Are Havanese hypoallergenic?

helloBARK! staff
By helloBARK! staff
Updated on November 14, 2019
Fact Checked

Havanese are a popular dog breed amongst city dwellers thanks to their sweet temperament and small size.

The American Kennel Club describe the Havanese breed as an increasingly popular dog in the USA.

Their ancestors served as lap dogs for aristocrats and nobleman.

The AKC rank the Havanese as the 24th most popular dog in America, having climbed up the rankings over the past decade.

If you’ve got allergies around dogs, you’ll be curious to learn whether Havanese are hypoallergenic.

Although there’s no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog breed, some breeds are potentially a better fit than others.

However, there’s no guarantee even hypoallergenic breeds won’t trigger a reaction even if they’ve got low-shedding coats.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at whether Havanese are hypoallergenic, if they shed and what grooming requirements they have.

We’ll break this article into the following sections:

What does hypoallergenic mean?

The word hypoallergenic was first coined by the cosmetic industry in the 1950s. They used “hypoallergenic” to denote a product that is less likely to trigger a reaction. However, there’s no guarantee that a reaction won’t occur, it’s just less likely than another non-hypoallergenic product.

Still unsure? Well let’s read how WebMD.com define the word hypoallergenic:

If you see “hypoallergenic” on makeup or a skin care label, it means that that maker claims its product causes fewer allergic reactions than other ones. That doesn’t necessarily mean it is allergy-proof or gentler for your skin. The U.S. government doesn’t have standards that products must meet in order to put “hypoallergenic” on the label.

You’ll find the word hypoallergenic alongside a lot of different products in the 21st century, whether you’re looking at cosmetic products, food items, and dog breeds.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll be looking at the use of the word hypoallergenic alongside various dog breeds, in particular, Cuba’s Havanese dogs.

What are hypoallergenic dogs?

So you’re researching a particular dog breed and you’re encountering the word hypoallergenic a lot. Some breeds, such as Poodles, have earned a reputation for being hypoallergenic breeds.

Poodles, for example, have a unique coat with tight curls and don’t shed a lot. Therefore, they’re considered hypoallergenic as they don’t shed a lot of dander and fur. However, their salvia or their coats could carry allergens in from outside such as pollen.

The American Kennel Club have an article on their website that takes a look at some hypoallergenic dog breeds. However, the organization are at pains to underline that no dog is completely hypoallergenic. Here’s what the AKC say:

While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, there are a variety of breeds that do well with allergy sufferers. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat which produces less dander.

You’re probably wondering why hypoallergenic dog breeds are in such demand. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, around 10 per cent of the American population are allergic to dogs.

Given the USA has a popular of over 320 million people, we can deduce 32 million Americans suffer from dog allergies. However, almost three times that figure, 87.9 million, own a dog in the USA. So there’s a significant portion of the population who surely own a hypoallergenic dog breed.

What causes an allergy to dogs?

There are a number potential triggers for dog allergies.

You’d be forgiven for immediately thinking dog hair is the biggest problem in this area. After all, there’s a reason why low-shedding dogs are so popular.

Dog hair can trigger allergies but the bigger issue tends to be dander. Here’s how the American Lung Association define dander from pets:

Pet dander is composed of tiny, even microscopic, flecks of skin shed by cats, dogs, rodents, birds and other animals with fur or feathers. These bits of skin can cause reactions in people who are specifically allergic to these triggers.

Dog breeds such as the Chinese Crested Dog and Xoloitzcuintli are considered hypoallergenic because any dander that they secrete can be wiped or washed away with ease.

Other allergens that could trigger a reaction include saliva or urine.

Of course, your dog’s coat could carry in allergens from outside, such as pollen. It’s good idea to brush your dog to remove any allergens before your pooch enters the home after a hike or walk.

What are the symptoms?

So you suspect you have allergies to dogs but you haven’t been officially diagnosed. Well, we’re no experts so we recommend you visit your local doctor to find out more. If you’ve got your heart set on a dog irrespective of your allergies, you should speak your local vet to find out what breeds could be a good fit for you. However, it’s important to remember there’s no such thing as a 100 per cent hypoallergenic dog.

Here are some of the symptoms to be aware of:

• Sneezing or a runny or stuffy nose.
• Facial pain (from nasal congestion)
• Coughing, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing.
• Watery, red or itchy eyes.
• Skin rash or hives.

