and those who are just looking for a fun dog. Just because a dog is termed “hypoallergenic” doesn't mean it can't become allergenic - here are a few hints to make your dog the healthiest possible. 


Do research the breed

While a breed may be hypoallergenic, it may have other serious health issues. The “Doodle” breeds were originally very specific genetic lines of dogs that did not trigger allergies in humans. “Doodle” these days are pretty dogs with continuously growing coats that may or may not be truly “hypoallergenic.” Anyone can be a breeder - responsible breeders select healthy parents to breed and reduce other health issues. Inflammatory bowel disease and other autoimmune diseases can be common in these breeds.

Do feed the best pet food

More than anything else we do, we feed our dogs - it is 80% of what we do for them. The highest quality nutrition provides the best building blocks for great health. Healthy dogs won't shed or have dandruff - two things which trigger allergies in humans. Through great food, many dog breeds that aren't hypoallergenic can become hypoallergenic. 

Do talk to your groomer about hypoallergenic grooming products

Most of the hypoallergenic dog breeds have continuously growing coats; this means they need grooming. The grooming products your groomer uses can also trigger allergies - in both humans and dogs. Pick products with known ingredients listed in the label, no artificial perfumes and avoid heavy chemicals. 

Do work with a holistic veterinarian to reduce the allergenicity of your dog

Sometimes great food isn't enough to reduce the allergenicity of your dog. If your dog is shedding (hypoallergenic dogs can shed), he/she has inflammation and is more likely to trigger human allergies and inflammation. Holistic veterinarians have the extra tools to treat these issues.

Do wash your hands after petting your dog

Simply cutting down on exposure can go a long way to reduce allergies for the dog owner. 

Do vacuum frequently

Even if you have an hypoallergenic dog, these dogs still lose skin flakes (dander) and may occasionally lose cost. Frequent vacuuming reduces environmental load with potential allergens to keep the allergic human more comfortable. 


Do not be tricked into thinking a continuously growing coat is the answer for all allergies

If these dogs are not given great food and healthcare they can still cause allergies in their humans. Many dogs with continuously growing coats have skin issues themselves, therefore they shed and produce dander - triggers for allergies in humans. 

Do not forgo your regular allergy treatment plan

A hypoallergenic coat will not solve all of the human's allergy issues - working with your physician will help protect your health. Consider a doctor of functional medicine - fight allergies with methods that are less dependent on pharmaceuticals.

Do not be afraid to consider short coated dogs

Continuously growing hair does not automatically protect the allergic human. Similarly, healthy short-coated dogs can work well for allergic humans. The suggestions here work for all dog breeds. Some allergy causing traits will be genetic; therefore, frank discussions with the breeder, as mentioned above, can be quite useful.

Do not ignore the cost of grooming and upkeep

Large breed dogs with continuously growing coats can be quite expensive to groom. Consider this before you get your new dog. Keeping these dogs groomed is one facet of reducing their allergy causing traits; thus, grooming is great, especially for any dog in a household with humans with allergies.

Do not let your dog lick your face if you are allergic

The face is very sensitive and can respond rapidly to an allergy trigger; keeping your dog lower than shoulder level and hand washing after handling will do a lot to reduce the human's allergies. Some people are so sensitive that one lick creates a rash - frequent washing will go a long way to help. 

Do not let allergies break your lifetime commitment to this new family member

Work as a team with your holistic veterinarian, physician, groomer and family to reduce allergy triggers in your home. Some people's allergies are too severe to consider a pet. Some allergic people learn how to co-exist healthfully with dogs by applying the suggestions listed here. 

Jumping cartoon

By following these suggestions your “hypoallergenic” dog should be wonderfully healthy - and truly be hypoallergenic. It’s not always the breed, but rather the lifestyle that affects hypoallergenicity.

More expert advice about Choosing a Dog

Photo Credits: ; Check Man, Cross Man and Jump Man © ioannis kounadeas -

Dr. Cathy AlinoviOwner and Holistic Veterinarian

Dr. Cathy Alinovi DVM — author, speaker, and retired integrative veterinarian — knew she wanted to be an animal doctor at nine years old. She began her veterinary education at the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine and also holds a Master of...

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