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For many soon-to-be dog owners, the question of potential allergies and adverse reactions to dog fur is an important one. You might be wondering, are Greyhounds hypoallergenic?
The short answer is no. Greyhounds have short fur and they are not likely to shed too much for most of the year, but they do shed, and they do produce dander. Many people who suffer from dog allergies report that they have minimal reactions when spending time with Greyhounds, but this breed is not classified as hypoallergenic.
If you are considering bringing a Greyhound into your family, there are many things that make this breed a wonderful pet, but you should be aware of the potential issues for allergy sufferers. This article will go into detail about why Greyhounds are not hypoallergenic, other interesting information about the coats that they have and the sort of grooming that they require, and some alternative “hypoallergenic” breeds.
Are Greyhounds Hypoallergenic in Any Way?
The qualifications that make a dog breed hypoallergenic are that they essentially don’t produce any dander (skin cells in their hair or fur) and they shed very little. So, on the question of whether Greyhounds are hypoallergenic or not, these are the two factors that determine the answer.
Do Greyhounds Produce Dander?
Greyhounds produce dander, as practically every dog does, but they don’t release very much of it. Their skin has fewer natural body oils than most breeds, which reduces the amount of dander that is produced. They also have short hair, which means that less dander is attached to each individual hair that they shed.
Do Greyhounds Shed?
Greyhounds are considered medium shedders. Though their coat is short, they do still drop a reasonable amount of fur on a daily basis. The amount that Greyhound sheds will change throughout the year, and grooming can help considerably with how much loose fur you might find around the house.
Are Any Dogs Completely Allergy-Free?
There are some pretty strong misconceptions about “hypoallergenic” dogs out there, and clearing these up can help to explain more about what sorts of reactions allergy sufferers might face from a Greyhound.
First and foremost: there is no such thing as a dog that cannot cause any allergic reactions. The vast majority of dog allergies are reacting to certain proteins that are present in their dander, saliva, and urine. When a dog breed is considered hypoallergenic, it means that they produce very little dander and either don’t shed or are hairless.
In reality, all dogs produce some of these proteins and are likely to drop the odd hair here and there. Hypoallergenic dogs are just much less likely to shed enough to cause significant adverse reactions.
Are Greyhounds Good if You Have Allergies?
While Greyhounds are not considered hypoallergenic, many people with dog allergies report that they don’t suffer much around them. Allergic reactions are quite complicated and nuanced, and ultimately an individual’s reaction is hard to predict. You might find that living with a Greyhound is perfectly comfortable, or you might find that you get a bit sneezy around them.
Greyhounds are medium shedders with very short coats, which means that the hair that they do shed doesn’t carry much of the allergy-inducing proteins. They also release less dander than other breeds in general and the chemical composition of the dander, saliva, and urine that they produce is different, so they are not likely to cause strong reactions from allergy sufferers.
If you are considering getting a Greyhound of your own, it is a good idea to try and spend some time with one beforehand. This way, you can gauge whether or not you are going to have any significant allergic reactions before making the commitment to raising one.
Another factor to consider is that allergies can change over time, particularly with repeated exposure. Some people report that they stop experiencing any adverse effects from their allergies after they have become used to having a dog in their home.
What Sort of Coats Do Greyhounds Have?
Most of the issues that allergy sufferers find with dogs come from the fur or hair that they have. Greyhounds are famous for their very short, sleek coats, which are generally easy to care for. One of their most distinguishing features is how beautifully smooth and soft their coats are.
Greyhound coats come in many different colors, including Black, Red, Blue, White, Brindle, Fawn, and any mixture of these. When it comes to dogs, Blue refers to a silvery-grey coloring, Fawn is a light tan color, and Brindle is a pattern similar to mottled stripes.
Because their coats are so short and smooth, the hairs that they shed are not very long. This means that they tend to cause fewer issues for people with allergies, and in many ways, they are a lot easier to manage.
Do Greyhounds Need a Lot of Grooming?
If you’re worried about allergies, spending large amounts of time up close and personal with your dog’s fur might not be your preference. Greyhounds require very little in the way of grooming, compared with other breeds, but they do still need some care and attention.
Regular brushing will help to keep your Greyhound’s coat in the best condition and can practically eliminate any unwanted shedding. If you take the time to keep your dog’s coat clear of loose hairs, you are much less likely to encounter them throughout the house. Using a soft-bristle brush, one or two gentle brushes per week is usually enough to do the trick.
Another interesting bonus to owning a Greyhound is that they are not smelly dogs. The fact that they don’t produce many natural body oils means that they don’t have a strong smell, and won’t need to be bathed as often as other breeds do. Although, bathing your dog, particularly with safe shampoo, can help to wash off any excess dander and reduce allergic reactions.
If you are fortunate, you might have someone in your household that doesn’t have any dog allergies who could help out with the grooming, to minimize any issues for those that do.
Should You Let Your Greyhound on Your Furniture?
Something else to consider with any dog, but is particularly important when you are worried about allergies, is where you let them spend their time. Greyhounds absolutely love to get cozy and comfortable, with lots of cushions and blankets.
These are dogs that don’t have a lot of natural cushioning, so they will be very happy if they are allowed up on the couch or into the bed. If you are trying to reduce any allergic responses, it is a good idea to provide your Greyhound with their own comfy and cushioned space and keep them off the human furniture.
Wherever your Greyhound goes they are likely to leave some hair behind, so letting them curl up on your pillows is asking for a few hairs in your face!
What Dogs Are Considered Hypoallergenic?
If you are highly concerned about dog allergies, a different pet might better suit your needs. There are, however, quite a few dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic and should cause very few issues for allergy sufferers.
- Afghan Hound. Although these majestic dogs have long, silky coats, they are actually very low shedders and are considered a good option for allergy sufferers – particularly if you don’t mind a bit of regular grooming!
- American Hairless Terrier. Dogs with little to no coats at all are some of the most hypoallergenic breeds, and this adorable Terrier is a great example. You’ll need to look after their skin in the sun, but they have little to no hair to worry about.
- Kerry Blue Terrier. Many breeds with curly or wiry coats are considered hypoallergenic because, if they are infrequent shedders, their hair gets caught and rarely makes it to the carpet. The Kerry Blue Terrier has a beautiful, distinctive coat that almost doesn’t shed at all.
- Maltese. There are many small dogs that are considered hypoallergenic, and the Maltese is among the most famous. These tiny, white balls of love are very low shedding, and their coats can be kept long.
- Poodle. Probably the most famous hypoallergenic dog, Poodles shed very little and can have their coats kept short for easier maintenance. Many of the very popular Poodle mixes can be hypoallergenic too, depending on which side they get their coats from.
- Basenji. These dogs have very short coats that only shed occasionally, and they are known for their intelligence and quiet nature. Basenjis don’t require much in the way of grooming and reportedly don’t have a very “doggy” smell either.
The Verdict: Are Greyhounds Hypoallergenic?
So, are Greyhounds hypoallergenic? No, as a breed they have not been given that classification. Greyhounds are, however, reported to cause very few issues among allergy sufferers because they have short coats and don’t produce much dander.
If you are looking for a dog that is unlikely to be a problem for people with allergies, a Greyhound is certainly an option, though perhaps not the best choice. There are breeds out there that are considered more “hypoallergenic”, but Greyhounds are not likely to cause significant problems – and don’t forget that no dog is completely allergy-free!
There are hundreds of reasons why Greyhounds make an amazing addition to any family, but if you can’t handle any allergic reactions this might not be the breed for you. At the end of the day, you want to make sure that, when you are raising a dog, you are ready to take on everything that responsibility entails.