What is a hypoallergenic dog?
Have you always wanted a dog but are allergic? You aren't alone as there are millions of people with the same condition. While there's no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, there are many breeds that allergy sufferers do well with.
Hypoallergenic dogs have a non-shedding coat, which means they produce less dander. Dander, which is attached to a dog's skin and coat, is the most common culprit of pet allergies in humans.
Thinking about adding a dog to your family? Wondering if a Bernese mountain dog is hypoallergenic? Here’s what you need to know about this breed and whether they're good for people with pet allergies.
Are Bernese mountain dogs hypoallergenic?
Many people believe that Bernese Mountain dogs are hypoallergenic because they don't shed as much as other breeds that have a double coat. However, the Bernese mountain dog is not hypoallergenic. If you or someone in your home has extreme allergies to animals, this isn’t a suitable breed.
There are two reasons why Bernese mountain dogs aren't hypoallergenic. The main concern is dander, which causes allergic reactions in humans. Dander is found on animal skin and their fur and can trigger allergies.
Dander is known to cause watery, itchy eyes, shallow breathing, dry throat, and bumps or red spots on the skin. People who have severe allergies should not be around a non-hypoallergenic dog for more than a minute or two.
Why people want hypoallergenic dogs
Around 10-20% of the population is allergic to dogs. Dogs have certain proteins in their dander and saliva that can trigger allergic reactions in those who are sensitive to them. Dog allergies are known to cause all sorts of allergy symptoms.
For those who have a dog allergy or live with someone who does, many seek out a hypoallergenic breed. These dogs shed little to no fur and may produce less Canis familiaris 1, the most common allergen.
There are many hypoallergenic breeds, including:
- Afghan hounds
Because these breeds produce less Canis familiaris 1 than other breeds, those with dog allergies typically have less symptoms around them.
What about mixed breed doodles?
Wondering about mixed breed dogs such as Goldendoodles, Berndoodles, and Labradoodles? While doodles are often said to be hypoallergenic, it really depends. Most doodles are touted as being hypoallergenic because they're mixed with a Poodle, a breed that doesn't shed.
However, when a Poodle is mixed with a breed like a Golden Retriever, it's hard to know what type of coat the puppies will have. Poodles may be non-shedding, but Golden Retrievers have a dense, double coat.
More often than not, mixed breeds fall somewhere in the middle of the hypoallergenic spectrum. For those with severe pet allergies, it’s best to get a breed that is known to be non-shedding or hairless.
How to tell if your dog is hypoallergenic
If you have a hypoallergenic dog, chances are that you already know. These breeds are widely advertised as being non-shedders. However, if you're unsure, here are some key factors that indicate whether your pup is hypoallergenic or not.
There's no dog breed that's 100% allergen-free. However, breeds that are hypoallergenic shed less, which means that they create less dander.
One of the key traits of a hypoallergenic dog is a non-shedding coat. If your dog sheds, it's not a hypoallergenic breed.
Some hypoallergenic breeds have no hair at all, such as the Xoloitzcuintli, American Hairless Terrier, and Chinese Cresteds. They create very little dander, if any at all, which is crucial for people with allergies.
While the Bernese mountain dog isn’t hypoallergenic, they’re a robust, rugged breed that loves hiking and spending time outdoors. Bernese mountain dogs are also known for being very affectionate, loyal, and intelligent. They’re a great family dog or as a companion for an outdoor enthusiast.
If you have a Bernese mountain dog or are thinking about getting one, you'll also want to check out Fi. Fi allows you to track your Berners location and activity so you can always have peace of mind that they are safe and sound.