For people allergic to dogs, even a moment in their company can cause waves of coughing, sneezing and watery eyes. But it’s a sad state of affairs for allergy sufferers that would still love a beloved family pup.
But there is hope. ‘Hypoallergenic’ dogs are considered the best option if you have a pooch sensitivity. They come in all shapes and sizes, so there really is a dog for everyone. But today, here are the top small hypoallergenic dogs. Now nobody need miss out on the joys of dog parenting!
What is a hypoallergenic dog?
Quick caveat: technically there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. But there are a number of dog breeds that produce fewer allergens than others, making them a better choice for allergy sufferers.
Many people believe it’s the shedding of fur that causes an allergic reaction. While that’s partly true, allergens are also found in a dog’s dander, urine and saliva. And it’s the dander that causes most dog allergies in humans. Dander is essentially the doggy equivalent of dandruff.
Low-shedding dog breeds produce much less dander than high shedders. And because the fur and dander are more contained in hypoallergenic dogs, rather than dispersed all over your home, this minimises allergic reactions.
Allergy sufferers may still experience symptoms even with a hypoallergenic dog, but symptoms usually aren’t as severe. In fact, in some cases the immune system learns to cope with the allergens, and symptoms clear up altogether.
The Toy Poodle is a highly intelligent, spirited pooch and loves to be a part of the family. They’re one of the easiest dogs to train and thrive when they’re the centre of attention. They’re equally happy curled up on your lap or taking a stroll with their favourite people.
These feisty pups make wonderful companion dogs and are popular all over the world. They have fun-loving personalities and will happily fit into the owner’s lifestyle. Although small in stature, the Yorkshire Terrier carries themselves well with an air of importance.
Affectionate and gentle, the Bichon Frise is happy by nature and loves to play. They make wonderful family pets, are easy to train and have lots of energy to burn. Because they don’t like to be alone for long periods, they’re best suited to families that have a lot of love and attention to give.
Miniature Schnauzers are extroverted, full of fun and love to be around their people. They can be mischievous (but that’s part of their charm!) and every other dog or person is their best friend. Miniature Schnauzers are highly trainable and thrive when learning new tricks.
The Havanese is known for being a Velcro dog and they love to shower their family with affection. But because they’re so attached to their families, they don’t like to be left alone. The Havanese is reasonably easy to train and have a surprising amount of energy for their size. So will benefit from daily walks and play time.
West Highland Terrier
The West Highland Terrier loves life and gets on with everyone. They’re in their element in multi-dog households and around children. They can often spend their days getting up to silly antics (much to the owner’s amusement!) or entertaining themselves while their owners are at work.
The Shih Tzu is a fabulous companion dog that will follow you from room to room. They’re full of joy, outgoing and will happily snuggle up on the couch with you, or strut their stuff in obedience training and agility. They get along well with other pets and children, making them a great family pet.
The Maltese in an energetic, intelligent little pup with a sweet nature. They are truly devoted to their people and will lap up all the attention you can give them. Because of their small size, they’re not ideal for families with small children that may not play as gently as they need.
The border terrier is a high energy, good-natured pup with a lot of love to give. They can be loveably mischievous and require lots of exercise and play time to curb any escape artistry skills or destructive behaviour. But with the right level of care, Border Terriers make wonderful companions.
The Italian Greyhound is the smallest of sighthounds, but can still reach top speeds of 25 miles per hour. They’re gentle natured and affectionate towards family members, but can be shy around strangers. They’re very easy to train when given the right motivation and levels of fun.
Which hypoallergenic dog is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below…
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