With their abundant wrinkles, roly-poly bodies, and smushed faces, the pug is an instantly recognizable dog breed. Their unique appearance and laid back temperament has captured the heart of dog lovers across the world, including some dog lovers with allergies. If you have allergies but adore this breed, you need to know: Are pugs hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, no. Pugs are not hypoallergenic dogs, and they’re not a good choice for families with dog allergies. But pug owners who are experiencing allergy symptoms can minimize their exposure. If you’re seeking to adopt a small dog breed that’s less likely to trigger an allergic reaction, you have options.
We’ll explain why pugs aren’t hypoallergenic, what you can do to reduce your allergy symptoms, and which dog breeds make a better choice for allergy sufferers.
Many people with pet allergies think they’re allergic to pet hair, but most allergies are actually caused by proteins. In the case of pet allergies, a protein found in pet dander, saliva, and urine triggers allergy symptoms, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA).
And yet, the fact remains: Dogs that shed less are less likely to trigger allergy symptoms. So, what’s going on?
That protein found in dog dander and saliva gets on a dog’s fur when they lose dead skin cells or lick their coats. Then, when the dog sheds, those allergens cling to your floors, clothes, and furniture, triggering an allergic reaction that could include a runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, skin rashes, and in severe cases, difficulty breathing.
Dogs that don’t shed will spread fewer allergens throughout your home, which makes them less likely to trigger your dog allergies. But, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dog breeds.
Even though a non-shedding dog leaves less dander lying around your house, they may still trigger an allergic reaction in people with the most severe pet allergies.
While pug dogs have low-maintenance short coats, shorter hair does not mean less shedding. This breed of dog sheds moderately all year round, which means it will spread allergens throughout your home — all year round.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), pugs have smooth coats. It‘s the same type of coat as French bulldogs, English bulldogs, Boston terriers, and Rottweilers. A dog with a smooth coat won’t shed as much as those with a double coat — the type that German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers, and many of the heaviest shedders have — but it will still shed enough to trigger symptoms in most allergy sufferers.
The AKC ranks the pug’s shedding as a four on a scale of one to five, with five being the heaviest shedding. So, make no mistake: Pugs shed a lot.
If you wish you’d asked “Are pugs hypoallergenic?” before you took home your furry friend and started noticing allergy symptoms, don‘t lose hope. Pet parents can take steps to reduce the allergens around their home and live more comfortably with their pug.
If you have allergies but still want to bring home a furry friend, there are plenty of lovable breeds that will be a better fit for your home. Here are some of our favorite non-shedding small dog breeds that make great alternatives for people who love pugs.
In addition to these non-shedding small dogs, there are also many non-shedding medium and large breed dogs that make a great option for people with pet allergies. If you’re not set on the pug‘s small size, you might consider the Afghan hound, giant schnauzer, Irish water spaniel, Kerry blue terrier, Portuguese water dog, or soft-coated wheaten terrier.
Pugs are not hypoallergenic dogs. This breed sheds all year, and as it sheds, it will release dander and saliva into your home, triggering allergy symptoms.
We don’t recommend adopting a pug if you or a family member has dog allergies, but if you already have a pug, you can minimize your exposure to dander. Train your dog to stay off your furniture and out of your bedroom. Invest in a robot vacuum to reduce fur around your home. And talk to an allergist about immunotherapy allergy shots to treat your pet allergies.
If you‘re an allergy sufferer who loves pugs but needs a more allergy-friendly companion, consider an affenpinscher, bichon frise, or miniature schnauzer. These breeds are non-shedding so they‘re less likely to trigger allergies. Plus, they all share the pug‘s convenient size and comic sense of humor.
For more information on your favorite dog breeds, visit the Native Pet blog.
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