Pugs are adorable little pups that make excellent pets for almost everyone. With their laidback temperament and entertaining personalities, you’re sure to have a blast with one of these dogs. However, if you’ve been considering adopting a Pug but are allergic to dogs, you need to know whether Pugs are hypoallergenic or not.
Technically, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic;1 it’s just that some shed less hair and produce less dander than others, so they may be less allergenic for some people. Unfortunately, the Pug is not one of these breeds. So, if you have intense allergies, the Pug, or in fact any dog, might not be your best option. However, if your allergies are fairly mild, there are some things you can do to lessen allergy symptoms around Pugs.
Dogs & Allergies
What causes a person to be allergic to a dog in the first place? Many think it’s a dog’s hair, but the real culprit is proteins found in dander, saliva and urine.
What is dander? Dander is microscopic shed dead skin cells. As these are small and lightweight they can remain in the air for a long time and can easily stick to furniture, bedding and other household items. Dander is also attached to dog hair, so dogs that shed a lot will leave more dander in their wake ( hence, why people often believe it’s the hair itself that causes allergies).
Saliva seems an odd thing for one to be allergic to, but it happens. This is because your pet’s saliva holds certain proteins that can trigger your immune system.2 So, when an animal grooms itself, or licks other objects, the saliva will dry and can then become airborne, causing a reaction when allergic people inhale it. Add in the fact that dogs are often keen on licking their humans and pugs can be prone to drooling, and you could end up with saliva all over you, making things worse.
Why Pugs Aren’t Hypoallergenic
Pugs have short coats, which would lead one to think they wouldn’t shed as much, right? Wrong! Unfortunately, a short coat doesn’t necessarily equate to a dog that sheds less. In fact, Pugs are pretty moderate shedders that shed all year round. Admittedly, due to their coat being smooth, they shed less than some other breeds (like Golden Retrievers or German Shepherds). But these small pups shed more than you think! And that equals more dander and allergens in your home, which leads to more allergy symptoms.
How Can I Reduce Allergy Symptoms?
If you do have a Pug and mild allergies, there are ways you can ease your allergy symptoms.
If you think your allergies won’t be able to handle a Pug, there are several other small dogs you might consider that may be less allergenic! Some dogs shed less and produce less dander, which might be easier on your allergies. However, it’s important to note there are different types of allergen proteins and different dogs produce different amounts, even if they are all from the same breed. Allergy sufferers react to different proteins and recent research has shown that people who have dog allergies may not be allergic to all dogs. As you can see, it’s not straightforward to predict which will trigger allergies!
Unfortunately, Pugs are not hypoallergenic and are instead rather prolific shedders. All that shedding means there’s more dog hair and dander flying around your home, which can induce allergy symptoms. Plus, some people are allergic to dog saliva, so that should be taken into account.
However, there are some ways you can ease allergy symptoms (if your allergies aren’t terribly bad). It’s very important to consider your own health and how bad your dog allergies are before bringing a new dog into your family and home and committing to their lifelong care. Choosing a less allergenic breed with a low shedding or low dander coat may be a good option but no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic.