Do you start sneezing whenever you pet a dog? If you're among the 10 percent of the US population that are allergic to canines, don't give up on the idea of getting your own furry friend just yet. While there are no 100 percent hypoallergenic pooches, there are several breeds that do not trigger allergy symptoms. It's not actually the dog's fur that causes allergies, but the dander or dead skin cells that are attached to the hair. Pups that shed little to no hair leave less dander in their wake, making them more suitable for dog lovers with allergies. Here are the top dogs that may be pawfect for those with allergies.
No hair, don't care! The American Hairless Terrier is an excellent choice for dog lovers seeking a hypoallergenic pupper. The hairless variety is completely bald save for some whiskers and eyebrows, while the coated variety has a short coat. Both types have minimal grooming needs, so they're great for allergy sufferers whose idea of bonding with their dog doesn't include a brush.
The Coton de Tulear is a funny and happy little dog that can be seen following their human around everywhere. Furtunately for allergy sufferers, this breed's all-white and cottony soft coat won't trigger symptoms. Once the prefurred pups of Madagascar royalty, Cotons de Tulear are pawfect for providing allergy-free companionship and amusement.
Soft Coated Wheaten Terriers are named for their gently waving coat whose color is similar to ripening wheat. This breed's beautiful, silky fur sheds minimally, but does require daily grooming to avoid matting. If you don't mind spending some time brushing and combing your pooch each day, then the Wheatie just might be the hypoallergenic dog for you!
One of the most pawpular dog breeds in the world, the Poodle is characterized by a curly, hypoallergenic coat that's often groomed and styled in various ways. Though they hardly shed, Poodles need to be brushed daily unless the coat is trimmed. All size varieties—Standard, Miniature, and Toy—make woofderful all-around companions.
Whether Miniature, Standard, or Giant, the Schnauzer sports a wiry, weather-resistant coat that doesn't shed a lot and thus won't set off an allergic reaction. The Miniature Schnauzer is the most pawpular size variety among this family of breeds, but all three are very loyal and trainable—great for allergy-friendly spaces of all sizes!
Though covered from head to paw in a long, silky, all-white coat, the Maltese is actually a low-shedding breed that's ideal for folks with allergies. Gentle-mannered and affectionate, Maltese are able to make friends easily wherever they go. These toy dogs are also highly adaptable and would make great companions for city-dwelling allergy sufferers.
For a hypoallergenic pooch with a charming personality to boot, the Bichon Frise just might be the dog that you're looking for. The Bichon Frise dons a beautiful white coat that is velvety to the touch and rarely sheds, so allergy sufferers can cuddle and hug this playful breed all they want!
With just a few tufts of hair here and there, the hairless Chinese Crested makes a pawrific companion for dog lovers with allergies. Even the powderpuff variety, which features a soft coat, doesn't really shed. Fur or no fur, this distinctive breed would be a great addition to any allergy-friendly home.
The only canine breed native to Cuba, the Havanese is one of the best choices for allergy sufferers since they don't shed much. That doesn't mean they're maintenance-free, though—their long, silky coat requires daily brushing and the occasional trip to a professional groomer. Thanks to their small size and extroverted nature, Havanese are highly suitable for city living.
Bred to be a fisherman's helper, the Portuguese Water Dog sports a non-shedding, waterproof coat that is pawfectly suited for people with allergies. These smart and athletic pups are eager to please and easy to train, making them woofderful family pets. Just ask the Obamas, who have two adorable Porties, Bo and Sunny!