rat terrier on grass

If you’re looking for a dog breed that is brave, intelligent, hard-working, and affectionate, then the rat terrier is an excellent choice for you.

However, owning one can be problematic if you’re allergic to dogs. No dog is truly hypoallergenic, and all dogs produce proteins in their saliva and dander that can easily trigger allergies in humans. In other words, if you have severe pet allergies, you’re unlikely to find a breed that does not trigger symptoms.

If you have your heart set on a rat terrier as a family pet, there are ways to reduce the chances of the dog triggering your allergies. We’ll discuss that and more in our blog below.

Symptoms of Dog Allergies

If you have never owned dogs before, you might not know that you’re allergic to your rat terrier. Here are some of the most common symptoms of dog allergies.

  • Stuffy nose
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Swollen sinuses/face
  • Itchy skin, rash, hives
  • Burning or itchy eyes

In most cases, the symptoms are mild to moderate and can easily be treated with over-the-counter medications.

You’ll need medication with an antihistamine in it to clear up the allergy. Sometimes, pet allergies can be extremely severe. If you find you can’t breathe around your rat terrier, or any other pet for that matter, try moving to a secluded room.

If that fails to help, you need to visit the local emergency room for diagnosis and treatment options. Unfortunately, in many cases, if your reaction is severe enough to send you to the emergency room, you’re not going to be able to be around any pet, even ones that are said to be hypoallergenic.

Do Rat Terriers Shed? How To Handle the Shedding

Yes, rat terriers shed. However, their shedding is not excessive when compared to other dog breeds.

Rat terriers are considered low-maintenance pets when it comes to grooming because of their short hair. You should be able to get away with brushing your terrier once a week to cut down on hair around the house.

It’s also a good idea to vacuum your home frequently to cut down on any hair buildup that might trigger an allergic reaction. Try to bathe your dog regularly and feed it high-quality food designed to reduce shedding.

Another way to ensure you don’t have an allergy attack to your pet is by designating your bedroom as a pet-free zone. While this may seem unfair to you and your furry friend, it’s better than having an allergy attack and ultimately having to get rid of your rat terrier.

close up of a rat terrier
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Other Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

While the rat terrier isn’t the best choice for someone with a pet allergy, there are ways to reduce the symptoms. However, if you’re looking for a slightly more hypoallergenic dog than the rat terrier, here are a few of our top choices:

While these dog breeds might be more hypoallergenic than the rat terrier, there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog, but some breeds are less likely to cause adverse reactions.

If you have severe, life-threatening allergies to pets, it’s best to remove all the animals from your home.


The answer to the question of whether Rat Terriers are hypoallergenic is no. However, they may cause fewer symptoms than other breeds. It’s best to visit a rat terrier to see how you react before making the commitment to give one a forever home.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock