chow chow dog standing on grass

Chow Chows are loyal pets. They generally don’t care for other dogs but are affectionate and protective of their humans. The breed is on the quieter side, only barking when alarmed. Compared to other medium-sized dogs, Chow Chows require less exercise and only need one or two walks a day. All these traits make the Chow Chow suited for life in the city, suburbs, or country.

If a Chow Chow sounds like the perfect breed for your family, there is one catch. This breed is not hypoallergenic and has the potential to aggravate allergy symptoms. Read on to learn exactly what “hypoallergenic” means and how much grooming Chow Chows need.

What Does ‘Hypoallergenic Dog’ Mean?

Around 1 in 10 people in the U.S. are allergic to dogs. Mild canine allergy symptoms include a rash, sneezing, and watery eyes. Those with severe allergies may experience an asthma attack or have difficulty breathing.

Proponents of “hypoallergenic” dogs claim these breeds are allergy-friendly because they don’t shed, but the link between dog fur and allergies is complicated. Many people are actually allergic to dander, the dead skin cells in the dog’s fur, and not the fur itself.

And some individuals are allergic to more than a dog’s dander or fur. People can also react when exposed to proteins found in a canine’s urine, feces, or saliva.

Do Chow Chows Shed a Lot?

Yes, Chow Chows are moderate shedders. Their owners need to brush their double coats several times a week. All of that loose doggy fur can irritate allergies. Chow Chow owners need to have their vacuums and lint rollers handy, and the dogs require a couple of baths each month.

chow chow dog in the garden
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Is Any Dog 100% Hypoallergenic?

No. As much as we’d like there to be, there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed. Beware of any dog breeders who claim their puppies are “allergy-free.” No one can honestly make that claim. However, some dog breeds are less likely to cause allergy symptoms, including Irish Water Spaniels, Poodles, and Schnauzers.

A hypoallergenic dog with similar traits to the Chow Chow is a soft coated wheaten terrier. These pups don’t shed much, but they require frequent brushing. Like the Chow Chows, terriers are medium-sized and do well in almost any home environment. However, soft coated wheaten terriers are more affectionate and social. They don’t have the regal air or aloofness some Chow Chows do.

Canine companionship may not be possible for people with severe reactions like asthma attacks, but individuals with milder symptoms can find relief with over-the-counter or prescription medication. Limiting a dog to certain areas of the house can help contain allergens and make vacuuming/hair removal more manageable. At the very least, allergy sufferers should keep their dogs out of their bedrooms and away from their bed linens.

Final Thoughts

Chow Chows have double coats and are moderate shedders. This breed is not considered hypoallergenic and may trigger allergies in some individuals. People can be allergic to a dog’s fur, dander, saliva, urine, or feces.

A 100% “allergy-free” dog does not exist. Certain breeds shed less and may be less likely to trigger a reaction in certain people.


Featured Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock