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Is a Pit Bull Hypoallergenic? Vet-Approved Facts & Tips

Written by: Kathryn Copeland

Last Updated on April 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

Blue Nose Pitbull

Is a Pit Bull Hypoallergenic? Vet-Approved Facts & Tips

VET APPROVED

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSC GPCERT (OPHTHAL) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Being an allergy sufferer and a dog lover means you either can never own a dog or must consider carefully the particular dog that you bring into your home.

If you are hoping to adopt a Pit Bull and are crossing your fingers that you can live with one, it might be doable, but unfortunately, Pit Bulls are not considered hypoallergenic. In fact, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog breed.  

But there are a few steps that you can take as an allergy sufferer that can make living with a dog more achievable. We also list some breeds that are low-shedding and are considered by some as better options for you and your family.

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What Causes People to Be Allergic to Animals?

It’s common for people to think that animal allergies are triggered by fur. That’s partly true because fur carries some proteins (allergens) secreted by the dogs’ body that are the cause of allergies. However, these proteins are also produced in dander, saliva, and urine.

Dander (dead skin cells) tends to be one of the worst culprits, and this is where the confusion with the hair comes in. Dander also floats through your home, landing on all kinds of surfaces. It’s also quite small, so it can stay airborne for long periods of time and eventually find its way into your lungs and eyes. The proteins in the dander trigger your immune system, which is what causes the symptoms of wheezing, itching, and sneezing.

woman having an allergy to a Cocker Spaniel dog
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

Why Are Pit Bulls Not Hypoallergenic?

Pit Bulls have short hair, so you might think that would make them less allergenic. But it’s more about the presence of the dander. Pit Bulls might not have long hair, but they still produce dander.

Their shedding doubles during spring and fall, though Pit Bulls are considered light shedders for most of the year.

What Makes Some Dogs Hypoallergenic?

There is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog breed. Every dog, even the hairless ones, produces allergens that are present in hair, dander, saliva, and urine. There are at least seven different types of dog allergens, the most studied being Can f1 and Can f2. Each person’s allergy is different, and they can react to specific allergens in different ways. Moreover, the amount and type of allergens each dog produces are different, which means there are some dogs that may trigger more or less allergy symptoms than others. 

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Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
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Combats tangles & static
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Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

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Why Do Dogs Shed So Much in the Spring and Fall?

Once spring starts its approach, dogs shed their heavy winter coat and grow in a light coat for the hot summer months.

Then, in autumn, when the weather starts to grow colder, they shed their summer coat to make room for the warm winter coat.

Pit Bulls need regular grooming throughout the year, but during the spring and fall, they should be brushed every day, which can help remove excess hair. If possible, groom them outside to prevent dander spreading inside your home.

woman grooming or brushing a brown pitbull dog
Image By: javitrapero.com, Shutterstock

What Can You Do to Make It Possible to Live With a Pit Bull?

It depends on how bad your allergies are and how willing you are to put in place all the possible measures to reduce the allergen load in your home. If you or any of your family members have severe allergies, living with a dog might not be possible, but this is something that you can discuss with your doctor.

But if your allergies are on the mild side and you really want to bring a Pit Bull into your home, you can try the following tips to help lessen your discomfort. Just remember that any cleaning, grooming, or bathing should be done, ideally, by a non-allergy sufferer. If this is not possible, you should wear a disposable facial mask and wash your hands thoroughly afterward. 

Pitbull with Owner
Image Credit: Ksenia Raykova, Shutterstock

Bathing Your Pit Bull

Most dogs only need a bath about every 6 to 8 weeks or when dirty and stinky. You can give your Pit Bull more frequent baths to help remove the allergen load.

The only problem with this is that frequent baths can dry out the dog’s skin. Speak to your vet about the best products to use and try to only use moisturizing dog shampoo, never human shampoo. Alternatively, you can use wipes and a leave-in conditioner.


Barring Your Bedroom

It will be difficult to ban your dog from every room where you spend time, but the bedroom is a good one. It is ideal to have at least one dog-free room so that airborne dog allergen levels drop to a minimum.

Since you spend such a big chunk of your life sleeping in your bedroom, you should get a good night’s sleep. This will be hard to do if you’re sneezing. So, keep your bedroom off-limits to your dog—and this means all the time.

pitbull leaning on the window at home
Image Credit: StrDr stock, Shutterstock

Using HEPA Air Filters

HEPA air filters are great at removing allergens from the air. They can remove up to 99.7% of particles from the air, including dander, so you can reap the benefits by placing air filters in every room. You should also pick up a good vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter.


Cleaning Frequently

This is where your HEPA vacuum will come in handy. Part of living with a dog when you have allergies includes doing a great deal of cleaning. When shopping for a vacuum, aim for one that has a HEPA filter and is advertised for use with pets.

You’ll want to vacuum at least once a week. And, when possible, replace carpets with smooth flooring (wood, tile, linoleum) as carpets are the primary reservoir of allergens in the house.

You’ll need to vacuum practically everything, including carpets, upholstery, and curtains, and focus on areas where your Pit Bull tends to spend most of their time, like the dog bed.

Also, dust with a damp cloth on every surface, which also includes the walls. The more cleaning you do, the fewer allergens there will be in your environment.

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At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding products of this cool pet company!


Providing High-Quality Dog Food

High-quality food keeps a pet healthy. That also means healthier skin and coat. The drier the skin, the more flaking you’ll see. Dog food with adequate amounts of omega fatty acids is an excellent way to keep your Pit Bull’s skin and coat healthy. If you believe that your dog has any skin issues, see your vet.


Speaking to a Professional

If you haven’t seen an allergy specialist yet, this could be the best way to determine if your allergies are actually triggered by dogs. You might discover that it is something else in your environment.

You may want to consider allergy shots, which can reduce the symptoms for a period of time. There are also the usual nasal sprays and antihistamines.

senior apothecary with drug and female customer having cold and blowing nose at pharmacy
Image Credit: Ground Picture, Shutterstock

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Low-Shedding Breeds

Living with a dog that sheds will be challenging, particularly with all the cleaning that you’ll need to do. So, there are breeds that don’t shed that much and are relatively easy to live with.

  • BasenjiThese unique dogs require a great deal of exercise but have short, smooth low-shedding coats.
  • Bichon Frise: Bichons are low shedding, but since their hair constantly grows, they require a significant amount of grooming.
  • Chinese Crested: These dogs can have two different coats, powderpuff and hairless. Powderpuff has a short undercoat and requires daily brushing.
  • Havanese: Havanese are low shedders because they have silky coats. These can be corded or shaved down to reduce brushing.
  • Irish Water Spaniel: This breed has a water-repellent double coat that only needs brushing every few weeks.
  • Poodle: The Poodle is considered by some to be a hypoallergenic breed. Their curly coats are low shedding but definitely require a fair amount of grooming.
  • Shih Tzu: These dogs are double-coated but are low shedding. They do require regular grooming.
  • Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier: This dog with a soft and silky coat needs a fair amount of grooming.

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Conclusion

One way or another, dogs are a great deal of work, particularly if you have allergies. If you opt to bring a Pit Bull home, you need to be prepared for regular cleaning. Speak to your doctor if you have allergies so that they can help you find the best way possible to keep them under control. 

If you decide that the Pit Bull is the dog for you, regardless of the cleaning, you won’t regret it. These are highly energetic and loving dogs, it is worth a try if you can cope well and manage to live happily in their company.


Featured Image Credit: Diego Thomazini, Shutterstock

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