Chihuahuas are some of the smallest dogs on the planet; they also happen to be among the most aggressive. While this has placed them at the center of many jokes, these long-lived dogs are highly devoted to their masters.
The breed is purely Mexican, and the dogs come in a variety of colors and coat lengths.
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Are Chihuahua Dogs Hypoallergenic?
Despite being small with a manageable coat, Chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic.
If you are not sensitive to dander and want an easy to care for companion, this breed is worth your consideration. Let’s take a closer look at what they have to offer below.
Is a Chihuahua Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, Chihuahuas are not a hypoallergenic breed regardless of their coat length. There is no completely hypoallergenic dog, but those that are considered as such, have minimal dander shedding.
If you are allergic to dander, or if you are sensitive to dander and pet hair, this breed is not going to be a good fit for you. This breed is not considered hypoallergenic shed and they also produce a regular amount of dandruff. Both the long-haired and the short-haired dogs of this breed are medium-shed dogs.
Do Chihuahuas Shed?
Chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic and they do shed both hair and dander. As a medium shed breed, they do not have an excessive amount of shedding that causes hassles with cleaning.
However, they are also not low-shed dogs that produce little to no hair at all. They fall directly in the middle by not shedding too little or too much. Their dander production is also in the medium range which disqualifies them as a hypoallergenic breed.
What Are The Symptoms of Pet Allergies?
Allergies come in different forms and produce different reactions. There are certain proteins found in the skin cells of dogs, as well as in their urine and saliva that can trigger an allergic reaction.
There are a few common symptoms that may indicate that you or someone around you may have a pet allergy.
Hay fever is one of the most common symptoms. This is typically evidenced by a runny nose or sneezing when around a pet dander or the animal itself.
More extreme symptoms can include trouble breathing, wheezing, or shortness of breath. Congestion, itchiness in the throat, skin irritation, and watery eyes are also common when an individual has a pet allergy.
Top 5 Little Short Haired Dogs (That Don't Shed Much)
We understand that Chihuahuas, though extremely cute, are simply not going to work out for those who have very strong sensitivities. Thankfully, we have found some alternatives that will fill your short-haired and small-breed fix.
Here is a list of 5 short hair dogs that are small and shed very little.
Miniature Schnauzer – this breed is very small, and it has the advantage of having short hair. In addition, they are hypoallergenic and require minimal maintenance to keep their coat clean. A visit to the groomer once a month or at least every six weeks will keep their hair and coat well maintained.
Chinese Crested – these little, mini dogs have a unique look and are virtually hairless. They have some hair on their ears, the tops of their feet, and on their head. They have the advantage of being hypoallergenic which makes them an ideal companion for those with pet allergies. They require occasional maintenance around their ears, tail, and feet to keep their minimal amount of hair neat.
Yorkshire Terrier – this toy breed has short hair and short stature. The fineness of their hair is similar to human hair and just as easy to care for. This breed is hypoallergenic, but their coat does take some work to maintain. They need to be brushed every other day to prevent tangles, similar to your own hair.
Xoloitzcuintli – this ancient breed is just as unique as it is striking. This hairless dog is hypoallergenic and is often used as a watchdog. Despite their miniature size, they make a loyal companion that will stand by your side in every circumstance. They are hairless, however, they need to be kept away from harsh temperatures. Too much heat or too much cold weather can cause them to fall ill.
Maltese – this breed is small and hypoallergenic. They average out at around seven pounds making them the perfect lap dog for the allergy impaired. Grooming is not overly difficult, but you will need to choose between allowing their hair to grow long, or keeping it trimmed short. They will need to be brushed every couple of days with either option.
Why Do Small Dogs Help With Hypoallergenic Conditions?
Hypoallergenic breeds are the best option for those with allergies, however, there is a caveat.
Many short-haired smaller breed dogs, generally in the toy category can also help with allergies. Chihuahuas are not hypoallergenic, but they are a miniature breed. It is said that smaller dogs are better for those with allergies simply because they have less skin on which to produce dander.
That is not saying all small dogs are going to be allergy-friendly, but just that they are less likely to cause as strong a reaction as a larger dog.
5 Great Tips For Living with a Chihuahua If You Have Dog Allergies
Chihuahuas are so cute and so small it can be hard to resist their charm. Although they are not hypoallergenic, there are ways you can minimize the risk of triggering a reaction.
1. Don’t Let Them On Your Furniture
If you must have a Chihuahua, then limit the amount of dander you are exposed to in your bedroom and on your furniture. Create firm boundaries about where they can lay down and in which rooms they are allowed to roam.
For those with pet allergies, restrict bedroom access completely.
You should also train your Chihuahua to avoid jumping on the couches, chairs, or other furniture. This will help reduce dander and hair from spreading all around the house and it will give you dander-free space to relax.
If you're frustrated with how your Chihuahua's dog training is going we recommend Doggy Dan's The Online Dog Trainer - this is one of the best behavioral training courses I've used in tackling problem behaviors like jumping on people and barking and much much more.
2. Groom Your Pet
Grooming will play a big role in reducing the amount of dander and hair that you are exposed to. Allergens such as dander are the main cause of allergic reactions. The dander, not the hair, is dead skin from their coat that aggravates allergies.
Regular grooming such as bathing with an anti-allergen pet shampoo, brushing, and haircuts will help reduce the amount of dander and hair that your Chihuahua sheds. For pets that spend a lot of time outdoors, bathing or grooming at least twice a week is recommended.
Brushing their coat with a high-quality grooming comb or grooming glove twice a week will also reduce their shedding and help prevent allergy attacks. If you are prone to dander sensitivity, consider taking your pet to a groomer instead.
3. Use HEPA Filters and Air Purifiers
For those who suffer from asthma, allergies, or other breathing-related issues, studies show that HEPA filters can help. The filters will help capture allergens in the air and trap them before they have a chance to aggravate your skin or lungs.
Depending on your HVAC system, you may be able to install these centrally to cover your entire home.
If you live in an apartment, you may need to install an air purifier that has a HEPA filter instead. Regardless of which option you choose, it is important to change your filters on a regular basis to prevent the allergens from being released back into the air.
4. Maintain a Clean Home
Those with allergies have to be extra vigilant in the fight against pollutants. In order to help reduce the effects your Chihuahua has on your sensitivities; you will need to clean meticulously.
Vacuum the rugs and carpets in your home every other day. Use the attachments to clean sofas and curtains as well. You can also equip most modern vacuums with a HEPA filter to further contain dander, dust, pet hair, and allergens that are in the fabrics.
For non-carpeted areas, make a point of mopping the floors at least every other day. Dander is dead skin, as such; it can stick to all types of surfaces with equal tenacity. Pet bedding should be cleaned and washed once weekly to reduce the buildup of dander as well.
5. Upgrade Your Fabrics
Some fabrics are better at repelling allergens than others. If you suffer from allergies, it is important to use the right type of fabric to reduce attacks. For those who plan to keep a Chihuahua at home, using allergy-friendly fabrics is even more important. Many carpets and curtains attract dirt and trap not only dust but also pet dander.
Choosing wood floors is a great way to reduce the amount of dander and dust in your home. Instead of using typical wool or linen drapes, consider using roller shades, wooden blinds, or even satin wall coverings.
Bamboo is naturally hypoallergenic and is easy to find in a variety of colors and patterns. For upholstery, consider switching to leather or faux leather to further repel dust and dander.