Every pup is cute in its own way, but to many pet parents Weiner dogs simply ooze cuteness.
Small, with those tiny little legs and long sausage dog bodies, Dachshunds are instantly recognizable and have been a popular dog breed choice among those looking to welcome a smaller dog into their homes and their lives for decades.
But, as cute as they are, are Wiener dogs hypoallergenic?
Below, we’ll dive in deep on Dachshunds’ dander and shedding and help you minimize allergic reactions to your Doxie.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
If you are wondering if Dachshunds are hypoallergenic the chances are good that you or a family member are an allergy sufferer, and most dogs seem to provoke an allergic reaction.
Hypoallergenic dog breeds have been a hot topic in the pet world for some time, as finding a pup that falls into this category may mean that a person who loves dogs, and the idea of becoming a dog parent, finally can.
But what does hypoallergenic mean?
If you have allergies, you probably look for "hypoallergenic" items to avoid an allergic reaction. A product is hypoallergenic if it contains minimal allergens, or substances that cause allergies.
However, because there is no agreed-upon scientific or legal definition of the phrase, the term "hypoallergenic" on a label does not always imply that you are protected.
This is especially true when talking about 'hypoallergenic' pets (because hypoallergenic cats are a 'thing' too now.)
Cosmetics, toys, clothing, and even pets can be labeled "hypoallergenic" without meeting any government-mandated standards.
So while there is no doubt that some dog breeds are far less likely to cause an allergic reaction than others, and even some good scientific and medical research to back those claims up, there is no such thing as an allergy-proof dog.
Understanding Why You are Allergic to Dogs
To understand what might make for a hypoallergenic dog it helps to understand why some people are considered allergic to them in the first place.
Many people, for example, think that it is a dog's fur that they are allergic to. But that is not the case.
The allergen in dogs that provokes a reaction is contained in a dog's saliva.
As pups wash, that allergen does transfer to their fur, making it an allergen, but contrary to what some believe, a hairless dog is not the answer for those allergic to pups.
Is a Dog Allergy Vaccine Really Coming Soon?
Allergies of all kinds can impact sufferers' lives in all kinds of ways, including not being able to have a dog as a pet. You may have read - or heard - recently that a dog allergy vaccine is in the works, but is it really?
The answer here is maybe.
For the first time, scientists have found candidates for components of the molecules that make up dog allergens that could lead to a "dog allergy vaccine."
In October of 2021, their findings were published in the Federation of European Biochemical Societies publication.
While there is still lots of work to do, the identification of one of the seven 'dog allergens' discovered over the years as being the one that causes up to 75% of allergic reactions in humans is a great start.
These are specific sections of antigens that the immune system recognizes and uses to stimulate or 'determine' an immune response. Once they do, a vaccine may well be possible.
But for now, hypoallergenic dogs may still be the best answer!
What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?
In very basic terms, a hypoallergenic dog is one who will deposit the least amount of allergen material across its surroundings.
The shorter-haired pup is often better as they will shed less, and use less saliva - which is what really carries the allergen - to groom themselves and deposit allergens on their skin.
A dog that spends more time indoors - and thus will be a cleaner dog who needs to wash themselves less is also less likely to provoke an allergic reaction.
Dogs who rarely drool, and are smaller in size are likely to do the same.
But there is no such breed as one that is 'engineered' to be completely hypoallergenic, that idea is an urban myth (at least for now). Genetic engineering could technically change that in the future!
Are Wiener Dogs Hypoallergenic?
Across the breed, Wiener dogs - which are properly called Dachshunds - are not hypoallergenic.
They may, under certain circumstances, be one of those breeds that provoke fewer allergic reactions in their pet parents however as they fit many of the criteria we just mentioned - they are small dogs, some of whom shed less, and, given their small stature, may not be up for as many messy outdoor adventures as their larger peers.
Are Long Haired Dachshunds Hypoallergenic?
As we mentioned, it is not a dog's hair that provokes an allergic reaction, but an allergen in their saliva.
That allergen is usually present on that fur though, so a long-haired dachshund, who will shed far more than its shorter-haired peers, is more likely to provoke an allergic reaction.
Are Short Haired Dachshunds Hypoallergenic?
Short-haired dachshunds, while not hypoallergenic, might cause far fewer allergy problems for their pet parents than other dogs.
