Dogs indeed are man’s best friend. But suppose you or your family members suffer from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory issues, owning one might not seem possible because fur and dander produced by these animals can reach every corner of the house. What some people/families consider before getting a dog is whether or not they are hypoallergenic. After all, with all that itching and burning of the mucous membranes, sneezing and even bouts of suffocation, owning a dog can become a problem rather than a joy. Beagles are very popular family pets due to their charming appearance, small to medium size, gentle temperament, loyalty, and fun-loving nature. Let’s find out if they are suitable for those with allergies as well.
Are beagles hypoallergenic? Like any other dog, Beagles produce allergens in their fur, dander, saliva, and urine. These allergens quickly and easily spread all over the house, causing an allergic reaction in people with allergies. On the bright side, they are pretty moderate shedders and may cause fewer allergy symptoms than heavy shedders like the Basset Hound.
What causes an allergic reaction to dogs? Are Beagles bad for allergies? Do they shed a lot? These are all questions that many people have about living comfortably with this breed of dog. No worries, we will answer these and more in the coming texts. Studies show that one in every seven people is allergic to cats and/or dogs. If you’re among these people, it really doesn’t matter what breed of dog you get. That’s because they all have fur, dander, and saliva that can cause allergies. The good news is if you’re dedicated to having a dog in the family, there are certain tips you can follow to prevent allergies. Keep reading to learn more!
Hypoallergenic Dogs – What Does It Mean?
Hypoallergenic means something less likely to trigger an allergic reaction. You’re probably familiar with the sniffles we catch seasonally from airborne allergens like pollen. These so-called allergens can cause awful symptoms such as skin rash, trouble breathing, congestion, and even be life-threatening in extreme cases. Animals can be a source of allergens as well. An estimated 10-20% of people are allergic to dogs/cats. For this reason, we’ve seen some breeders claim to have hypoallergenic dogs/cats. However, the American Kennel Club (AKC) makes it very clear that there’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog.
What Causes an Allergic Reaction to Dogs?
Many of the breeds that are considered hypoallergenic are low shedders. While it’s true that dogs that shed a lot can be problematic for those with allergies, the real cause of an allergic reaction to dogs is a protein found in their dander, saliva, and urine. Dander is microscopic pieces of dead skin that dogs secrete and is often left behind when the dog sheds or shakes. When the dog licks itself, saliva sticks on the hair and is released into the environment when it sheds.
To make it worse, most dogs often lick you directly on the face, where the protein in the saliva can quickly lead to a runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms of an allergic reaction. Some breeds also tend to slobber and drool a lot, and when the saliva dries, it sends the tiny proteins into the air. Luckily for most owners, well-trained dogs do their business out of the house. Therefore, we shouldn’t worry about urine proteins unless the dog has an accident at home.
Is Any Breed Hypoallergenic?
It goes without saying that all dogs, including hairless breeds, emit substances that can cause allergies. Of course, some are thought to be a better fit for allergy sufferers. For instance, with hairless or low shedders, there’s less fur gathering around the home, meaning more control over your allergies. Then some breeds produce less saliva and dander, meaning less of the protein causing allergies in the air.
How hypoallergenic a dog is may depend on a person and dog as well. Dogs don’t produce the same proteins, meaning you may be allergic to a specific dog and not the other(s). Also, different dogs produce varying levels of allergic response depending on a person’s sensitivity. In conclusion, there is no universal hypoallergenic dog; it all depends on the person and the dog.
Are Beagles Hypoallergenic?
As mentioned earlier, no dog is truly hypoallergenic, but some are less likely to trigger allergies. Unfortunately, Beagles are not one of them. They are often used in lab tests to create dog-produced allergens for research, insinuating that they are not hypoallergenic. Even those breeders that claim to have hypoallergenic dogs don’t list them as one of them. Additionally, neither the Kennel Club nor the AKC lists Beagles as a breed that could potentially be a good fit for people who are allergic to dogs. So, why are they not considered hypoallergenic?
Beagles have short hair and shed moderately throughout the year, so it may not be the fur that triggers allergies. They do, however, produce too much dander for someone with allergies to be able to handle. In fact, Beagles are one of the highest producers of dander among small breeds. The amount of dander that a dog produces can’t be altered or changed because it’s created from within the body.
Beagles also experience seasonal shedding in spring and winter when they shed at their maximum in preparation for the cold and hot weather. Therefore, the amount of fur and dander moving around the house at this time is quite high, which can be problematic for people with dog allergies and sensitivities. Like any other dog, Beagles produce saliva and urine that contain the protein that causes an allergic reaction to dogs.
While pure breed Beagles are not hypoallergenic, some Beagle mixes are described as such. A good example is the Poogle, which is a crossbreed of a Beagle and a Poodle. The Poodle is considered hypoallergenic since it doesn’t shed much. With it being one of the parents, there’s a chance your Poogle could be a low shedder and a potential fit for those with dog allergies. This is not guaranteed, though, as there’s also a chance the Poogle might take after their Beagle parent.
According to vets and animal scientists, Beagles produce average levels of allergens. This means that those with mild allergies or who only suffer from seasonal allergies may be able to keep a Beagle at home. Be sure to do regular grooming to remove loose hair and dead skin, so they don’t spread all over the house and fill the air.
Do Beagles Cause Allergies In Humans?
