The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie, is one of the most popular breeds in the US and a small, relatively low-shed dog. Are Yorkies hypoallergenic dogs?
Unfortunately, no, Yorkies are not hypoallergenic. In fact, no dog truly is. The Yorkie doesn’t shed much and produces low dander, however, making it less likely to trigger an allergy.
Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Exist?
The idea of a hypoallergenic product originated with cosmetics manufacturers. They could claim their products were gentler on sensitive or allergy-prone skin compared to conventional counterparts. It was mostly hype, but the name still stuck.
Now, the term is thrown around in reference to pets for people with dog and cat allergies. Plenty of breeds are purported to be hypoallergenic, but in reality, they’re more like “low allergy” dogs. These dogs shed less frequently and heavily than some breeds, so they may be the better choice for people with dog allergies.
Are Yorkies Hypoallergenic?
Purebred Yorkies don’t shed much and have less dander, which is why they’re regarded as a hypoallergenic or low-allergy breed. This doesn’t apply to all Yorkies, however.
Designer Yorkies, which are Yorkshire terriers crossed with another breed, may have different traits. Depending on the other breed, a designer Yorkie may have heavy shedding and dander that can aggravate allergies.
However, they could also be mixed with a dog that’s allergy-friendly, such as a poodle.
What Causes Dog Allergies?
The Mayo Clinic defines a pet allergy as an allergic reaction to proteins found in an animal’s skin cells, saliva, or urine. When the person with the allergy comes in close proximity, the allergy is triggered by the exposure this issue caused.
According to the National Institutes of Health, as much as 10% to 20% of the population has a dog allergy. For people who love dogs, a severe allergy can be devastating.
Any animal with a coat that sheds could potentially cause an allergy, including ones you’ve been around for years.
Here are some common allergy signs and symptoms caused by the condition:
- Runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Itchy nose, throat, or mouth
- Postnasal drip, facial pressure, and pain
A pet allergy that expands to asthma may mean you’ll experience difficulty breathing, chest pressure or pain, audible wheezing sounds while exhaled, and trouble sleeping due to the coughing or wheezing.
Not all allergies are respiratory, however. Some people with dog allergies may see the signs in photos or videos. This is known as allergic dermatitis. Allergic dermatitis is triggered by an immune reaction that believes the allergy was caused by the pet and not by other outside sources.
Here are some signs of allergic dermatitis:
- Raised patches of skin (hives)
- Itchy skin
The signs of pet allergies can seem like other conditions, such as the common cold. If they get severe, like your nasal passages feeling blocked or wheezing, it’s important to speak to your doctor. Visit the emergency room if you experience shortness of breath and wheezing without exercise.
How to Reduce Dog Allergens in Your Home
Mild allergies aren’t dangerous, but they can be a nuisance. Here are some tips to reduce your symptoms and enjoy some peace with your dog:
- Create an allergy-free area that your dog can’t access
- Use HEPA air cleaners in your home
- Clean regularly and wash fabric coverings
- Bathe your pet weekly
- Try medication, such as immunotherapy and antihistamine pills
Yorkies aren’t hypoallergenic dogs, but they do have benefits for allergy sufferers. These dogs are low shedding and don’t release a lot of dander, which is the main trigger for dog allergies in people. No dog is free of allergens, but with some lifestyle changes, you can live harmoniously with your allergies and your pet.
Featured Image Credit: Josep Monter Martinez, Pixabay