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Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic? Breed Facts & FAQ

Hanh Duong

By Hanh Duong

shiba inu dog resting

The most popular dog breed in Japan is the Shiba Inu, and they are rapidly gaining popularity in the United States as well. These canines are beautiful, intelligent, bold, and loyal, so it makes perfect sense to want one in your home. However, you must do some research before getting any pets, especially if you have any allergies.

Are Shiba Inus hypoallergenic? In short, no, this breed is not hypoallergenic—but in reality, no dog is truly hypoallergenic. In this article, I’ll help you understand why you are allergic to dogs, share tips for living with them, recommend the best breeds for human allergies, and much more. Let’s go!

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What Causes Allergic Reactions to Dogs?

You might be surprised to learn that dog fur does not cause allergic reactions in those with pet allergies. The protein in their saliva, dander (dead skin cells), and urine is the main reason for allergic reactions.1 Dog fur collects the dander, however, which is why it’s such a common vector for spreading. Allergy symptoms may occur when the proteins enter your mouth, nose, eyes, or skin.

Shiba Inu Coats

Shiba Inu
Image Credit: uadrienn, Pixabay

Shiba Inus are protected by two layers of fur thanks to their double coat. Each of these layers has a specific function for protecting your dog. The fur closest to the dog’s skin is called the undercoat. It is also known as secondary hair, and it often has a fluffy, soft texture and grows in close succession. This layer will keep your Shiba warm throughout the winter months.

The outer layer, sometimes called the guard fur, is the term for the outermost covering of fur. It shields a dog’s skin and coat from dirt and wetness, so it is often wiry and rough. Fall and spring are the official “shedding seasons” for Shibas. However, owners quickly learn that they also shed all year round.

Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?

There are numerous dog breeds that are less allergenic for those with dog allergies, but there aren’t any canines or dog breeds that are completely hypoallergenic.2 Thus, the term hypoallergenic simply implies that a dog is less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Unfortunately, the Shiba Inu is not hypoallergenic.

Anyone who owns a Shiba Inu can tell you how much this gorgeous dog sheds, especially during the two shedding seasons. As you can imagine, having so much fur twice a year may be a “slight” problem if you have a severe allergy to dog dander.

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What Dog Breeds Are Best for Human Allergies?

If you have allergies and are still interested in getting a dog, consult your vet or an allergist to find a way to live in harmony with your pet. After you’ve worked it out, you can narrow down which breed is best for you. According to the American Kennel Club,3 these breeds are among the top choices for people with allergies.

Can You Own a Dog if You Have Allergies?

Shiba Inu
Photo Credit: Thorsten1970, pixabay

Animals can become an integral part of your family, and you might still want to own a dog if your allergy is manageable. To control pet allergens in your house, try the following tips:

1. Reduce Your Exposure to Allergens:
  • Keep your dog away from bedrooms and other sleeping areas. Close the bedroom door if you have one.
  • Don’t let pets sit on fabric furniture.
  • Ask someone who doesn’t have a pet allergy to brush the animal outside to remove its fur. Use a mask and gloves if you are the one cleaning and grooming.
  • To eliminate allergens after your dog has been outside, wipe them off with towels or wipes made for pets.
  • Once you’ve spent time with a dog, take a shower and change y
  • our clothes. The frequency may vary depending on your level of sensitivity and exposure to allergens.
  • After touching the dog, their cage, or their bedding, wash your hands and face.
2. Clean and Minimize Allergens in Your House:
  • Use gloves and a mask when cleaning.
  • Use a cloth to remove dust from hard surfaces, such as cabinets, walls, and floorboards. You can prevent pet hair from re-entering the air by having a microfiber or damp cloth.
  • Choose non-fabric window coverings and furniture whenever possible.
  • Use washable slipcovers or blankets to cover fabric furniture.
  • Weekly carpet and fabric furniture vacuuming is recommended.
  • Install hard surface flooring and try to remove the carpet.
  • Choose blinds that allow you to dust with a moist cloth or wash or vacuum fabric drapes.
  • Allergens can be distributed throughout your home via forced-air heating and cooling systems. Use a dense filtering material to cover any vents in the bedroom.

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Millions of people enjoy having pets in their homes and their lives. Before you get a dog, it’s vital to determine if you are allergic to them in order to ensure a good life for both. The Shiba Inu sheds a lot of hair at least twice a year, and people with allergies might not be suited to bring this breed home. Consult with your vet for more advice on reducing allergy symptoms.


Featured Image Credit: Piqsels

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