If you’re considering adding a Chihuahua to your family, you might be wondering, “Are Chihuahuas hypoallergenic?”
For people with dog allergies, this is an important question.
We are Chihuahua owners ourselves, so we used our firsthand experience and did extensive research to determine if Chihuahuas are hypoallergenic.
We’ll also provide you with 15 practical tips to help mitigate dog allergies
So, if you are thinking of adding a Chi to your family, let’s find out if this breed is right for you.
Are Chihuahuas Hypoallergenic?
The truth is no, Chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic.
They do produce some dander that could still affect an owner but having fewer hair follicles than larger breeds makes the amount they produce leagues more tolerable.
They also don’t drool and are easy to housetrain, leading to a lower chance of saliva and urine contact allergies.
This is good news for people with allergies, but there are still other factors to consider.
Some people are allergic to Chihuahuas, and some are not. It really varies from person to person, but they are slightly less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than other dogs.
It is important to remember that all dogs produce dander and a 100% hypoallergenic dog does not exist.
What Does Hypoallergenic Actually Mean?
When we say that a dog is hypoallergenic, it means that they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
There are no guarantees when it comes to allergies, but some dogs are less likely to trigger allergies than others.
This is because they shed less and produce less dander – the dead skin cells that cause allergies. Shedding causes the dander to be released.
Dander is what gets into the air and on our clothes, and when we are exposed to it, an allergic reaction can shortly follow.
It is important to note that people can also have contact allergies to dog saliva and urine, as well as dander.
What are the Symptoms of Dog Allergies?
Around 10-20% of people in the world are allergic to dogs and cats. It’s no surprise why hypoallergenic dog breeds are growing in demand.
The symptoms of dog allergies are similar to the symptoms of regular allergies.
Common symptoms are:
- a runny or stuffy nose
- watery eyes
- difficulty breathing
Some people may have skin reactions to something as common as a dog licking your skin. You may break out into hives, rashes, or experience itchiness.
If you are allergic to dogs and are exposed to them, you will likely experience some or all of these symptoms.
How to Figure Out If You’re Allergic to Dogs
There are 2 ways to find out if you’re allergic to dogs.
One way is to get tested by an allergist who will do a skin-prick test. They will place a small amount of the allergen under your skin and wait to see if you have a reaction.
Another way is to spend time with a dog. If you have a friend or family member who has a dog, ask if you can spend some time with the dog to see if you have any reaction.
If you do not have any immediate reaction, chances are you’re not allergic to dogs.
However, if you do have a reaction, it is best to avoid contact with dogs or try some of our tips below to help lessen allergies.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds
If you are looking for a dog breed advertised as hypoallergenic, there are many to choose from.
They are typically non-shedding and hairless breeds which equates to less dander.
There is still a chance you could be allergic to them but the risk is much lower with these breeds.
Some popular hypoallergenic dog breeds are:
- Bichon Frise
- Yorkshire Terrier
Do Chihuahuas Shed A Lot?
Chihuahuas are light to moderate shedders.
Since they are small, the amount of hair they shed is less than a larger dog with more fur.
We have a short-haired Chihuahua and luckily he doesn’t shed that much.
During the spring, shedding becomes heavier as Chihuahuas get rid of their winter coat to prepare for the warm summer.
You may find more hair around your home during this time.
The amount of hair your Chihuahua sheds will depend on a number of factors, including their overall health and whether or not they have an undercoat.
A Chihuahua with an undercoat will shed more than one without.
There are steps you can take to help minimize shedding, such as brushing your dog regularly and feeding them a high-quality diet rich in omega fatty acids.
Is a Long-Haired Chihuahua Hypoallergenic?
No, long-haired Chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic because they are moderate shedders.
It might seem like they shed more than short-haired Chihuahuas.
But really it’s because their hair is longer making it more visible and noticeable when they shed.
Long-haired Chihuahuas do require more grooming than short-haired Chihuahuas.
They need to be brushed and have their hair trimmed regularly whereas short-haired Chihuahuas don’t need to be trimmed.
Are Short-Haired Chihuahuas Hypoallergenic?
Short-haired Chihuahuas might be a little less likely to trigger allergies than long-haired Chihuahuas, but they aren’t hypoallergenic either.
Their short coat makes it a lot easier to groom and doesn’t require as much brushing.
They are also less likely to have mats and tangles in their fur, which is the perfect spot for dander to get trapped in and build up.
Are Chihuahua Mixes Hypoallergenic?
Chihuahua mixes may or may not be hypoallergenic.
It depends on which breed they are mixed with and if they received the non-shedding gene.
If a Chihuahua is mixed with a hypoallergenic breed, then there is a chance they will be too.
Chipoos (Chihuahua + Poodle), Chorkies (Chihuahua + Yorkshire Terrier) and Malchis (Chihuahua + Maltese) are popular hypoallergenic Chihuahua mixes.
But if they are mixed with a non-hypoallergenic breed, then they will likely not be hypoallergenic.
15 Tips To Lessen Your Dog Allergies
If you are considering getting a dog, we have 15 tips for you to help lessen your allergies.
#1 Wash Your Hands
Always wash your hands after touching a dog.
Dander sticks to your skin and clothing, so it’s important to wash it off as soon as possible.
This will help to remove the allergens from your skin and prevent them from getting into your nose or mouth.
