Are French Bulldogs Hypoallergenic?

No, French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic, but if you’re an allergy sufferer - all hope may not be lost!

 

The French Bulldog is an admired small dog beloved by many worldwide. Known as the Frenchie, their companionable temperament makes them a perfect choice for playful and irresistible pets.

 

As a non-hypoallergenic breed, however, the Frenchie does shed its short hair, but minimally. So if you are an allergy sufferer that loves the French Bulldog, there are options to live together happily.

 

What is a hypoallergenic dog breed?

 

It is helpful to understand what it means to be a hypoallergenic dog breed. Technically, there is no hypoallergenic dog. Those considered more hypoallergenic are low-shedding and have less pet dander, the two things that irritate allergy symptoms.

 

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America states that 15 to 30 percent of Americans have a degree of pet allergies.

 

Not all allergy symptoms will be severe, and many can be resolved with a few changes in your home.

 

Dog Breeds Considered to be Hypoallergenic

 

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), several breeds do well with allergy sufferers. They are listed in alphabetical order.

 

· Affenpinscher

· Afghan Hound

· American Hairless Terrier

· Barbado da Terceira

· Bedlington Terrier

· Bichon Frise

· Bolognese

· Chinese Crested

· Coton de Tulear

· Giant Schnauzer

· Irish Water Spaniel

· Kerry Blue Terrier

· Lagotto Romagnolo

· Löwchen

· Maltese

· Miniature Schnauzer

· Peruvian Inca Orchid

· Poodle (Miniature)

· Poodle (Standard)

· Poodle (Toy)

· Portuguese Water Dog

· Russian Tsvetnaya Bolonka

· Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

· Standard Schnauzer

· Xoloitzcuintli

· Yorkshire Terrier

 

This list of dog breeds fits into the hypoallergenic category because they are non-shedding. Since dander attaches to the hair, the non-shedding attribute narrows allergy symptoms.

 

What causes a dog breed to aggravate allergy symptoms?

 

Shedding

 

Some dogs shed more than others, but all dogs shed to a greater or lesser degree. A low-shedding dog requires understanding the dog’s breed and researching their grooming needs. Some dogs shed throughout the year; others lose their coats as different seasons emerge.

 

Shedding occurs as the new hair grows in and older hair falls out. As a dog shakes or scratches, it releases the hair and pet dander into the air. Grooming can help reduce the amount of fur and hair that collects in your home.

 

The French Bulldog has a short coat that can shed all year minimally, but you will notice an increase as the weather warms toward the summer. Daily brushing can be helpful.

 

Other breeds with longer coats may have two coats – an under and an outer. An undercoat is usually soft fur beneath the dog’s outer coat. It helps keep a dog comfortable in summer and winter. However, it is primarily in dogs that originated in colder climates.

 

Dogs with double coats shed considerably, especially as the weather turns warmer. It is not uncommon to hear dog owners refer to their dog as “blowing their coat” in the Spring. It is not unusual for several pounds of fur and hair to come out during this period.

 

Pet Dander

 

Consider pet dander in the same way as a person with dandruff. It is the microscopic dry, dead skin cells that every dog and person releases. Unless a dog has a skin irritation, the dander released is typically not visible in the airborne particles.

 

The dead skin from pets that floats into the air and lands on furniture and floors may include the pet’s proteins, saliva, urine, and feces. All these can be responsible for a person’s allergy symptoms to flare.

 

Most dander attaches to the dog’s hair, which you will see and often touch as it is swept or picked up to toss in the trash. The dander can transfer to your hands. If you rub your nose or eye, you have introduced the allergen to your immune system.

 

Pet Skin Issues

 

What are allergy symptoms?

 

Having an allergic reaction to a pet may have varying symptoms depending on your body’s immune system. The responses may include sneezing, watery eyes, and a runny nose to more severe symptoms of coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

 

Additional allergy symptoms may be nasal congestion, postnasal drip, and even difficulty sleeping. In some cases, a person may experience skin irritation, known as allergic dermatitis.

 

You love your Frenchie (or other pet) and want to find a way to cope with your allergies. Let’s look at how to reduce your reactions to your French Bulldog (and others).

 

Ways to reduce allergic reactions to your French Bulldog (and others)

 

Get a Diagnosis

 

To determine if your allergy symptoms result from your pet’s dander and hair, you can seek a diagnosis from your doctor. After answering a few questions about your symptoms, your physician may look at your nasal lining to see if it is irritated. 

 

Be aware that not all allergy symptoms are related to your dog. Changing seasons or numerous other things in your home, office, or outdoor life may be the cause.

 

An allergy skin test is the one way to know which allergens are causing your symptoms. Whether done on your forearm or upper back, a prick test of minute allergen extracts is performed. Most tests take 15 minutes. If allergic, a small red, itchy bump appears but generally resolves in 30 minutes.

 

Your doctor may choose a blood test for those with skin conditions or adverse reactions to certain medications. The lab results may take a few days to determine which allergens you may have.

 

In some cases, relief may come with over-the-counter allergy relief, or your doctor may prescribe some more potent. For others, the following steps can be beneficial. 

 

Prohibit Pet Access to an Allergy-Free Zone

 

One way to benefit those in your home that suffer from allergies is to prohibit your pet from certain rooms. While keeping a pet out of a room isn’t 100% effective, it does limit the amount of airborne dander that enters.

 

Training your pet not to enter a room, such as a bedroom, is one way to create an allergy-free zone within your home. There are impermeable bedroom linens designed for mattresses and pillows. An air cleaner with HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filters in the room can also be helpful.

 

Another way to restrict your pet’s entry to a room is to use pet gates. Note that a pet gate also limits your immediate access to a room as you will need to unlatch, open, close, and relatch the gate each time.

 

Use an Air Cleaner

 

Regularly changing HVAC filters and using HEPA air cleaners in your home will help collect airborne dust and pet dander. The high-efficiency particulate air filters remove tiny particles from the air circulating through your home.

 

If your home has not had a duct-cleaning in a few years, it may be a good idea to schedule one. Dust, hair, mold, and mildew can collect in the ducts over time.

 

Keep a Clean House

 

It is no surprise that furniture, carpet, curtains, and blinds collect dust and dander. Weekly cleaning can remove the allergens to keep symptoms from escalating.

 

Dust, vacuum, and mop all surfaces regularly. Use a damp cloth to wipe leather and fabric furniture, counters, and appliances—wash items such as pillows, bedding, window coverings. Plus, don’t forget to clean your pet’s bed regularly.

 

Clean Carpets and Flooring

 

Many professional floor-cleaning agencies offer deep cleaning processes to remove pet allergens as they clean carpets and flooring. Employing one of these services once every six months, or minimally once a year will reduce dust and dander that embeds into carpets and flooring.

 

There are also carpet shampooers for home use if you choose to buy one. As with any appliance, you will want to research the brands and models before you buy.

 

While many stores offer rental carpet cleaners, you can never be sure what allergens are left by a previous user or thoroughly sanitized before your rental. Therefore, use caution when renting units.

 

Regular Grooming

 

· A regular bath for your pet will not only keep it smelling fresh but helps reduce pet dander that causes symptoms for allergy sufferers. 

 

It is good to check with your veterinarian to find the right shampoo for your dog. If bathing your pet at home is not an option, many national pet stores now offer self-serve dog wash stations at very reasonable costs.

 

· A dog has natural oils in its skin that daily brushing can distribute through the hair to keep it shiny. Brushing is also a way to remove loose hair and collect it before it spreads through the house.

 

Another benefit of daily brushing is to check for any health issues the dog may have, such as cuts, fleas or ticks, growths, swelling, or lameness. 

 

· Taking your pet to the groomer comes with many benefits. In addition to a bath, nails are trimmed, ears cleaned, and haircuts given for dogs with longer hair. Some additional services may include brushing the dog’s teeth.

 

Trimming the dog’s nails prevents unhealthy nails that can cause your pet pain. Broken or cracked nails can lead to infections. Trimming is something you can learn to do if you don’t use a veterinarian or groomer for the procedure.

 

Owning a French Bulldog

 

Pet ownership is a responsibility that may last an average of 10-13 years. The Frenchie is an adorable pet in many ways and will give you years of joy. They are playful, friendly, great with children, intelligent, and alert without barking excessively.

 

We’ve discussed brushing regularly to remove any shedding hair and distribute the natural body oils. Did you know that brushing also promotes new hair to grow? Clean the facial folds and keep them dry. Regularly trim the nails, so they do not get too long and cause Frenchie pain.

 

This article has given you many tips to care for and continue to love and enjoy your French Bulldog.

 

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