yorkshire terrier on the grass

If you get a stuffy nose or itchy skin whenever you enter a home with a dog, you’re not alone. Dog allergies are among the most common allergies, and many dog lovers feel like they have to love from a distance. The promise of a hypoallergenic breed seems like a golden ticket—and Yorkies are one of the most common candidates.

But are they truly hypoallergenic? Well, yes and no. No dog is 100% allergy-safe, but there are some traits that make allergies less severe, and Yorkies have all of them. That means that many people with dog allergies can be around Yorkies without trouble.

Why Some Dogs Make You Sicker Than Others

To understand what a “hypoallergenic” dog really means, we need to get into the science of dog allergies. If you get allergies around dogs, you’re reacting to two proteins, Can F1 and Can F2, that dogs produce. Those proteins are in dog saliva, urine, and skin. The last part is the most dangerous to people because dead skin flakes, called dander, get into the air when your dog sheds.

All kinds of dogs produce Can F1 and F2. That’s why there’s no completely hypoallergenic dog. But the less dander your dog produces, the better. Some things that affect that include your dog’s coat type, size, and shedding habits, along with environmental factors.

What About Yorkie Coats Makes Them Special?

That brings us back to Yorkies. They might not be a magic bullet, but there are lots of reasons these little dogs are among the best for allergy sufferers. For starters, they are small. Littler dogs have less fur and skin overall, so they have less dander. They also have ideal coats for allergy control. They have fine, thin hair without an undercoat and don’t shed much. They also produce less dander than other breeds. This makes it much less likely that a Yorkie will trigger allergic reactions.

The amount of dander produced overall varies from dog to dog as well. We don’t understand why, but some dogs make a lot more dander than others. That means that even though some breeds have better traits than others, there’s no hard and fast rule. One Yorkie might trigger your allergies, and another might not.

Yorkshire Terrier standing on a wooden table
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Other Ways to Minimize Allergens

Along with buying a low-dander dog, lifestyle changes can help you get rid of allergy symptoms. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Groom regularly: Washing and brushing helps get rid of dander so it doesn’t get into the air. Short haircuts can also help make grooming easier and more effective.
  • Wash your hands: Clean up after petting or playing with your dog.
  • Make dog-free zones: Keeping your dog out of your bedroom and other areas where you spend the most time can help you manage allergies.
  • Get an air filter: Good filters can get rid of dander in the air.
  • Clean, clean, clean: Carpets, beds, and couches should be cleaned regularly to avoid dander buildup.

Final Thoughts

If you have dog allergies, there’s still hope! Many dog owners have minor allergies that can be treated with proper management. Buying a hypoallergenic dog like a Yorkie is one track you can take to help you stay healthy and happy.

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay