Are Dalmatians Hypoallergenic?

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Published: May 7, 2023
© iStock.com/Irina Nedikova
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Dalmatians are a dream dog for so many people–probably because we all watched Disney movies growing up! But what would’ve happened to 101 Dalmatians’ Roger and Anita if they’d been allergic to dogs? Are Dalmatians hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, Dalmatians aren’t considered hypoallergenic. Their short hair sheds plentifully, all throughout the year. If you’re going to adopt a Dalmatian, you’ll need to be ready to see their black and white hair around your house–and to tolerate the allergy symptoms that may accompany it.

In this article, we’ll discuss whether Dalmatians are hypoallergenic, some information about dog allergies, and tips and tricks for those of you who’d like to adopt a Dalmatian despite your allergies.

Dalmatians shed heavily, and therefore aren’t considered hypoallergenic dogs.

©Dalmatiner24.eu – Public Domain

Hypoallergenic Dogs: Myth or Fact?

Hypoallergenic dogs are often marketed by breeders as completely allergen-free and non-shedding. This is the idealized version of a “hypoallergenic” breed.

Rather, hypoallergenic breeds are those with human-like hair that shed very little (about as much as you or me). Because they’re releasing less fur, they’re better for some people with allergies–but perhaps not the majority.

People with dog allergies are allergic to proteins dogs carry–and all dogs have these proteins, no matter how much they shed. In addition, people with dog allergies aren’t only allergic to fur. They can also be allergic to dog dander, saliva, and urine.

Because you’re going to be allergic to a combination of certain proteins and facets of dogs, your dog allergy will vary from other people. Dogs that don’t trigger one person’s allergies at all, might trigger another’s symptoms heavily.

To make things slightly more complex, there is also what’s called an irritant response to fur. People with an irritant response aren’t allergic to dogs, but can showcase similar symptoms. These people should experience few, if any, symptoms around hypoallergenic breeds.

If you want to know more about your dog allergy, and which dogs might suit you, an allergist can help by performing allergy testing. You can also spend time with dogs before adoption to ensure they don’t trigger your symptoms too heavily.

Are Dalmatians Hypoallergenic?

Now that we know what the term hypoallergenic means, and that not everyone with allergies will be helped by having a hypoallergenic breed, are Dalmatians considered hypoallergenic?

No, Dalmatians are not considered hypoallergenic. Their coats shed heavily.

Whether a Dalmatian triggers your allergies in specific depends on your type of dog allergy. For instance, some people are allergic to a protein that only exists in unneutered males. This means that they could adopt a female Dalmatian or have their male Dalmatian neutered, and be allergen-free.

However, most people are allergic to proteins that exist in every dog no matter their gender, whether they’re intact, or even how much they shed.

dalmatian puppies
People with severe dog allergies likely shouldn’t adopt a Dalmatian.

©iStock.com/animalinfo

Is It Possible to own a Dalmatian if you have Dog Allergies?

Many people with dog allergies live with dogs, but most of them have resolved to deal with their allergy symptoms in order to do so.

Whether you can adopt a Dalmatian despite your allergies depends on how severe your allergies are and how much you’re willing to put up with to have a dog.

There are also some things you can do to lessen your symptoms. Though I wouldn’t count on them to alleviate your allergy symptoms fully, below are some ways to ease dog allergies while living with a Dalmatian.

Before Adopting:

  • Visit an allergist. An allergist is a doctor that specializes in allergies. They can perform allergy testing and suggest treatment options to ease your symptoms.
  • Try over the counter medications. This one is obvious–and likely something you’ve already done! If not, there are a variety of allergy medications that you can purchase without a prescription including antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops.
  • Meet the Dalmatian before adoption. Spend time giving them scritches, letting them lick you, and touching your face after petting them. This will give you an idea of how bad your allergies can be around Dalmatians.

Dog Allergy Tips and Tricks

  • Keep a clean house. Vacuum floors and furniture frequently, wipe down objects your dog drools on, and wash your bedsheets and throw blankets regularly.
  • Brush your Dalmatian regularly. Brushing your Dal one to two times a week will cut down on shed fur around the house, and can help alleviate allergy symptoms that stem from fur.
  • Purchase an air purifier. I personally keep air purifiers in the rooms I spend the most time in to cut down on allergy symptoms. You can also purchase a larger one that cleans the air in your entire home.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Some people say to wash them every time you pet your Dalmatian, but for me this just doesn’t happen! I’m constantly loving on my pets, so I just aim to wash my hands before I touch my face and after I’ve done something I know will trigger my symptoms (such as brushing the dog).
  • Give them their own bed–or their own spot in bed. Either keeping your Dalmatian out of your bed or training them to sleep above the comforter at the bottom will help. If your Dal sleeps by your head, on your sheets, or on your pillows, you’re likely to face more allergy symptoms.
  • Use furniture covers or blankets. Throw blankets on the couch can hold onto fur and dander, and you can set them aside when you want to sit down. You can also pull your comforter over your sheets and pillows so your Dal doesn’t lay on them during the day.

In Conclusion: Dalmatians and Allergies

I hope this article has helped you to learn more about the Dalmatian breed and whether they’re the right dogs for you. While Dalmatians are beautiful dogs, they do shed plentifully and aren’t right for everyone.

Remember to also take into account Dalmatians’ exercise needs, temperaments, and veterinary costs before adopting.

If your allergies are severe, a dog might not be the right pet for you. Talk with your doctor before adopting any breed.

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The Featured Image

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Dalmatians are graceful and athletic dogs.
© iStock.com/Irina Nedikova

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About the Author

I'm an animal writer of four years with a primary focus on educational pet content. I want our furry, feathery, and scaley friends to receive the best care possible! In my free time, I'm usually outdoors gardening or spending time with my nine rescue pets.

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