Are Pugs Hypoallergenic Dogs or Bad for Allergy Sufferers?

Are Pugs Hypoallergenic

Did you know that 10% of people are allergic to dogs? That’s a huge proportion of people, and if these numbers from the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology study are to be believed, it’s no wonder why so many people want to know how allergenic Pugs are.

I decided to look more into this, in particular whether it’s possible for Pugs to be hypoallergenic, e.g. dogs that won’t cause an allergic reaction. Here’s what I found:

Are Pugs hypoallergenic dogs? No, Pugs are not hypoallergenic. Whilst Pugs have short hair, they will still shed a considerable amount of fur, and can be bad for people who suffer with allergies. In fact, there is no dog breed that is actually completely hypoallergic, it’s complete fallacy.

Can you be allergic to Pugs?

It is very possible that you will be allergic to a Pug. People prone to allergies can react extremely badly to dog fur, hair, and the dander that can come off their skin.

Whilst Pugs don’t have long hair, so most people won’t typically think of them as being a dog that sheds a lot of hair, the truth is completely different. Pugs shed a lot of hair all year round, and even more so if they have a double coat.

If you are in the 10% of people who are allergic to dogs, a Pug won’t be a great choice. Their hair gets everywhere and can produce allergies in some people.

Are Pugs bad for allergies?

Yes, Pugs can be bad for allergies. A perfect case in point is a friend of ours who has always wanted to get a Pug. She decided to look after her aunt’s Pug for a week, and quickly regretted it.

She came out in hives, her eyes watered, she sneezed… and that was all on day one. Needless to say, she soon changed her mind about buying a Pug.

can you be allergic to pugs
Adults and kids can be allergic to Pugs due to the dander and fur. (Image licensed form

Based on this anecdotal evidence plus research I’ve done online, the only conclusion I can come to is that Pugs are bad for allergies. This is not a hypoallergenic dog breed at all and can produce extreme allergic reactions in some people.

Pugs are not an option for allergy sufferers

If you really want to get a Pug but have concerns about allergies, then forget it. However, you could consider a different breed that doesn’t shed as much. The reality is though, that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic.

Having said that, until you spend time in the company of a Pug you don’t know how bad your allergies will be. If you can “borrow” a Pug, or spend a day with one, it should give you an idea on how you react – you never know, it might not be as bad as you think.

If you do decide to buy a Pug, don’t just get it because you think it’s a cute looking dog, or a (worse still) fashion accessory. If you even have the slightest inkling you might suffer with allergies, it could be a terrible choice as they are not hypoallergenic.

Handy Hint: Before you buy a Pug, please read all the things you need to know plus questions to ask the breeder – don’t get scammed!

What if you can’t resist getting a Pug?

If I still can’t convince you not to get a Pug, then there are some things you can do to reduce how bad your allergies could be.

  • Maintain their grooming: Regular grooming and brushing will get rid of excess hair that sheds, plus can help to remove dead skin cells and dander.
  • Don’t let them up on beds and couches: Don’t let your Pug climb on your furniture where they can leave dander and hair.
  • Clean your bedding and theirs regularly: By cleaning their bedding and your regularly you can get rid of any potential allergy triggers.

Is there a Pug hypoallergenic mixed breed?

Whilst I have no scientific evidence to back this theory up, it could be worth looking at whether there’s a Pug crossbreed with a dog that sheds less hair. That could mean you end up with a Pug not as bad for your allergies.

I’ve read some online comments from people who say that the Pugapoo cross – a poodle and Pug mix – can be better. It’s said that Poodles shed a lot less than most breeds, so this could create a Pug crossbreed that won’t be as bad for allergies.

However, as it stands, there is no research to back this claim up.

Which dogs are better for allergy sufferers?

Whilst Pugs are not a great choice for allergy sufferers, there are other breeds who might be better for you. The breeds to look for are those that don’t shed as much or shed no hair at all.

As already mentioned, no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic, but the ones below might be better for people with allergies according to common opinions.

  • Maltese Poodle
  • Shih-Tzu
  • West Highland Terrier
  • Chinese Crested
  • Labradoodle
  • Samoyed
  • Italian Greyhound

The American Kennel Club also released their own list of dogs that they believe are better for allergy sufferers.

pugs hypoallergenic
This is how much hair can come off a Pug when you give them a brush.

In fact, the American Kennel Club recently published their own views on this and stated the following dogs are best for allergy sufferers. You can read the full details on their website.

Here’s what they said, followed by the list:

“While no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, it’s possible to find less-allergenic dog breeds that are better suited for allergy-sufferers. These dogs have a predictable, non-shedding coat that produces less dander. Dander, which clings to pet hair, is what causes most pet allergies in people. Even though dogs that are hypoallergenic don’t truly exist, many breeds make it possible to enjoy the companionship of a dog, even if you suffer from allergies.”

  1. Afghan Hound
  2. American Hairless Terrier
  3. Bedlington Terrier
  4. Bichon Frise
  5. Chinese Crested
  6. Coton de Tuleur
  7. Giant Schnauzer
  8. Irish Water Spaniel
  9. Kerry Blue Terrier
  10. Lagotto Romagnolo
  11. Maltese
  12. Miniature Schnauzer
  13. Peruvian Inca Orchid (Hairless)
  14. Poodle
  15. Portuguese Water Dog
  16. Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
  17. Spanish Water Dog
  18. Standard Schnauzer
  19. Xoloitzcuintli

This isn’t to say that a Pug isn’t the best choice for you, but you will definitely need to make some adjustments and sacrifices if you want to reduce how bad your allergies are.

How to reduce your allergic reaction to dogs

Speaking of which, here are some ways you can make your allergies better if you are allergic to dogs.

  1. Bath your dog weekly
  2. Use a mild dog shampoo
  3. Deep clean your carpets
  4. Use an air purifier
  5. Take medication
  6. Wash all linen
  7. Don’t let them on your furniture

If you are willing to put in the time, you could find the perfect dog for your family, that will allow you to enjoy life allergy free.

Signs you are allergic to a Pug

An allergic reaction to a Pug could come from nowhere. In fact, you might not have previously had allergies with dogs, but one particular pup brings you out in hives! Here are the most common signs that you are allergic to your (non-hypoallergenic) Pug.

  • You start sneezing.
  • You have a runny nose.
  • Your face hurts due to nasal congestion.
  • You start coughing.
  • Your chest feels tight with a shortness of breath.
  • You start to wheeze.
  • You have watery, red or itchy eyes.
  • You develop skin rashes and hives.

Related questions

Some people Google search the different types of Frenchie to find out if certain French Bulldogs are hypoallergenic. Here’s what I discovered with a few Google searches myself.

  • Are Black Pugs hypoallergenic? Just like any Pug dog, Black Pugs are still not hypoallergenic.
  • Are Teacup Pugs hypoallergenic? Teacup Pugs might be tiny, but don’t let the size fool you, they can still bring out an allergic reaction in you and are not hypoallergenic.


Pugs are definitely a dog breed that can be a bad choice for allergy sufferers. And this is particularly so if you are in that 10% bracket I mentioned earlier according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (view website).

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I regularly write about Pugs.  Here are some of my more popular blog posts about common Pug problems and how to solve them.

Image in header licensed for use via the website.

Marc Aaron

I write about the things we've learned about owning dogs, the adventures we have, and any advice and tips we've picked up along the way.

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