Having a pet around to cuddle and play with is really fun. Sometimes, people who love animals and who really want a pet can’t have one because they or someone in their family is allergic. For example, I have a friend who loves dogs but can’t have one–his sister is allergic and having a pet in the house would cause her to sneeze and maker her eyes red and itchy.  

While no dog is 100 percent hypoallergenic, some dog breeds are better than others if you have allergies to pet fur or dander. If you’re an animal lover with allergies, don’t worry–you’re not doomed to be dogless. With one of these dogs, you won’t break out in hives (note: if your allergies are severe, you’ll want to check with your doctor before getting a pet).

Portuguese Water Dog

Ryan Croman

Bo (L) and Sunny (R), two Portuguese Water Dogs.

Affectionate and playful, Portuguese Water Dogs make perfect family pets. The breed recently enjoyed some time in the spotlight, thanks to Bo and Sunny, the former First Dogs (the Obamas had planned to adopt a rescue dog from a shelter, but instead opted for Portuguese Water Dogs because of Malia’s allergies). Portuguese Water Dogs are a fairly active breed, so this isn’t the dog for you if you want a couch potato pup. However, if daily walks and exercise suit your lifestyle, these dogs are very smart and trainable.


Ryan Croman

Standard Poodle with a ball in its mouth.

Poodles come in miniature and standard sizes, so they’re a good choice no matter what size dog you prefer. Highly intelligent and athletic, poodles make great pets for energetic owners and families with children. Mini-poodles may need extra socialization when they are younger to feel comfortable around strangers.

Scottish Terrier

Ryan Croman

President George W. Bush and Barney, his beloved Scottish Terrier. [Photo via Getty Images]


If I had to choose three words to describe Scotties, they’d be: cute, friendly, and mellow. This breed loves to play fetch, but also makes a fine lap dog and enviable cuddle buddy.


ryan croman

A Basenji puppy chills out on her owner’s sofa.

These small dogs don’t bark or shed (though they’ve been known to make a seal-like yodeling sound). Like many hounds, Basenjis are notoriously stubborn and hard to train. However, some people find the Basenji’s independent personality to be endearing. And though they are strong-willed, Basenjis make loving and loyal family pets. These guys have big personalities–nobody would ever call ’em boring!


ryan croman

This greyhound pup is praying for a belly rub.

They may be tall and lanky, but these dogs are off the charts when it comes to snuggling. Greyhounds, known for their running ability, are quite versatile. Different greyhound breed subtypes come in a range of small and medium sizes. Plus, if you’re looking to bring a rescue pup into your home, there are lots of opportunities to adopt retired racing dogs

Remember: hypoallergenic dogs still contain allergens, so it’s also important to brush your dog and vacuum up any loose hair if your allergies start acting up. If you suffer from allergies and want to bring a dog into your life, more information about hypoallergenic dogs can be found here.