We’ve already seen that, like all dogs, Beagles produce dander, saliva, and urine, which all contain the proteins that are to blame for allergies. They are also moderate to heavy shedders, especially during seasonal shedding, which is not suitable for people with dog allergies. In short, yes, Beagles can cause allergies in humans. This doesn’t mean that if you’re an allergy-suffering Beagle lover, you can’t cohabit with a Beagle. There are things you can do that will help lessen allergic reactions and symptoms. These tips are, however, for those with mild allergies. If you have severe allergies, we recommend staying away from dogs completely or finding a more allergy-friendly breed, which we will discuss later on.
Tips for Alleviating Dog Allergies While Fostering a Beagle
Frequent brushing and grooming – Regular brushing, especially during the heavy shedding periods, helps to remove excessive dander and dead cells before they become airborne. Be sure to do it outside, so they don’t spread the allergens all over the house. Also, when you brush your dog, oils on the coat spread, thus keeping the coat healthy and reducing the amount and intensity of shedding.
Bathe your Beagle – This also helps to remove all the dander and dirt from its fur. Otherwise, they will linger on the coat of your Beagle and eventually in the house. However, avoid doing it so often since it can cause their skin to be dry. Every one or two months should be enough unless they run in the mud. Ensure you use the right kind of dog shampoo.
Watch what they eat – Providing your Beagle with high-quality, well-balanced meals can promote a healthy coat, which in turn limits shedding.
Use a HEPA filter – HEPA air filters are very effective at clearing any dust, dirt, and dander in the air, so you’re breathing in the fresh air. These devices help lessen the exposure to allergy-causing elements, thus preventing an allergic reaction.
Regularly cleaning and dusting your home – This will get rid of the hairs and dander, thus reducing the risk of catching allergies. Be sure to vacuum surfaces, including furniture, floors, carpets, rugs, etc., to ensure as much hair and dust is removed. If the vacuum cleaner has a HEPA filter, the better the cleaning will be.
Medical-aide – Once you’ve done all of the above, you can also get allergy medication and allergy shots to help relieve your allergy symptoms.
Do Beagles Shed A Lot?
Like any other dog, Beagles shed. But with their short hair and relatively small size, their shedding might be less noticeable than other breeds like the Labrador. That being said, they have two layers of fur, which makes it likely for them to shed more than those dogs with a single layer.
Beagles tend to be moderate shedders all year round, except in spring and winter when they shed the most. They shed their winter coat in spring or early summer to give way for a lighter summer coat. But come the beginning of winter, they shed to regrow the dense winter coat to keep them warm in the cold temperatures. An increase in shedding is bad for allergy sufferers as more fur and dander are spread around the home and released into the air.
While it is okay for Beagles to shed heavily in spring and winter, you should be on the lookout for excessive hair loss. This is true even during seasonal shedding. Excessive shedding could result from many things, including stress, hormonal imbalance, infection, skin allergies, using the wrong grooming products, poor diet, and so on.
Some people choose to shave their dogs in an attempt to stop shedding altogether. But this will do more harm than good; plus, it’s a temporary solution as Beagles grow hair continuously. A Beagle’s coat acts as its natural defense system, and you do not want to tamper with that. Shedding is a normal process, and there’s no way to stop it completely. What you can do is minimize excessive shedding through grooming, providing a high-quality diet, increase water intake, and exercising your dog to relieve stress and anxiety. It’s also important to take your Beagle to the vet to rule out any medical conditions that could be causing the excess shedding.
10 Best Dog Breeds for Allergies
We’ve already mentioned that some dog breeds shed significantly less and produce less dander, which makes them more hypoallergenic than others. Here are a few to consider:
- The Basenji dog – With thin and short hair, the Basenji will rarely trigger an allergic reaction. Their coats shed little; plus, they are committed to self-care and grooming themselves, which means there will be little hairs spreading around the home to cause an allergic reaction.
- Bichon Frise – This small breed of dogs has soft, fluffy fur that rarely sheds. It also produces little dander, which seals its mark on the list of allergy-friendly dogs.
- Chinese Crested – The hairless Chinese Crested offers the best chance for someone with severe dog allergies to become a pet parent. This variety has hair only on their feet, tail, and ears. And they shed little to no hair.
- Lagotto Romagnolo – This breed has a mountain of silky curly hair, but despite the thickness of its fur, it isn’t prone to shedding and is quite clean.
- Maltese – While they are known for their gorgeous white silky coats, Maltese Terriers rarely shed. And as one of the least shedding dogs out there, they are ideal for people with allergies.
- Miniature Schnauzer – The schnauzer produces less dander. Their fur is also wiry and as long as it’s kept clean, it will rarely shed.
- Poodle – When you think of a hypoallergenic dog, the Poodle is the first dog that comes to mind. Their non-shedding coat is ideal for allergy sufferers. You will need to groom them every three weeks, but you won’t be dealing with irritating allergy symptoms every day.
- Portuguese water dog – This breed of dog has fur similar to a Poodle; fluffy, curly, and rarely sheds. Additionally, thanks to their webbed feet and a waterproof coat, the Portuguese water dog can live outside where they won’t cause an allergic reaction to those with severe allergies. Be sure to provide some form of shelter, room to play, water, and food.
- Shih Tzu – Here’s another small dog that doesn’t shed, with hairs only falling out when broken or brushed. Regular grooming is needed if you want to cuddle close without worrying about allergies.
- Yorkshire Terrier – With very little fur, their low allergen coats shed little.