Having a furry, four-legged friend is special for any kid. Especially when their childhood memories are filled with afternoons spent playing fetch in the backyard or teaching their dog new tricks.
However, if your child suffers from pet allergies, you might be hesitant to bring a dog into your home. Dog fur, saliva, and dander are likely to cause your child to experience a number of irritating symptoms such as nasal congestion, itchy or watery eyes and sneezing. Luckily, there are a number of dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic, making it possible to have a family dog.
Learn more about the best dogs for kids with allergies and why you should consider bringing one of these allergy-friendly dog breeds home as the newest member of your family.
First on our list is the Bichon Frise. With a thick, white coat, they are as friendly as they are cute. The Bichon Frise is a member of the American Kennel Club’s non-sporting group and grow to be about nine to 11 inches tall at the shoulder. Given their small size, they only weigh about seven to 12 lbs and have a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years.
The Bichon Frise is an affectionate breed, making it a great family-friendly option for those with children. They are cheerful dogs with quite a bit of energy, yet still enjoy time spent cuddling up with their owners.
The Bichon Frise sheds very little, making them one of the best dogs for kids with allergies. When they do shed, the hair is caught within their undercoat. Keep in mind that in order to prevent matting, they need to be brushed about every other day. Frequent baths are also a must if owners want to keep their coat bright white and clean.
Known as the “Velcro dog”, this breed always sticks close to their owner. Havanese dogs make excellent companions because they are small but sturdy and can handle playing with children of any age. They tend to weigh about 10 to 15 pounds and live up to 15 years.
Havanese love to go for long walks and play fetch, and need as much exercise as a larger dog would. It’s important to note that they have an affectionate personality, and can develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods of time.
Surprisingly, Havanese dogs are great options for people with pet allergies despite their long and silky hair that would make you think otherwise. Their thick coat doesn’t shed easily but requires daily brushing to prevent mats from forming.
Next on the list is the Schnauzer, which is a member of the Terrier family. This breed comes in three sizes, giant, standard and miniature.
The Giant Schnauzer is the largest of the three types, weighing from 60-85 pounds. The Standard Schnauzer is the medium-sized variety, weighing 35 to 45 pounds. While the Miniature Schnauzer is a smaller dog, weighing roughly 13 to 15 pounds. These dogs have a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. Schnauzers are energetic pets that love to go for long walks, playing with their toys and chasing the kids of the house or backyard.
Schnauzers are known to be clever and inquisitive. At times, this causes them to be stubborn so it is best to train them early. Continue to teach them new tricks and commands to keep their smart mind busy. This breed has a double coat; a short undercoat and a longer, wiry top coat. The undercoat catches the very few hairs that they do shed. In order to keep their fur from becoming unmanageable, the undercoat needs consistent brushing and should be “stripped” twice a year.
Poodles come in three different sizes: standard, miniature and toy size. The standard poodle can weigh anywhere between 40 and 70 pounds, making it the largest of the three. The miniature and toy poodles are on the smaller side, weighing between six and 20 pounds.
While many people associate poodles with being fancy show dogs, they were originally bred for hunting! Poodles are an extremely athletic and intelligent breed that require both physical and mental exercise on a daily basis. Keep their mind occupied by challenging them with games and regular training sessions. Their clever demeanor makes them a fairly easy breed to train.
Oftentimes, poodles are crossbred with other dogs to reduce shedding, making these mixes one of the best dogs for kids with allergies. Due to the range in size, poodles can be bred with most other dog breeds.
Here are just a few common poodle mixes:
One of the first “designer dogs”, the Cockapoo is a mix of a Poodle and Cocker Spaniel. They are intelligent and affectionate dogs that love to spend time curled up on their owners lap. They are low-shedding dogs, but require some brushing to manage their coat.
One of the most popular dog hybrids today, the Goldendoodle is a fun pet with a playful personality. They can be standard size or “mini”, the latter being a better choice for those living in an apartment or a home with a smaller backyard. Because of the poodle’s genetics, these dogs hardly ever shed.
Labradoodles are a mix between a Labrador and a Miniature or Standard Poodle. Between the intelligence of the poodle breed and the Labrador’s love of people, the Labradoodle is a very trainable and people-pleasing dog. They are playful and require a fair amount of daily exercise to stay healthy and happy. A Labradoodle’s coat, while low-shedding, is not low maintenance. They require regular brushing and grooming.
A small and fluffy-looking dog, the maltipoo is a hybrid who loves to be the center of attention. They are caring and gentle, and therefore perfect for families with kids. This particular dog is a combination of two low-shedding breeds, making it one of the best dogs for kids with allergies.
Potentially the most popular breed when looking for a hypoallergenic dog, the Portuguese Water Dog is a loving and friendly-family pet. Not only do they get along well with people, but other dogs as well.
The Portuguese Water Dog is a medium-sized breed that can weigh anywhere from 40 to 60 pounds and have a lifespan of 10 to 14 years. Their coat can either be wavy or curly and isn’t prone to shedding, reducing dander and allergy symptoms in those who suffer from pet allergies.
As their name suggests, this breed loves to spend time swimming in the water. They also enjoy retrieving anything, from tennis balls to sticks they find outside. As they are on the larger side, they do require daily exercise such as long walks or vigorous play time.
When looking for the best dogs for kids with allergies, remember to look for low-shedding, hypoallergenic breeds. There are a number of cat breeds that can be good options if your household is prone to pet allergies. And don’t forget about rabbits, birds and turtles, too!
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