If you’re considering bringing a new whippet into your home, but you’re worried about you and your families allergies, then this post is for you.
We’re going to answer “are whippets hypoallergenic dogs?” to help you decide whether a whippet is going to be the right pet to bring into your home and if you’re going to be sneezing, itching and all-round uncomfortable around your new pet.
This is something many dog owners don’t consider when looking to buy a new dog, but it’s actually one of the most important parts of bringing a new dog into your life.
What good is it buying a new dog if it’s going to make you itchy and covered in rashes?
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
First off, we need to understand what does hypoallergenic mean?
The word hypoallergenic is defined in the dictionary as “relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction”.
The word unlikely is what you should be made aware of, just because a dog is hypoallergenic, doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t have an allergic reaction to it.
The words Hypo and Hyper often prefix others, with Hypo meaning low or reduced and hyper meaning high or increased.
This is where words such as hyperactive come from, suggesting an individual would be more active than usual, and on the contrary, words like hypothermia are used to describe a very low temperature.
The word Hypoallergenic isn’t just used in the pet world, it’s used in the beauty industry too.
Products such as makeup, mascara, lipstick and more and less prone to making an individual have an allergic reaction.
The word hypoallergenic simply means that whatever it is, food, products, pets are less likely to give you an allergic reaction.
Are Whippets Hypoallergenic Dogs?
The short answer to this question is no, whippets are not hypoallergenic.
Whippets do shed their fur, especially when it comes to the summer months.
This helps them get rid of old fur to keep them light and cooler in summer. That being said, whippets have very short fur in the first instance, so their shedding isn’t much at all.
Unlike other dogs that often have thick or fluffy coats, the whippet has a short, smooth coat that is usually only an inch or so thick.
If you’re reading this news and are feeling put off at the thought of a whippet because you’re worried about your allergies, hold on, not so fast.
I can only speak for myself, but I’ve owned many whippets over the last two decades and typically suffer from very bad pet allergies.
With whippets having short fur that I groom regularly and keep under control, I can confidently say that I’ve never had any issues with my allergies and my whippets.
I do believe this is largely due to the fact that I keep on top of their coat, I groom my dogs regularly to ensure no fur is falling off their backs which not only helps keep my house clean and tidy, but it helps keep allergies at bay.
That being said, I’ve been to family member homes where they have dogs that have thick coats and this immediately triggers my allergies to the point where I have to leave, my eyes become red and itchy and this triggers my asthma too.
I wouldn’t rule out whippets just yet, I would recommend trying to find a family member or friend who has a pet whippet and spending some time with the dog to see for yourself.
It may be a good idea to go to a shelter and see if you can take a whippet out for a walk to see if this triggers your allergies.
Do Whippets Shed?
Yes, whippets do shed their coat.
However, it’s typically only for a short period of time when the summer months come around.
Whippets naturally shed to lose damaged or loose hair, shedding is completely natural and a normal process that helps keep whippets cool.
Whippets don’t shed excessively, and this is one of the main reasons why I first chose a whippet to be my lifelong companion.
I typically suffer from pet allergies, so I needed to choose a dog that wasn’t going to trigger these allergies and that I could live with on a daily basis.
After spending some time with a family member’s whippet, I found that my allergies were not affected, which I believe has something to do with the short fur of these dogs.
Although whippets do shed, it’s very minimal and can be maintained very easily.
Grooming your whippet is a part of whippet maintenance, so a good brush of your pup’s coat, along with a wash and rinse is a great way to keep your whippet fur in excellent condition, thus reducing the shedding.
Symptoms Of Dog Allergies
You can usually detect dog allergies by looking at the symptoms, sometimes the reaction can be severe, so it’s advised to take real caution when entering the home of someone with a dog if you know you have allergies.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of dog allergies:
- Itching skin
- Asthma attacks
- Runny nose
- Watery eyes
- Facial pressure and pain
- Struggling to sleep
- Swollen, blue coloured skin under your eyes
There are many symptoms of dog allergies, so it’s important to be aware of this if you’re in an environment where there are dogs and other pets.
If you’re someone who has asthma, like myself, you may find that these symptoms are quite harsh, breathing can become hard and your chest can become tight, in extreme cases, you may experience an asthma attack in which you’ll need to go to the emergency room.
Dog allergies aren’t fun, and it’s frustrating for many pet owners who want to spend more time with their beloved pets, but can’t because their allergies get triggered.
Thankfully there are some things you can do about it, keep reading to find out…
How To Relieve Pet Allergies
If your heart is set on a whippet, and you’re happy to risk the allergies, then there are a couple of ways to help reduce pet allergies.
Pet allergies are caused by the tiny proteins in pet dander and saliva that are notoriously sticky and hard to get rid of, making it hard for us to get rid of allergies and find relief.
But fear not, here are some tips and tricks to relieve pet allergies so you and you’re whippet can live happily ever after;
- Don’t allow your whippet to lick your face
- Keep your whippet out of your bedroom
- Weekly grooming to maintain your whippets coat
- After stroking your pup, wash your hands immediately and be sure to keep your hands away from your face
- Use an air filter in your home at all times to keep the air clean and allergen free
- Wash your pets bedding regularly, these can become a trap for allergens
- Vacuum your home regularly, and anywhere that your whippet tends to sleep, lie or play
- Get a test from an allergist to be certain it’s your pet causing the allergies
- Try certain treatments, such as allergy shots and antihistamine nose sprays
Living With Pet Allergies
It can be tough living with pet allergies, especially if you have a pet that really sets them off.
It’s a real catch-22 situation where you want to spend lots of time with your furry friend, but you’re also scared because you may set off your allergies which makes life difficult for yourself.
The key is to be very selective when you first decide on your pet, opting for a dog that is hypoallergenic is a great option, as these dogs give you the best chance of avoiding pet allergies in the first place.
That being said, I personally went against this advice and decided to choose whippets because I simply fell in love with the breed.
That being said, I did do my research and spent a lot of time with a family members whippet before deciding to bring one into my home.
As time has gone on, my allergies have subsided, and I rarely have any pet allergy symptoms even when spending a lot of time with my dogs.
Doctors don’t know exactly why, but some individuals’ allergies can disappear over time.
Believe it or not, but you can sometimes outgrow your pet allergies if you’re lucky, which seems to be the case with myself.
Most pet allergies develop in children or infants, but over time the severity of the symptoms can fade away and even fully disappear in some cases.
So, are whippets hypoallergenic dogs? No, they are not. Unfortunately, these dogs are not hypoallergenic, which means there is a chance that if you have pet allergies a whippet may not be suitable for you.
This is the sad reality but it’s much better to look after your own health than jeopardising it by taking on board a pet that may trigger your allergies.
That being said, whippets don’t shed much at all, usually only a small amount for a couple of months in the summertime.
This helps them get rid of loose fur and get rid of the winter coat they’ve had to keep them warm in the colder months.
My advice for anyone looking to bring a whippet into their home but they have pet allergies is to spend time with a whippet for a couple of weeks before making the decision.
This gives you plenty of time to see whether or not a whippet will trigger your allergies, helping you make a wiser decision when it comes to bringing a new dog into your home.