If you’re thinking about getting a Pug of your own but are prone to allergies you’re probably wondering if a Pug is right for you.
Choosing a pet that fits your lifestyle and health requirements is super important both for their quality of life and yours.
After all, you don’t want a pet that you have to avoid, and they don’t want an owner that never gives them cuddles.
In this article, we’ll be talking about all things Pugs and allergies.
Are Pugs Hypoallergenic?
The short answer is no. Pugs are not hypoallergenic.
In fact, there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. Neither fawn nor black Pugs are hypoallergenic, and both pose a risk to allergy sufferers.
Due to their short coat, Pugs are often mistaken as allergy-friendly pets. But despite their short hair, Pugs are known to shed an awful lot (especially if they have a double coat).
As well as the fur-factor, for people with allergies, the dander on a Pug’s fur poses a risk of mild to severe (in some cases) irritation.
This dander is composed of skin flakes that collect in a dog’s fur and saliva. Plus, the Pug’s notorious skin folds create the perfect environment for dander to collect.
In summary, Pugs are not hypoallergenic or low-shedding dogs. For that reason, allergy sufferers may want to think hard before bringing a Pug home.
But if you’re set on getting a Pug (or already have a Pug at home) there are ways to manage your allergy symptoms and live in relative harmony. Particularly if your allergies aren’t particularly severe, some simple house rules should help alleviate any discomfort.
We’ll talk more about this in just a bit. But first, let’s delve into the world of allergies.
Am I Allergic to Pugs?
Dog allergies are relatively common. In fact, allergies to dogs and cats impact between 10 and 20 percent of the population.
If you’re one of these people your allergic symptoms may range from very mild to very severe. But in general, people with allergies tend to struggle with fur, hair, and dander.
You might not even know that you are allergic to dogs (or Pugs) because not all animals will affect a person in the same way. One Pug might have no impact on you, whilst another might cause you to develop unpleasant symptoms.
If you think you might be allergic to Pugs, look out for these common symptoms:
- Runny nose
- Tight chest
- Shortness of breath
- Watery, itchy, or red eyes
- Skin rashes (e.g hives)
- Itchy nose & throat
- Puffy face
If you think you are suffering from an allergy to your pet or after spending time with someone else’s dogs, we recommend getting yourself checked by a medical professional. With a diagnosis, you’ll be in a better position to mitigate risks and manage your symptoms.
What Causes Allergies?
We already spoke briefly about dander. But allergies have many different causes. An allergic reaction occurs in a person when a substance or byproduct triggers an immune response.
For an allergy sufferer, this (usually harmless) substance causes allergens.
When it comes to our dogs, these allergens are teeny-tiny particles. When we come into contact with them they can cause those unpleasant symptoms.
But it’s difficult to know if and when we come into contact with these allergens. Often they are present in the air we breathe and we then end up inhaling them inadvertently.
Dog allergens are composed of proteins in the saliva, dander, and urine.
When your Pug licks their fur those proteins are spread to your furniture, surfaces, and ultimately – you.
When your Pug produces dander (dead skin cells remember) it spreads allergens around your home as they shed. And when your Pug urinates allergens are present there too.
Should I Still Get a Pug If I Think I’m Allergic?
If you know that you’re allergic (or simply think you might be) it’s important to think very seriously about getting a Pug.
After all, your Pug will need lots of TLC to be happy. If you have severe allergies it will be difficult to provide your Pug with the care they need and crave.
If you’re not sure whether you’re allergic to Pugs or have suffered from very mild allergies in the past, it might be worth taking a test drive.
Look after a friend or family member’s Pug for a while and see how you feel. If your symptoms become unmanageable a Pug might not be right for you.
Pugs aren’t the best choice for allergy sufferers.
They shed, drool, and salivate… a lot.
It is possible to manage mild symptoms, but if you know that you have a serious allergy to Pugs we would recommend choosing a different breed less likely to trigger your symptoms.
Is There A Hypoallergenic Dog?
In reality, there is no such thing as a totally hypoallergenic dog. But it is true that some breeds are better for allergy sufferers than others.
When people talk about hypoallergenic pets, it’s not the same as hypoallergenic pillows. Rather, it’s just a common way of referring to pets that are less likely to trigger immune-responses in allergy-prone owners.
A ‘hypoallergenic dog’ is simply one that sheds less.
Pugs with less hair will collect less dander. Hairless dogs for example.
Therefore, for allergy sufferers that still love dogs and want them to be a part of their daily life, it’s essential to pick a breed that doesn’t inflame symptoms.
According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the following breeds are best for allergy sufferers due to the low-shedding coats.
- Afghan Hound
- American Hairless Terrier
- Bedlington Terrier
- Bichon Frise
- Chinese Crested
- Coton de Tulear
- Kerry Blue Terrier
- Lagotto Romagnolo
- Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
- Xoloitzcuintli (Mexican Hairless)
- Yorkshire Terrier
How To Have a Pug and Manage Your Allergies?
Whether you already have a Pug at home or are simply committed to owning a Pug no matter what, there are some proven steps you can take to mitigate the impact of allergens in your home.
Though this is not a comprehensive solution it can make the difference between enjoying life with your Pug and putting up with constant discomfort, sneezing, or pain.
First things first, we recommend visiting your own doctor. Get to know more about your allergy, triggers, and severity.
If your doctor thinks that owning a Pug is manageable, they’ll help you prepare an allergen management plan and prescribe preventative treatments.
You can now start preparing for Pug ownership with some of these simple steps.
1. Brush your Pug
It’s important to brush your Pug regularly – that means at least once a week (but the more the better). This will remove any loose hair.
If you do this outdoors you’ll reduce the amount of hair and dander in your home.
2. Give your Pug a bath
Bathing your Pug should be done every three months or so using a natural hypoallergenic shampoo for dogs.
Many dog owners report that this helps reduce their symptoms. But be careful not to wash your Pug too frequently. This is counterproductive. Overbathing dries out the skin resulting in more dander.
3. Get between the folds
One of the reasons Pugs hold on to so many allergens is because of the dander, saliva, and bacteria that collect in their skin folds.
Cleaning between their folds regularly is essential not only for allergen reduction but for preventing your Pug from developing any nasty bacterial infections.
4. Maintain a clean environment
This is one of the most effective things any allergy sufferer can do. Keep everything clean and tidy. And I mean everything from your floors and surfaces to your Pugs toys and bedding. This is the best way to prevent allergens from sticking around.
A powerful vacuum designed to pick up animal hair will be a lifesaver so why not check out these vacuums for pet hair.
If your allergies are more severe you could even wear a hypoallergenic mask whilst cleaning- in general, we tend to advise against sweeping as it disperses allergens into the air.
Finally don’t forget to wash your hands regularly – ideally every time you come into physical contact with your Pug.
5. Rip up those carpets
Carpets are breeding grounds for dust, hair, and all things allergen. Your Pug’s dander will get stuck to your carpet and even a vacuum cleaner might not be enough to get it out.
By replacing carpets with smooth wood, laminate, or tiled surfaces, you’ll avoid this problem once and for all.
6. Get clever with your wardrobe
To prevent your pet’s dander from getting all over your clothes, try to set aside specific items of clothing to wear when you’re with your Pug.
That way you won’t be breathing in all that residual dander from your clothes all day every day.
7. Purify the air
There are lots of air purifiers for sale today that will filter the air in your home. This is a great option for allergy sufferers as it keeps the air circulated making it easier and fresher on your lungs.
8. Create a no-go zone
If you can, set aside a no-go zone for your Pug. It could be your bedroom for example. This should become a space where no dander shall pass and a sanctuary free from allergens always available for a bit of respite.
Setting boundaries with your pet is so important – and even more so if you’re suffering from allergies.
It’s also good practice to enforce some basic house training – peeing outside for example. This will keep your home free of excess allergens carried in your Pug’s urine.
Ask your doctor about allergy medications. These vary in strength from simple over-the-counter antihistamines to prescription allergy medication to immunotherapy.
But remember this is not a substitute for all of the other steps we’ve just discussed.
10. Minimize contact – but not too much
One of the most obvious solutions for any allergy sufferer is to minimize contact with the cause of irritation. But when it’s your pet that’s not always possible. If you’ve chosen to have a Pug, that comes with certain care responsibilities.
Pugs, in particular, need human affection and contact to be happy and healthy. It is never okay to keep your dog outside because of your allergies.
If your allergies are so severe that you are unable to look after your pet, unfortunately, this might be a cause for rehoming. That’s why we always recommend that pet owners research their chosen breed in depth before committing to their care.
Pugs and Allergies: Keep the Coughing and Sneezing At Bay
By following these steps you’ll hopefully be able to keep the coughing, sneezing, and involuntary crying at bay.
But are Pugs hypoallergenic?
No. Unfortunately, in the case of severe allergies, the best course of action is avoidance.
And for that reason, we would not recommend Pugs as pets for preexisting allergy sufferers.