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Bringing Home a Boston: Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Are Boston terriers hypoallergenic? No — these dogs are moderate shedders. Allergy sufferers should take precautions when bringing this breed home.

Are Boston Terriers hypoallergenic: Boston Terrier running outside

Are Boston terriers hypoallergenic? No — these dogs are moderate shedders. Allergy sufferers should take precautions when bringing this breed home.

Looking for an adorable, social, friendly small dog to add to your family? The Boston terrier could be a perfect fit. These little dogs are quite popular and it’s easy to see why.

The Boston terrier is a mix between the English white terrier (now extinct) and the English bulldog. It was first bred in Boston, Massachusetts in the late 1800s. The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1893, making it one of the oldest American dog breeds. It’s no wonder the Boston terrier earned the nickname “the American Gentleman.”

This breed might have an impressive heritage and a great personality, but are Boston terriers hypoallergenic? If you have an allergy sufferer in your home, it’s an important question.

The short answer: No, the Boston terrier is not hypoallergenic. But that isn’t the full story. Read on to find out why the Boston terrier is likely to cause allergic reactions, health issues that can increase shedding, and how you and the allergy sufferers in your family can keep reactions to a minimum and live comfortably with your Boston terrier.

Why Do Boston Terriers Cause Allergies?

Are Boston Terriers hypoallergenic: Boston Terrier lying on a blanket

Why aren’t Boston terriers hypoallergenic? First of all, Boston terriers shed a decent amount. Secondly, the truth is that no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic. That’s because all dogs, the Boston terrier included, release dander.

Dander is a mixture of microscopic dead skin flakes that comes from your dog’s skin and attaches to dog hair. Proteins in dander — as well as in your dog’s saliva and urine — are what cause dog allergies. So, any dog who sheds at all can introduce dander into their owner’s environment

Even dogs who are considered hypoallergenic — the Bichon Frise, miniature schnauzer, and poodle, for example — shed their hair. They just shed less than their average- or heavy-shedding counterparts.

The Boston terrier is considered a moderate shedder and is not a hypoallergenic dog. If you‘re allergic to pet dander, you‘re likely to experience allergy symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes around one of these dogs.

Is My Boston Terrier Shedding More Than Usual?

Are Boston Terriers hypoallergenic: Boston Terrier walking outside

Boston terriers aren‘t hypoallergenic, but they‘re only moderate shedders. If they‘re shedding excessively, you‘ll probably notice quickly.

Not only does excessive shedding indicate a possible health problem for your dog, it means more and more allergens are getting added to your home and increasing the severity of your allergies.

Here are just a few of the health issues that could cause a Boston terrier to shed more than usual:


Parasitic infestation from fleas, ticks, mites, or lice could cause itchy skin and extra hair loss. If you notice excessive scratching, bald patches, or red and irritated skin on your Boston terrier, it’s time to see the vet.

Skin Infections

Bacterial and fungal infections (such as a ringworm) can also cause irritated skin and excessive shedding. See the vet to get antibiotics or antifungal medications to clear the infection.

Poor Diet

Did you know that a nutritional deficiency caused by a poor diet can lead to a poor-quality coat of fur? If your canine best friend isn’t receiving a well-balanced diet, the coat can become coarse and dry, and more hair will start to fall out.

Ask your vet to recommend a high-quality food that will meet your dog’s nutritional needs, and try supplementing the diet with Native Pet’s Omega Oil. Our formula is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that support skin and fur health, and it can help alleviate itching and scratching.


That’s right — stress and anxiety can cause your Boston terrier to shed more, resulting in more hair and dander around your home. You can ask your vet how you can help your dog cope with loud noises and separation anxiety.

Want to give your stressed out pooch a little relief? Give Native Pet’s Calm Chicken Chews a try. These tasty chews can aid in muscle relaxation and even improve your dog’s sleep.

Hormonal Imbalance

While not the most likely cause for your dog’s extra shedding, it’s possible for a hormonal imbalance to make a Boston terrier shed more than usual. This kind of imbalance could be due to a health issue like Cushing’s disease. If you can’t find another cause for excessive shedding, talk to your vet.

How to Minimize Allergic Reactions

Woman carrying a Boston Terrier

Are Boston terriers hypoallergenic? No. These adorable little pups are moderate-shedding dogs who will likely trigger those with pet allergies. But that doesn’t mean an allergy sufferer can’t live in harmony with a Boston terrier. You’ll just need to take steps to reduce dander build-up.

Groom Your Dog

Step number one for controlling dog dander in your home: Groom your Boston terrier regularly. This breed of dog has a short coat of fur that is easy to keep clean via brushing and the occasional bath. Just make sure you’re using a shampoo made specifically for dogs so it doesn’t irritate your dog’s skin further.

Keep Your Space Clean

Like it or not, you’ll need to maintain a regular cleaning schedule if you expect to keep your dog’s dander under control. That means frequently vacuuming your home and washing your dog’s beds and toys. Remember: The proteins that allergy sufferers react to are also found in your dog’s drool, so washing these items is essential.

Make Lifestyle Changes

How often does your Boston terrier get up on the couch? Do you let your dog sleep in bed with you at night? If you suffer from allergies to pet dander, you might need to make some changes. Since Boston terriers aren’t hypoallergenic, allowing their dander to get on surfaces like bedding and furniture just isn’t a good idea for those with allergies.

Try Air Purifiers

HEPA air purifiers are designed to capture even the tiniest microscopic particles, including dead skin cells, to keep the air clean around your home. They can make a big difference for allergy sufferers. You can find these products from online retailers like Amazon and chains such as Home Depot.

Feed Fido Properly

Don’t forget that the dog food your pet eats contributes to their skin and fur health, and their shedding. Feed your pet a wholesome, well-balanced diet to help keep your dog’s coat in good shape. If you’re not sure what kind of food would suit your Boston terrier best, ask your vet for a recommendation.

Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic? What Dog Owners Should Know

Boston Terrier lying on the grass

No, Boston terriers aren‘t hypoallergenic. They are moderate shedders and you can expect allergy sufferers to react to the pet dander they give off.

Remember that certain health issues like parasitic infestation, skin infections, stress, a poor diet, and hormonal imbalances could cause even more shedding than usual. If you suspect that a health problem is causing your dog to shed more than usual, talk to your vet.

If you’re considering a Boston terrier as your next family dog, you’ll want to prepare for potential allergic reactions. Luckily, there are things you can do to have less dander around your home. Groom your dog regularly; clean your home, dog’s beds, and dog’s toys of fur; and give air purifiers a try. And remember to feed your dog a great diet to promote healthy skin and fur.

Keep learning about your dog’s health and wellness needs by exploring more articles on the Native Pet blog.

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