Are you looking for a hypoallergenic dog who won’t trigger any distressing allergic reactions in you or your family? Is a Westie your answer to dog-allergy woes? In this article, we consider if the Westie breed is regarded as hypoallergenic.
Well, the good news is, yes, Westie Terriers are known as hypoallergenic. The definition of “hypoallergenic” means something with a minimal likelihood of triggering allergic responses.
We do have to add a disclaimer here, though, because, in reality, no dog is entirely hypoallergenic. All dogs shed some hair, drool saliva and lose dead skin cells. These are all common causes of allergic reactions in humans.
Even though Westies are considered hypoallergenic, you will need to maintain good grooming habits for your dog to keep shedding and other allergens to a minimum.
What Makes a Westie Terrier Hypoallergenic?
The idea that allergies are brought on by dog hair has long been disproven by science. Instead, researchers discovered seven compounds in dogs that cause human allergies. These allergens can be found in the following:
- dander (dead skin)
- other doggy body fluids
While dog hair itself doesn’t usually cause allergies, when it sheds, it aids in the spread of allergens into the air.
Are Westies Good for Allergy Sufferers?
You might be surprised to learn that around one in ten people has an allergy to dogs.
For those with allergies, West Highland Terriers are excellent dogs because:
- they don’t lose a lot of hair – they have a low-shedding coat
- compared to other dog breeds, they produce less dander
- they don’t drool very much
Many people with cat allergies discover they can coexist peacefully with a Westie.
Westies Have a Low-Shedding Coat
Westies are considered low-shedding dogs when compared to other dog breeds.
You might think this also implies that they require little upkeep. However, proper grooming is necessary. Poor grooming practices and some illnesses and poor nutrition can trigger more shedding than usual. And this shedding can result in allergens being released into the air.
Westies Have Low Dander Formation
Dander is the name for the tiny flakes of skin constantly shed from our bodies. Everyone has dander, even babies. It’s invisible to the naked eye and is made up of dead skin cells, hair, and other detritus. Dander is a common allergen for people who suffer from allergies or asthma. When dander is inhaled, it can trigger an allergic reaction or an asthma attack.
All dogs produce dander. Fortunately, Westies tend to produce less dander than most other dog breeds. Dander is often released when hair falls out during shedding. Westies are low-shedding dogs, so their dander tends to remain trapped in their fur and can be removed effectively during grooming.
Westies Have a Low Drooling Tendency
The protein in dog saliva can also trigger allergic reactions. Drooling and licking your face or body brings you into contact with your Westie’s saliva.
Westies, it seems, drool less than other dog breeds, which adds to their reputation as a low-allergy, hypoallergenic dog breed.
Westie Terrier dogs have been identified as one of the most hypoallergenic dog breeds available today. They make great family pets for those who are sensitive to pet allergies. And as an added bonus, there’s less hair on your furniture and less drool on you!