Chihuahuas, albeit small, have tons of character and personality that make them great family pets and bring lots of laughter and fun into a household.
If you’re interested in adopting or buying a chihuahua, then you might want to consider whether they’re hypoallergenic or not if you suffer from pet allergies, otherwise, you could be in for an uncomfortable ride trying to live with them.
So, are chihuahuas hypoallergenic?
The short answer is no but that doesn’t mean people who have pet allergies cannot have chihuahuas as pets, so keep on reading to find out more.
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What is a hypoallergenic dog?
A hypoallergenic dog is a dog that is less likely to cause an allergic reaction in humans. However, it’s important to note that there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog, there are breeds that tend to do better with allergy sufferers.
Hypoallergenic dogs have non-shedding coats that produce less dander, therefore, humans will probably be less likely to experience allergic reactions to them.
What causes humans to be allergic to dogs?
Before we go into further details about why chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic dogs, we’ll need to delve deeper into why dogs cause allergic reactions in humans.
Most people think that dog allergies are related to the dog’s fur/coat, which is part of the problem and it would be better to seek out a dog that doesn’t shed much if you are looking for a hypoallergenic breed.
However, the biggest trigger of dog allergies is dander. Dander is microscopic flakes of skin that are shed by dogs and other animals that can cause reactions in people who are allergic to dander.
If you’re allergic to pet dander, some common symptoms you might exhibit are sneezing, stuffy nose, wheezing, red itchy eyes, hives, or even a tightness in the chest.
How much does a chihuahuas’ fur shed?
Chihuahuas are light to moderate shedders throughout the year, although they will begin to shed more during the hot summer months. There isn’t much difference in the shedding amount between long and short-haired chihuahuas.
Are short-haired chihuahuas better for people with allergies than long-haired chihuahuas?
Yes, short-haired chihuahuas are the best choice for people who struggle with mild dog allergies, they are easier to groom yourself and therefore you’ll be able to control your dog’s dander.
Whereas long-haired chihuahuas are more difficult to groom, therefore you’ll probably try to put it off as much as possible which will increase the risk of dander spreading in your home, and making your allergies worse.
No chihuahua is hypoallergenic, however, if you are allergic to dog’s then we’d recommend going with a short-haired chihuahua.
However, some people’s allergies may not be to do with dander from a dog’s fur/skin and is related to their saliva or urine, so if this is the case, then a dog would not be a good fit for your home.
How To Control Your Pet Allergies With Your Chihuahua
Just because you’re allergic to pet dander, doesn’t mean your dreams of getting a cheeky chihuahua can’t become a reality. There will be procedures you need to put into place to allow yourself to live comfortably with your chihuahua and so they don’t trigger your allergies.
The easiest way to minimize dander is by regularly grooming your chihuahua, which involves both bathing and brushing them. Chihuahuas are very small dogs so grooming and bathing them should not be a big ordeal as it would be with a dog like a retriever.
Before bathing your dog, try to use a deshedding brush on them, this will reduce the possibility of them shedding around your home and leaving pet dander around.
Bath your dog pet at least once a month (or more if they’re especially dirty) and try to use anti-dander pet shampoos.
Bath and groom your dog outside away from your home, so any pet dander will not spread inside and sit on soft furnishings. After grooming them, vacuum up the excess fur and dander so it doesn’t drift in and spread everywhere.
Make sure you’re feeding your chihuahua the correct diet that will help them maintain healthy skin and coat and has balanced oils. You can also add fish oil to your dog’s diet if they are lacking in nutrients to keep their coat healthy and to reduce dander.
Always Wash Your Hands
Whenever you pet or cuddle your dog, make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap to wash away any dander that is sticking to your hands. Do not touch your face straight after touching your chihuahua, otherwise, you may experience symptoms like itchy eyes or hives.
Don’t Let Them Upstairs
Many people with dog allergies reinforce the rule that their dog is not allowed to come upstairs to prevent them from going into any of the bedrooms. This makes it easier for controlling the allergies in your home and you’ll always know that the air and room is an allergen-free zone.
You could also reinforce a rule to prevent your dog from jumping up on soft furnishings, so you can control where the dander is spreading.
Get An Air Purifier
If you want to stay extra cautious, consider getting an air purifier or a HEPA filter to capture dander and to help make the air more healthy and comfortable for you to breathe.
Stay On Top Of Vacuuming
Try to get a vacuum with a built-in HEPA filter to remove the tiny dander particles from the room. You’ll want to try to vacuum every 2 to 3 days to stay on top of your allergen control.
If you’ve decided to get a dog despite your dog allergies, then it will be your responsibility to take allergy medication so you can control your allergies to make life more comfortable living with them. There are no medications you can give to a dog to prevent them from producing dander.
You may be allergic to some breeds more than others, so before you buy a chihuahua try to spend some time with a breed somehow to determine how you’ll react if they live with you.