Whether you call them dachshunds, doxies, wiener dogs, or sausage dogs, there’s no mistaking this iconic breed. With their short legs and long bodies, this small breed dog has captured the hearts of millions — becoming the 10th most popular dog breed in the United States. It’s even captured the attention of several allergy sufferers, but is that a good thing? Are dachshunds hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, no. Dachshunds are not hypoallergenic. The breed comes in three coat types, but none of those coats are low shedding, and all of them can trigger an allergic reaction.
We’ll explain why dachshunds aren’t a good choice for most people with pet allergies. Plus, we’ll give tips to keep dog allergies at bay, and we’ll share our picks for the best breeds for allergy sufferers who love dachshunds.
What Causes Pet Allergies?
Many people with dog allergies think that they’re allergic to dog fur, but according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), pet allergies are actually triggered by a protein found in dog’s saliva, urine, and dander.
For people with dog allergies, exposure to these allergens triggers an allergic reaction that can include sneezing, watery or itchy eyes, itchy skin, skin rashes, and even difficulty breathing. If you experience these symptoms, you should remove yourself from the environment and, if approved by your medical provider, take an antihistamine. If you ever have difficulty breathing, you should seek medical help immediately.
While dog hair doesn’t trigger these allergy symptoms, there is a connection between shedding and pet allergies. Dander and dead skin cells attach to your dog’s fur. When your dog sheds, it releases this dander into the environment, exposing you to the allergen and causing an allergic reaction.
So, non-shedding or low-shedding dogs are considered a much better option for allergy sufferers. While these dogs still produce dander, they won’t spread the allergen around your home, so they’re less likely to trigger your allergies.
However, there’s no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog breed. Even poodles, which are considered the least likely to trigger allergies of any breed, can still cause an allergic reaction if a person has severe pet allergies.
So, Are Dachshunds Hypoallergenic Based on How Much They Shed?
Most dog breeds share one coat type, but both standard and miniature dachshunds come in three varieties — smooth, long-haired, and wire-haired.
These three varieties will shed differently and require different care and maintenance. But are dachshunds hypoallergenic? Unfortunately, none of the three coat types are low-shedding. No matter which type of dachshund you choose, your dachshund will shed a fair amount, and this will likely trigger allergy symptoms.
Here’s a look at how much shedding you can expect from each type of dachshund.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed standard for dachshunds, smooth-haired dachshunds have short hairs that sit smooth against their body. Their whole coat will have a shiny appearance.
The coat is similar to that of Boston terriers, boxers, French bulldogs, and other smooth-haired dogs. And like these breeds, the smooth-haired dachshund is a moderate shedder that releases hair year-round.
According to the AKC breed standard, long-haired dachshunds have sleek and often slightly wavy hair that hangs long around the dogs’ ears, neck, chest, legs, and underside.
Like the smooth dachshund, the long-haired dachshund sheds moderately year-round. But unlike the smooth variety, the long-haired variety’s coats are higher maintenance.
The coats need frequent brushing to prevent mats and tangles, which can put dog owners in close contact with the dander in the fur. The combing process can trigger an allergic reaction, so dachshund owners with allergies will need to wear masks and gloves during grooming.
While some wire-haired dogs, like schnauzers, are low-shedding and are considered a good choice for allergy sufferers, the wire-haired dachshund is not. Despite its wiry top coat, this breed has a smooth undercoat, similar to the coat of a smooth dachshund. This makes it a double-coated dog, like the golden retriever or Australian shepherd.
Dog breeds with a double coat are often the heaviest shedders. And while the wire-haired dachshund won’t shed nearly as much as a retriever or shepherd, it will shed more than the smooth and long-haired varieties. You can expect this variety to shed moderately year-round with slightly heavier shedding in the spring and fall.
What If You Have Allergies But Love Dachshunds?
If you’re a dog lover with allergies seeking to adopt, the best thing to do for yourself and for dachshunds is to choose a different breed — one that is less likely to trigger allergies. This will ensure that you can comfortably provide a forever home for your furry friend.
But if you’re still considering a dachshund puppy or you’ve already committed to one, these tips can help you live more comfortably with a doxy:
- Do a trial run: If you’re still considering a dachshund even though you have allergies, try fostering or pet sitting one before you commit. This will allow you to experience life with the breed and see how badly it affects your allergies.
- Invest in a robot vacuum: A vacuum that runs automatically every day will remove pet hair from your environment and decrease the amount of dander around your home.
- Use an air purifier: An air purifier can remove pet dander from the air, so you’ll be exposed to less dander when you breathe.
- Train your doxy to stay off the furniture: This will keep dog dander off your sofa and out of your sheets, reducing your overall exposure. Dachshunds are known for being stubborn, so if you’re having trouble with training, enlist the help of a professional dog trainer.
- Add omega to their diet: Our Omega Oil formula can help keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy, helping to manage dandruff and excess hair loss.
- Provide regular coat care: Regularly brushing your doxy helps spread their natural oils throughout their coat and keep it healthy. Washing your dog with a deshedding shampoo can also help leave loose hairs circling the drain instead of circulating around your home.
- Work with an allergist: If you’re still having allergy symptoms, contact an allergist about immunotherapy, which may help you overcome your dog allergies.
Other Small Breeds for Allergy Sufferers
If you have dog allergies, then a dachshund dog likely isn’t the right dog breed for you. While there are no 100% hypoallergenic breeds, there are several that make a much better choice for allergy sufferers.
These low and no-shedding breeds are significantly less likely to trigger allergies than a dachshund. But before you bring home any dog, you should do a trial run (as mentioned in the section above). Plus, discuss your dog allergies with the breeder to see what you can work out if you experience allergies after you bring home your puppy.
Here are our favorite small breed dogs for allergy sufferers who love dachshunds:
In addition to these low-shedding small dogs, there are also several medium and large dogs that are good for allergy sufferers, including the soft-coated wheaten terrier, Portuguese water dog, and Irish water spaniel.
You can also find designer mixed-breed dogs, like the doxiepoo, a dachshund and poodle hybrid. But, as with most doodle breeds, it can take three generations of breeding before a breeder can guarantee puppies will be hypoallergenic. So, if you choose a doodle, choose carefully and ask the breeder lots of questions.
These Long Dogs Are Not Short on Dander
While every dog lover deserves a furry friend, dog allergies can limit your options. So, are dachshunds hypoallergenic? Unfortunately, dachshunds are not hypoallergenic and are not a good option for people with allergies. No matter which coat type you choose, your dachshund will shed, spreading dander around your house and likely triggering an allergic reaction.
If you already own a dachshund, you can take steps to reduce your allergy symptoms from investing in a robot vacuum and an air purifier to using Omega Oil and providing coat care.
But, if you’re looking to adopt, the best thing you can do as a dog lover with allergies is to choose a breed that’s less likely to trigger your symptoms. A schnauzer, poodle, or bichon frise are all great options for dachshund lovers who need a hypoallergenic dog.
For more information on your favorite breeds, visit the Native Pet blog.