Remember: This article doesn’t constitute medical advice so we urge readers to speak to their regular doctor if they’ve got concerns about potential allergies to dogs.

Are Havanese hypoallergenic?

Pablo the Havanese (Photo: @havaneser_pablo / Instagram)

Pablo the Havanese (Photo: @havaneser_pablo / Instagram)

Havanese are considered a hypoallergenic dog breed as they’ve got a low shedding coat. However, there’s no guarantee a Havanese dog won’t trigger your allergies despite their hypoallergenic qualities.

The Kennel Club in the UK include the Havanese as one of the toy breeds that don’t shed a lot in their article on hypoallergenic dogs.

We’ll take a look at the other breeds listed by the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club later.

Do Havanese shed a lot?

Havanese are a low-shedding dog breed. So if you want to avoid dog hair at all costs, these Cuban canines could be right for you.

Havanese grooming

Although you won’t spend your day vacuuming dog hair around your home, Havanese owners will have to dedicate a lot of time to grooming these dogs.

These companion pets require a daily brush to keep their coats free of mats and tangles. Havanese can carry allergens in their coat, especially giving their low-hanging long coats. As a precaution, you can give your Havanese a quick brush before they enter the home after some exercise outside.

Here’s what the AKC have to say about Havanese’s long, soft and silky coat:

This can be done by gently running a comb or soft brush over the dog while he is on your lap. Pet owners often choose to have their dog’s coat clipped to a short trim to reduce grooming time.

Havanese care

The Havanese have other care requirements other than brushing.

They’ll need regular baths to keep their coats clean and healthy. It’s recommended you gently clean their eyes to prevent tear stains, while checking their ears for a build up of wax.

Hypoallergenic dog breeds

The American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in the UK are great resources for anyone looking to learn more about hypoallergenic dog breeds.

The AKC list 19 dog breeds on their website as hypoallergenic:

• Affenpinchser
• Afghan Hound
• American Hairless Terrier
• Barbet
• Bedlington Terrier
• Bichon Frise
• Bolognese
• Chinese Crested
• Coton de Tulear
• Giant Schnauzer
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Kerry Blue Terrier
• Lagotto Romagnolo
• Maltese
• Peruvian Inca Orchid
• Poodle
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Russkaya Tsvetnaya Bolonka
• Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
• Schnauzer
• Xoloitzcuintli

Kennel Club goes even further with 31 different hypoallergenic breeds:

• Lagotto Romagnolo
• Irish Water Spaniel
• Spanish Water Dog
• Bouvier des Flandres
• Giant Schnauzer
• Portuguese Water Dog
• Russian Black Terrier
• Hungarian Puli
• Komondor
• Bichon Frise
• Bolognese
• Chinese Crested
• Coton de Tulear
• Havanese
• Maltese
• Yorkshire Terrier
• Lhasa Apso
• Intermediate Mexican Hairless
• Miniature Mexican Hairless
• Standard Mexican Hairless
• Miniature Schnauzer
• Standard Poodle
• Toy Poodle
• Miniature Poodle
• Shih Tzu
• Tibetan Terrier
• Bedlington Terrier
• Dandie Dinmont Terrier
• Glen of Imaal Terrier
• Sealyham Terrier
• Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier

Havanese Poodle Mix

There are a wide variety of Poodles Mixes but one of the most common varieties is the Havanese Poodle Mix. Aptly dubbed the Poovanese, given both the Poodle and the Havanese are hypoallergenic dog breeds, their offspring will almost certainly be hypoallergenic. These two breeds can be crossed intentionally or unintentionally.

Anything else to consider?

If you’re thinking about getting a Havanese, you can always contact some Havanese owners on Instagram to find out more about these lap dogs.

They might be able to tell you more about whether they shed and whether they’re hypoallergenic in their experience.

Breeders will usually have an idea whether a puppy will be hypoallergenic at around eight-to-twelve weeks.

In conclusion

Pablo the Havanese (Photo: @havaneser_pablo / Instagram)

Pablo the Havanese (Photo: @havaneser_pablo / Instagram)

So there we have it, Havanese are considered a hypoallergenic dog breed.

These toy dogs don’t shed a lot but they do have a lot of grooming requirements.