#2 Consistent Grooming and Bathing
Make sure to keep your dog well-groomed.
This means brushing them regularly and bathing once or twice a week to keep the dander down.
Brush them outside when possible to keep the dander from getting inside your house.
Brushing will make sure their fur doesn’t mat, which traps dander.
Brushing regularly deters the fur from matting resulting in less trapped dander.
A good grooming routine will help to remove the allergens from your dog’s coat and reduce the amount of dander in your home.
Since Chihuahuas are so small, they are a lot easier to bathe and brush compared to large dogs.
Preferably, have someone who is not allergic to dogs do the grooming.
Additionally, a moisturizing dog shampoo will keep their skin hydrated leading to less dander.
For tips on how to make bathtime easier, check out our blog post on how to bathe a Chihuahua.
#3 Wash Your Dog’s Stuff
Don’t forget to wash your dog’s blankets and beds!
This will help to remove the allergens and keep them from coming back.
Wash them in hot water and use a hypoallergenic detergent.
You should also wash your dog’s toys, especially if they are cloth.
If you are in the market for a new bed for your Chihuahua, these are the 6 best beds!
#4 Use an Air Purifier
If you are allergic to dogs but live with one, using an air purifier can help to remove the allergens from the air and make it easier to breathe.
There are many different types of air purifiers, but HEPA filters work the best for allergies. They specifically trap pet dander and dust.
Make sure you get the correct size for the rooms you want to use it in. You may need several throughout your house.
Air purifiers also help reduce reverse sneezing episodes so it’s a win-win!
#5 Keep a Clean House
Make sure to vacuum and dust regularly.
Also, sweep and mop all hardwood or tile floors.
This will help keep the allergens down in your home.
Choose a vacuum that has a HEPA filter to better target the pet dander.
#6 Keep Your Dog Out of the Bedroom
If you are allergic to dogs, it is best to keep them out of your bed.
If you are very allergic then keeping them out of your bedroom altogether might be necessary.
This will help to reduce the number of allergens in your bedroom and make it easier to sleep at night.
Dander can settle on surfaces and you’ll breathe it in while you are sleeping.
If you must have your dog in the bedroom (because we know how clingy Chihuahuas are), make sure to wash your bedding regularly and keep an air purifier running all night.
#7 Get Rid of Carpet and Rugs
If you are allergic to dogs, it is a good idea to get rid of any carpet, rugs, or curtains in your home.
This is because the allergens settle and get trapped in the fibers meaning they will be difficult to remove.
Hardwood or tile floors are easier to keep clean and are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
If you don’t want to get rid of your carpet or rugs, make sure to vacuum and steam clean them regularly.
#8 Keep Your Dog Off Furniture
If you are allergic to dogs, it would be best to keep them off furniture.
Allergens can settle on surfaces and you will come in contact with them when you sit or lie down.
If you do want to have your dog on the furniture, make sure to vacuum, lint roll, and steam clean regularly.
Or better yet, invest in a leather couch and chair that can easily be wiped down.
#9 Change Your Clothes and Take a Shower
If you have been around dogs, make sure to change your clothes and take a shower as soon as possible.
This will help to remove any allergens that may be on your skin or clothing.
If you are unable to shower right away, we strongly recommend at least washing your hands and face.
There are many medications and nasal sprays that can help to reduce your symptoms of allergies and relieve a stuffy nose.
Talk to your doctor about which medication is right for you.
#11 Avoid Dogs that Shed A Lot
If you are allergic to dogs, you should avoid dogs that shed a lot.
This is because the allergens can be found in the dog’s fur and is breathed in when the fur is shed.
Some breeds that are known for shedding include the Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, and Siberian Husky.
#12 Essential Fatty Acids
Make sure your dog’s diet includes essential fatty acids like fresh fish or a fish oil supplement.
This will help to reduce inflammation and promote a healthy coat and skin, reducing dander.
#13 Get a Hypoallergenic Dog
If you are allergic to dogs but really want one, you may want to consider getting a hypoallergenic dog.
Hypoallergenic dogs are less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.
Some hypoallergenic breeds include the Affenpinscher, Maltese, and Chinese Crested.
#14 Take Allergy Shots
If you are allergic to dogs but really want one or already have one, you may be able to take allergy shots.
Allergy shots are given over a period of time and can help you to build up a tolerance to the allergens.
Talk to your doctor if you are interested in this option.
#15 Don’t Let Your Dog Lick You
If your allergies are triggered by saliva, it’s best to not let your dog lick you.
As tragic as it is, allergens can still be found in the dog’s saliva and be transferred to you with their tongue.
If your dog does happen to lick you, make sure to wash the area with soap and water as soon as possible.
So, are Chihuahuas hypoallergenic? Unfortunately, no.
If you are considering a Chihuahua as your next pet, please be aware that they can cause allergies.
Even though Chihuahuas aren’t heavy shedders, dander is what causes allergies.
And, since all dogs have dander, there isn’t a 100% hypoallergenic dog.
If you are struggling with allergies, we hope our 15 tips will help lessen your symptoms and make it easier to live with a dog.
Air purifiers, grooming, and keeping a clean house are just a few of the things you can do to help alleviate allergies.
Have you tried any of these methods to reduce your allergy symptoms? Let us know in the comments below!