These cute companions from south of the border are fun, energetic, and confident. They are ideal for families with children and apartment living. Chihuahuas know how to charm their way into your heart quickly.
If you are an allergy-suffer, you may be hoping to find a hypoallergenic dog, and this pint-sized one with much less shedding may be just the ticket. Unfortunately, no breed is guaranteed not to cause allergies, including the Chihuahua.
Although they are small, the Chihuahua is not hypoallergenic, but there are things you can do to make living with your fur-baby and allergies more comfortable. You may also want to consider other breeds that are less allergenic.
What Are Allergies?
An allergy is simply a reaction to something in your environment that most people don’t respond to. It can be dust mites, certain types of pollen, or mold. It can also be food or medication. Adverse reactions are typically due to the proteins in the dog’s dander, but can also be in their saliva or urine. Skin cells from pets, as well as humans, contribute to dust mites.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
The term “hypoallergenic” is commonly misunderstood. There’s no chance a hypoallergenic object or animal can cause an allergic reaction, right? Due to some fancy marketing, especially in the cosmetics industry, many people have come to believe that’s true. “Hypo” simply means beneath or less than expected, so hypoallergenic things have a lower chance of causing an allergic reaction than similar ones that are not hypoallergenic.
Do Chihuahuas Trigger Allergy Symptoms? (Short and Long Hair)
Chihuahuas have skin, so they produce dead skin cells, or dander, that contain proteins capable of causing allergic reactions. If you have an allergy to dogs, you will most likely suffer allergy symptoms like congestion, a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy, watery eyes.
Short- and long-haired Chihuahuas are both medium shed dogs, meaning they still shed consistently throughout the year. Still, you won’t find considerable amounts like you would with a Husky or Lab Retriever. Many breeds with a thicker coat will shed much more often and create more dander, leading to the potential for worse allergy symptoms.
Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Exist?
According to the American Kennel Club, no canine is 100% hypoallergenic. However, some breeds are less allergenic than others. The AKC’s list includes several breeds, including short-hair, long-hair, and hairless ones, as well as small and large. While there is no guarantee that you won’t suffer allergies around any of the breeds listed, there is a lower chance of it than with dogs that shed frequently.
Can You Prevent Allergies to Chihuahuas?
Chihuahuas are a unique breed, and they may fit your lifestyle very well. If that’s the case or you’ve found your fur-mate at a foster or local shelter, there’s good news! There are ways you can help reduce your allergy symptoms when living in close quarters with your favorite pooch.
- Keep pets out of your bedroom: Creating a pet-free zone gives you a break from the allergens and allows symptoms to subside naturally.
- Use HEPA air purifiers: Placing HEPA air purifiers throughout the home can help trap dander and other air contaminants like pollen and tobacco smoke.
- Make regular visits to the groomer: Your groomer has an effective process for de-shedding that can help keep reduce the fur and dander in your home.
- Clean dust catchers around the house: Carpets, drapes, and furniture are notorious for holding onto dander much longer than you’d like. Try Spring-cleaning more often than once a year.
- Talk to your doctor: An allergist can pinpoint the source of your allergies, and you might be surprised at the results. They can also prescribe more effective treatments to make living with your Chihuahua friend more comfortable.
If you have your heart set on adopting a Chihuahua and your allergies are manageable with the tips above, don’t let that stop you! By working with your pet’s vet, their groomer, and your doctor, your home may be the forever home that a fun-loving, confident, and loyal pint-sized pup is looking for.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay