Breeders frequently advertise Maltipoos as the perfect dog for the dog lover with allergies. Sadly, though, these claims of the Maltipoo being hypoallergenic are false. In fact, there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog – at least not in the traditional sense of the phrase.
When a breeder advertises a dog as hypoallergenic, they mean the dog is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. What the breeder should be advertising, however, is a dog that is a low shedder because while Maltipoos are not hypoallergenic, they are very minimal shedders.
The Maltipoo is a designer breed that results from crossing a Maltese with a Poodle. Most Maltipoo’s have a coat that is more like the Maltese in appearance but has the slight curl of the Poodle coat, too.
The Maltipoo coat is a medium-length, single-layer coat that sheds minimally year-round. So, it may seem as though this toy breed does not shed at all, but the Maltipoo does not experience the more dramatic shedding seen in dog breeds like the Husky.
The Correlation Between Shedding and Allergies
But what does shedding have to do with allergies anyway?
If you ask most people, they will tell you that someone allergic to dogs is allergic to dog hair, so the less hair that a dog sheds, the more “hypoallergenic” a dog is – this is not technically true.
When someone has an allergy to dogs, they are allergic to proteins in the skin, urine, and saliva. When a dog sheds, they often lose skin flakes (or dander) with their fur strands, and the more a dog sheds, the more dander releases into the environment.
While the amount that a dog breed sheds impacts the presence of dander in the home, shedding is not the only cause of allergy symptoms. For example, when a dog licks the hand of someone who is allergic to dogs, they often break out in a rash at the site where the saliva contacted the skin.
Different Dogs Have Different Levels of Proteins
Different dog breeds often have differing levels of these allergy-causing proteins, meaning that some dog breeds tend to trigger allergies more than others. However, aLL dogs naturally release a quantity of these allergy-triggering proteins, so it is impossible to have a hypoallergenic dog!
What we can say, however, is that some dogs release fewer dander flakes into their environment and other dogs produce fewer proteins that trigger allergies in humans.
Are Maltipoos Hypoallergenic?
No. As we mentioned previously, there is technically no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. However, the Maltipoo does shed less than many other breeds and produces fewer allergen proteins than other breeds due to their breed.
Dogs that are least likely to cause allergic reactions usually belong to specific breeds, including:
- Lhasa Apsos
Mixed breeds that derive from these breeds also tend to cause fewer allergy symptoms than other breeds.
Individual reactivity to dog allergens also plays a role in how significant an allergic reaction someone has to different dog breeds. Therefore, one person can have a severe allergic reaction to a German Shepherd but no allergic reaction to a Labrador.
Are Maltipoos a Better Choice For Allergy Sufferers?
Whether or not a Maltipoo is a viable choice of dog for an allergy sufferer depends on a few factors:
- The dog breed: Some dog breeds produce fewer allergy-causing-proteins than other dog breeds, making them a better choice for allergy sufferers.
- How much a dog sheds: Some dogs shed more than others, which means that more dander is released into the environment resulting in more allergy symptoms for allergy sufferers.
- How reactive an individual is to specific dog breeds.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are allergic to dogs and considering bringing a Maltipoo home.
- No dog is ever 100% hypoallergenic.
- If you have never been around a Maltipoo before, you may still be allergic to the breed, so it is best to spend some time with a Maltipoo before bringing one home. This time will allow you to gauge whether you will have an allergic reaction before you commit to your dog.
- Regularly brushing your Maltipoo can help to eliminate dead hair from your dog’s coat before it falls in your house and contributes to your allergy symptoms.
- Overbathing your dog can cause dry skin and itchiness which will only make them uncomfortable and make your allergies worse.
Conclusion / Summary
The Maltipoo is not hypoallergenic, but there are some qualities to this designer mixed breed that make it a good option for households that suffer from allergies.
- The Maltipoo sheds less hair than other breeds like the German Shepherd. Less hair shed means less dander around your home, and that means fewer allergens.
- The Maltipoo is a mixed breed that carries Poodle genes, and Poodles are known for having fewer allergy-inducing proteins than some other breeds.
- Individual tolerance also influences the severity of allergies in people, so while one person may be allergic to a Maltipoo, another may not be!