greyhound outdoors

The friendly and athletic greyhound is a wonderful, short-haired choice for any active family, but are they compatible with people who suffer from allergies? Sadly, greyhounds are not considered to be hypoallergenic. While they have short hair compared to other dog breeds, that alone is not enough to classify them as hypoallergenic. However, many people allergic to dogs report having fewer issues around greyhounds.

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

No animal is truly hypoallergenic, and breeds that are marketed as “hypoallergenic pets” can still cause an allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic simply means that the dog is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. So, if you are highly allergic to pet dander, even a hairless dog or cat can set off your allergies.

Italian Greyhound standing on grass
Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Causes of Allergies in Dog Owners

Shedding is not the issue when it comes to triggering dog allergens. According to an interview with Scientific American, veterinarian Bernadine Cruz stated, “For many people, being allergic to dogs is a matter of having a sensitivity to a protein in their saliva which also exudes through their skin.” The most common allergens from dogs come from skin cells and saliva.

Dogs use their tongues to clean themselves regularly, leaving behind a saliva residue on their fur. As your dog sheds, hair that’s full of saliva and skin cells drifts around your home and ends up in your nose, eyes, and mouth.

What Are Major Causes of Allergies Triggered by Greyhounds?

Greyhounds might not trigger as many allergy symptoms as other breeds, but that doesn’t eliminate the possibility entirely. Two different greyhounds can produce separate allergen levels, just as two different people will react to their allergies in completely different ways. One greyhound might trigger your allergies, and another may not.

Allergens can come from different sources, and not every greyhound carries every single one.

1. Greyhound’s Hair

The greyhound’s hair is not an allergen, but it can carry allergens like saliva. Your dog’s fur can also bring dust and pollen into your home. Whatever your dog touches can stick to the hair, hence the need for regular grooming when fighting allergies.

2. Greyhound’s Dander

The dander within dog fur is the real threat. Dander is a combination of saliva and skin; this potent mixture lingers everywhere. To combat the amount of dander in your home, try to keep your home clean and vacuum as much as possible. If your dog has a favorite blanket, wash it regularly. Having hardwood floors as opposed to carpet can also help eliminate dander build-up.

black italian greyhound
Photo courtesy of Pixabay

How to Reduce the Likelihood of Triggering Dog Allergies

If you are determined to own a dog despite your allergies, here are some steps you can take to reduce your symptoms.

  • Bathe your dog regularly: Bathing your dog will help eliminate dander, hair, dirt, pollen, or anything else lurking in your dog’s fur.
  • Grooming and brushing your dog: Regular brushing will remove loose hair and keep it from spreading to your pillows or carpet.
  • Wash your hands regularly: As soon as you touch your dog, wash your hands immediately before touching your face. Doing so will lessen the chances of bringing allergens to your eyes, mouth, or nose.
  • Try to limit the amount of time your dog is in your bed: As much as we adore snuggle time, dogs leave hair and dander behind when they join you in your bed or on the couch.
  • Use a powerful vacuum often: Buying a powerful vacuum may seem unnecessary, but it can keep your carpets and floors free of dander.


Greyhounds are amazing companions for active families, but they are not hypoallergenic. While allergy sufferers may experience fewer symptoms, owning a greyhound will not eliminate them entirely. However, pet owners with allergies can minimize their reactions to allergens by keeping their homes clean, bathing and grooming their dogs, and keeping their pets away from the bedroom.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay