Dog allergies can make it difficult (or almost impossible) for people who love dogs to choose the right breed of dog. Huskies are a very popular dog breed at the moment, but are huskies hypoallergenic or should you choose a different breed?
Huskies are not hypoallergenic and are in fact one of the worst breeds you can get if you suffer from dog allergies. This is because huskies shed often and have thick double coats that can trap a lot of dead skin cells, which cause allergic reactions in people with dog allergies.
Let’s take a look at what hypoallergenic means and what you need to know about huskies if you suffer from dog allergies.
- What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
- What Are Dog Allergies?
- Why Are Huskies Not Hypoallergenic?
- Can Allergy Sufferers Live With Huskies?
- Alternatives To Huskies That Are Hypoallergenic
- 6 Tips For Living With Huskies If You Have Allergies
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Hypoallergenic is a term used to describe something that causes fewer allergic reactions.
It was first introduced in the 50s in advertising programs for cosmetic products but has since gone on to be used for a wide variety of things.
In terms of dogs, it is used to refer to dogs that are known to cause fewer allergic reactions to people with dog allergies.
What Are Dog Allergies?
Dog allergies, or pet allergies, are allergic reactions to proteins found in an animal’s skin cells, saliva or urine.
The symptoms of dog allergies are similar to hay fever and include sneezing, runny nose and more. The most common cause for dog allergies is dander, which is dead flakes of skin which often build up by attaching to dog hair – especially those with longer fur like the husky.
Dogs can also carry other things such as dust or pollen in their fur which can trigger allergic reactions.
Why Are Huskies Not Hypoallergenic?
All dogs produce allergens and are therefore capable of causing allergic reactions.
Huskies are particularly bad because of their long fur and shedding habits. The fur on a husky will not only hold on to a lot of dander, but it can also attract dust and pollen as well, especially on walks which can trigger other allergic reactions.
Huskies shed a lot, but they will shed a ridiculous amount of fur when they blow their coats.
This is a natural process where they transition from their winter coat to their summer coat. More specifically, they will lose a lot of their undercoat to help them deal with the increased temperature.
During this time they lose a lot of hair, so if you suffer from a dog allergy this is probably the worst situation you could find yourself in.
Can Allergy Sufferers Live With Huskies?
If you suffer from a dog allergy you will understand how severe your condition is.
Huskies are particularly bad for causing allergic reactions due to the reasons listed previously.
So, if you struggle to be around dogs then a husky is definitely not a good option for you at all.
Alternatives To Huskies That Are Hypoallergenic
Remember, all dogs produce allergens and are capable of causing allergic reactions.
There are some dogs, particularly those with shorter hair that shed less, which lower the probability of allergic reactions happening. Here are a few ideas for dogs that are similar to huskies but with much shorter coats and less prone to shedding:
- Giant Schnauzers – Okay, these don’t exactly share the appearance of huskies but they definitely match up in terms of exercise requirements. Giant schnauzers need around 2 hours of exercise per day similar to the husky.
- Irish Water Spaniel – Irish water spaniels are great with families much like huskies and have a high energy requirement. They are easier to train than huskies but need mental stimulation just as much.
- Portuguese Water Dog – Another working dog, Portuguese water dogs were originally bred to herd fish into nets for fishermen. These need at least one hour of exercise per day and need to be mentally stimulated as well otherwise they will become bored easily, much like huskies.
You’ve probably noticed that the dogs in the list don’t closely resemble huskies, and this is because most dogs that are similar have longer fur and are not very hypoallergenic.
If you want a full list of hypoallergenic dogs then I highly recommend the AKC’s guide.
6 Tips For Living With Huskies If You Have Allergies
If your symptoms are not very severe and you can handle living with huskies there are a few things you can do to make life easier for yourself.
1. Use HEPA Filters
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air (filter), and air purifiers with HEPA filters have been proven to remove up to 99.97% of dust, pollen and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns.
Generic air purifiers will not do the job, so you need to make sure you choose one with a HEPA filter. These will constantly remove potential triggers for allergic reactions from the air, such as dead husky skin cells.
2. Keep Your Bedroom Door Locked
The last thing you want if you suffer from dog allergies is husky hair in your bed.
As much as your husky might want to sleep with you, it’s important to set that boundary and keep your bedroom closed off for your own well-being. You can always buy a dog bed for your husky and set them up with another space to sleep if you feel sorry for them.
3. Avoid Carpets And Other Fabric
Carpets and other fabric on furniture or other household items will attract and hold onto dog hair like there’s no tomorrow.
Wooden floors and leather furniture are great alternatives that won’t attract as much hair, but this is obviously a bit harder to control. Avoid choosing rugs with thick fabric like wool as well as these will hide hairs deceptively well.
4. Let Your Husky Outside
Huskies can sleep outside if the conditions allow for it, and many may even prefer to do so.
You obviously don’t want to keep your husky outside all of the time, but if they spend more time outside when napping or playing then it reduces the amount of hair and potential allergens that end up inside the house.
If you want some tips for letting your husky sleep outside safely then check out our guide.
5. Clean Regularly
We all know how easily dog hairs can end up everywhere, which is why cleaning is especially important if you have a husky and suffer from dog allergies.
Take extra care when vacuuming as this can send hairs into the air and cause allergic reactions. You should ideally wear a mask or ask somebody else to do it.
6. Keep Up With Grooming
Get somebody else in the house to keep up with your huskies grooming schedule.
They should be groomed at least once per day and multiple times per day when they’re blowing coat. This will keep shedding down to a minimum and reduce the number of hairs that end up on the floor or on furniture.