They shed less and have a smaller body mass, two positives on the 'allergy scale' and they are not known to be droolers, so less allergen heavy saliva will be spread across their home.
Are Wirehaired Dachshunds Hypoallergenic?
Wirehaired Dachshunds are no more, or less, 'hypoallergenic' than their short-haired dachshund friends.
Their name comes from the fact that their coat is rougher, but given that the texture of a dog's fur is nothing to do with allergies it's not a difference that really matters here.
What does make a difference is that of all Doxie types, wire hairs shed the least.
Is a Dachshund Mix Hypoallergenic?
A mixed-breed dog is, by definition, a pup who has an often complicated lineage.
If their gene pool contains a pup with long hair, or who drools a lot, a Dachshund mix might cause more allergic reactions than a purebred.
Are Miniature Dachshunds Hypoallergenic?
No, just like all the other Dachshunds, living with a mini Doxie may still provoke an allergic reaction.
But as there is even less of them in terms of size, there might be fewer occurrences.
Do Dachshunds Shed?
All dogs shed to one extent or another.
Most Dachshunds shed less than many other breeds, although that's not the case for the long-haired variety.
Dachshunds, like all dogs, shed old hair as new hair grows.
Wire-haired dachshunds shed the least of all the types of Doxie. Wire-haired and long-haired Dachshunds usually molt twice a year, while smooth-haired dachshunds shed all year long.
How to Minimize Dachshunds Dog Allergies (for a Human)
There are ways that you can minimize dog allergies if you choose to live with a Dachshund, and the good news is that many of them, including the most effective, are easy to implement and in no way expensive or complicated:
Don't Let Your Pup Lick You
As the allergen that causes an allergic reaction is in a dog's saliva, the worst thing that an allergic pet parent can do is let them lick you!
It can be hard to break a pup of the habit if you have allowed it in the past, but with patient training, it can be done.
Groom Your Pup Outside
While your dog's fur is not an allergen in itself, the saliva on it is, and you do not want excess amounts of it in your home if you are prone to allergies.
This means that all bathing, brushing, and other pup grooming activities that lead to shedding should be done outdoors, or, at the very least in an area that is away from the rest of the home (the garage perhaps.)
Keep Your Pup Off Your Furniture
Lots of pet parents like to say they let their dogs on the furniture because they are a part of their family too, and they don't damage it.
However, for an allergic pet parent keeping your Dachshund off the furniture you sit on, sleep on, or eat off can go a long way to keeping those allergens at bay.
Keep Your Pup Out of Your Bedroom
Something else lots of pet parents do is share their bedroom with their dog.
But for allergy sufferers, this can lead to a lot of lost sleep. By keeping your bedroom as dog allergen-free as possible, by making it a pup-free zone, you can help ensure you get a good night's sleep.
Offer Your Pup a 'Dog Room'
Dogs love to be with their families, especially affectionate Doxies, but they also benefit from having their own space.
If you designate an area where your pup eats, sleeps, and keeps their toys the spread of allergens throughout your home will be reduced.
Wash Fabrics Your Dog is in Contact With More Often
In their daily lives, even small dogs kept off the furniture will come into contact with lots of the fabrics in your home, especially carpets, rugs, and the bottoms of floor-length drapes.
If you clean or wash these fabrics more often - or make small changes like swapping floor-length drapes for shorter versions or even blinds, you should see a difference in terms of allergic reactions.
Launder Your Pup's Bedding Weekly
The more frequently you wash your pup's bedding, the less allergen-soaked it will be.
It will also be a lot nicer for him to sleep in. If you have your pup make use of a soft dog bed, make sure it has a removable, machine washable cover that can simply be washed and tumble dried quickly, as you are more likely to do so if you do.
Use a HEPA Filter When You Vacuum
Most modern vacuums can make use of what are called HEPA filters.
A HEPA filter HEPA stands for High-Efficiency Particulate Air, and it's a term for filters that can collect 99.97 percent of particles smaller than 0.3 microns, which is pretty small.
This will mean that every time you vacuum you will be getting rid of more allergen material, making it easier for allergic household members to breathe.
Keep Your HVAC Filters Clean
If you have an HVAC system you already know that you are supposed to change the filters every few months and keep them clean.
A HEPA filter does help a lot, but even they don't last forever, and changing them according to the manufacturer's recommendations - usually every three months - will help keep both the warm and cold air these systems emit cleaner.