There are so many things to consider when you’re thinking of adding a new member to your pack! Papillons are an amazing small, but mighty, breed of dog that can make awesome pets for the right people. I’ve been writing quite a bit about papillon’s coats lately, including this post about papillons having single coats, and this one about whether or not papillons shed. But one question I see asked often is whether or not papillons are hypoallergenic.
What, exactly, does hypoallergenic mean?
First thing first, to determine whether or not papillons are hypoallergenic it would help to have a good understanding of what hypoallergenic means, and how it relates to dogs. The Merriam-Webster definition of the word hypoallergenic is “having little likelihood of causing an allergic response”. So, basically, a hypoallergenic dog breed would be one that has little likelihood of causing an allergic reaction in people impacted by dog allergies.
What causes dog allergies?
A lot of people associate dog allergies with dog’s fur. However, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, “When you have a pet allergy, you are not allergic to the pet’s hair, fur, or feathers. You are allergic to the protein that is found in the pet’s dander (dead skin cells) saliva, and urine”. This is why people can still be allergic to dog and cat breeds who don’t have fur.
Fur can, however, trap allergens. Exposure to a high concentration of trapped allergens can trigger allergy symptoms in people who are allergic to dogs. Common dog allergy symptoms can include a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, coughing, hives, and swollen and/or itchy eyes. Pet allergies can sometimes progress to asthma, which can include more serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing.
Are there any truly hypoallergenic dog breeds?
Unfortunately, there are no truly hypoallergenic dog breeds. Since dog allergies are caused by proteins found in dogs’ dander, saliva, and urine, all breeds of dogs will, to some extent, impact a person with dog allergies. However, there are some breeds of dogs that produce less dander. These breeds have no, or non-shedding, coats and may not trigger allergies as strongly in some people. It’s important to note, however, that even breeds in these categories can still cause allergic reactions. A lot of it comes down to your individual allergies, how sensitive to dog allergens you are, and how much effort you put into keeping your dog and environment as allergen free as possible.
Are Papillons Hypoallergenic?
No, papillons are not hypoallergenic. Papillons are not on the list of dog breeds who have no, or non-shedding, coats. This breed does shed. They do not produce a lower amount of dander compared to other dog breeds. No dog breed is truly, 100% hypoallergenic, but papillons are also not on the list of dogs that may be less likely to cause allergic reactions for some people. If you suffer from dog allergies, a papillon will probably not be the right breed for you.
Papillons are amazing little dogs, but will probably not be the right breed for someone who suffers from dog allergies. But that’s ok! Learning what breeds, or types of pets, aren’t for you is an important step in your journey towards finding your ‘perfect’ animal companion. Comment below! Do you suffer from dog allergies, or are you allergic to any other type of pet? What are some of the things you do to help mitigate, or deal with, your allergies?