Corgis have been popular for a long, long time. In fact, they were in Wales for more than three centuries and are famously a favorite of Queen Elizabeth II. And it’s easy to see why. These little dogs are amusing, affectionate, and downright adorable.
Corgis were bred to be herding dogs — farmers used them to herd cattle, and they were also talented vermin exterminators. Today, although categorized in the Herding Group by the American Kennel Club (AKC), corgis spend most of their time indoors as beloved family pets.
For those of us with pet allergies, it matters what kind of dog we choose to live with. The right breed makes all the difference between a comfortable life and constant allergy symptoms. So, are corgis hypoallergenic?
No, this breed is NOT hypoallergenic. Still, it’s possible for allergy sufferers to own corgis. Let’s examine what makes a dog hypoallergenic, how much corgis shed, and how to keep your allergy symptoms to a minimum if you own or plan to adopt one of these pups.
What Is a Hypoallergenic Dog, Anyway?
Are corgis hypoallergenic? No, but it turns out that no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic, even completely hairless breeds.
Many people with dog allergies believe they’re allergic to pet hair. This isn’t technically true. It’s proteins in pet dander — dead skin cells — as well as a dog’s saliva and even urine that really cause allergic reactions. But dander often attaches itself to dog hair, so the more a dog sheds, the more likely they are to cause allergies.
So, what does hypoallergenic mean? When applied to dogs, the term really just means a dog that sheds minimally, therefore producing a less severe allergic reaction (or none at all). Some dog breeds, like the poodle, maltese, or bichon frise, are very low shedders and are typically easier to live with for those with allergies to pet dander.
Unfortunately, the corgi does not fall into this category. But are corgis hypoallergenic enough for allergy sufferers to make it work?
How Much Do Corgis Shed?
Both types of corgis — the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi — have what is known as a double coat. As the name suggests, this coat is made up of two layers: a soft, lighter undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat.
This double coat is one of the reasons the corgi is a heavy shedder. In the colder months, the inner coat thickens to provide better insulation. When it gets cooler, your pup sheds it. At the same time, the longer outer coat will grow to keep your dog cooler in the summer heat. Then, the cycle repeats as cold weather comes back. So, in addition to their normal year-round shedding, corgis tend to shed more during specific periods in the winter and summer.
So, should prospective dog owners count out the corgi if they suffer from allergies? It really depends on the individual. If pet dander is one of the allergens you strongly react to, a corgi is likely to cause classic allergy symptoms like sneezing, itchy eyes, and a runny nose.
However, there are things you can do to make things easier and, perhaps, even live comfortably with a corgi.
What Could Make a Corgi Shed More Than Usual?
As a corgi owner, it’s important to recognize that there are factors that could lead to excessive shedding in your dog, which isn’t normal. The possibilities include:
- Poor nutrition: If your dog’s diet is lacking in certain nutrients, the skin and fur can suffer. You’ll want to check with your vet to determine whether your dog’s diet is up to par. It might be time to upgrade Fido’s diet or add a supplement, such as an omega-3 fatty acid.
- Stress: Stress, whether it’s because of changes in the home, a new pet, or separation anxiety, can result in more shedding than normal. Talk to your vet about stress reduction techniques and try Native Pet’s Calming Chicken Chews, which can help aid in muscle relaxation and reduce generalized anxiety.
- Disease: Various diseases, including parasitic infestations and even hormonal imbalances, can also lead to increased shedding in dogs. If you’re noticing a lot more loose hair around your home than usual, or if you see unusual symptoms like bald patches or skin inflammation, it’s time to see the vet.
How to Minimize Allergy Symptoms
Are corgis hypoallergenic to the point they won’t cause symptoms? No — they’re more likely to cause allergies than different breeds that are more hypoallergenic.
There are steps you can take, however, to minimize the presence of dander-laden dog fur around your home and reduce allergy symptoms.
Groom Your Pooch
Regular grooming with a brush is important for not only detangling your dog’s coat and preventing any matting, but removing loose hair from the coat to prevent it from spreading all over your home. (In order to prevent an allergy attack, you’ll want to wear gloves and a mask while brushing your dog, or have a family member or friend do it for you.) Search Amazon or your local pet store to find a good-quality dog brush to use on your corgi.
Feed Your Dog a Great Diet
The best way to avoid any excessive shedding is by feeding your canine best friend a great diet. Consult your vet to find out if your dog’s current diet is nutritionally complete, and try adding something like Native Pet’s Bone Broth to your dog’s routine for an added nutritional boost. Bonus: Your dog will love the taste.
Adjust Your Home
Pet owners with allergies may need to make some changes at home in order to stay comfortable. Don’t let your corgi dog sleep in bed with you. Set up special HEPA filters around the home to capture loose hair and dander particles. Use the vacuum cleaner to clean not only your carpets, but your furniture, floors, window blinds, and other areas where dander might be hiding.
Try Allergy Medication
For those with severe allergies to dog dander, allergy medication or injections might help. Talk to your doctor to find out whether regular allergy treatments or allergy medicine might benefit you.
Consider a Mixed Breed
Are corgis hypoallergenic if they’re mixed with another breed? Not necessarily, but it can help. Certain Corgi mixes tend to shed less than purebred Cardigan or Pembroke corgis. You might consider adopting a shih tzu/corgi mix or a miniature schnauzer/corgi mix, for example, because shih tzus and mini schnauzers are considered hypoallergenic dog breeds.
Are Corgis Hypoallergenic? No — Here’s What to Do
No, the corgi breed is not hypoallergenic. If you’re allergic to dander, this breed of dog is likely to trigger your immune system and cause allergy symptoms. After all, it’s a heavy shedder.
That doesn’t mean all hope is lost, though. Steps like regularly grooming your corgi, feeding your pooch a great diet, making appropriate lifestyle changes, and taking allergy medication. You might also consider a more allergy-friendly mixed corgi.
Be sure to get your corgi examined at the vet’s office if you see an excessive amount of shedding, because health ailments like poor nutrition, stress, and disease could be to blame.
Are corgis hypoallergenic? No, but plenty of allergy sufferers still live with these adorable, loyal, fun-loving pets. It just takes a little extra effort. To learn more about corgis, including whether they’re good with kids, visit the Native Pet blog.