Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Have Hair Or Fur? Why Does It Matter?

Hypoallergenic dogs have hair as opposed to fur, making them a better option for people allergic to dogs. In most cases of dog allergies, the affected individuals are allergic to the fur as opposed to the dog itself.

Hypoallergenic dogs make it possible for such individuals to have a pet without the constant need for medication and trips to the hospital.

To be more accurate, the main cause of allergies is dander that resides in dog fur, and when released tends to affect people. Dogs with fur shed more frequently than their hypoallergenic counterparts, giving them a higher chance of causing an allergic reaction.

Dander is still present in the hair of hypoallergenic dogs, but both its presence and shedding are reduced. Subsequently, hypoallergenic dogs don’t trigger allergic reactions.

Interestingly, fur and hair are made of the same materials, meaning there isn’t much difference between them. The only things that matter are length, shedding and the presence of dander. Differentiating both physically is almost impossible using the eyes alone.

Difference Between Hair And Fur

Both physically and chemically, hair and fur are basically the same. The differences between them tend to come in the way they behave or affect the people around the dog.

Their differences make it easier to identify both dogs, and some of them include:

Growth Stages

The most important thing to point out here is that both hair and fur have the same growth Stages, with differences coming in duration. The growth stage is where the main difference occurs with Hypoallergenic dogs remaining in this phase longer than dogs with fur.

In turn, they don’t shed a lot because their hair is usually in the growing phase as opposed to the shedding phase.

Additionally, when dogs with hair shed, some of the hair particles and dander are trapped. Instead of releasing dander particles into the hair, they remain in the hair. The dander and hair particles trapped will eventually get out, but they pose less of a problem than with fur.


The most obvious way to differentiate between fur and hair is that one is longer than the other. In this case, hair is longer, even though it has a slower growth rate. However, since dogs with hair don’t shed quite as often and the growth rate continues, the hair becomes longer.

Without the proper maintenance practices, hair can grow too long and start to tangle, possibly hiding parasites.

It is important to note that a dog can possibly have long fur, not hair. While dogs shed fur frequently, it doesn’t mean they will all have it short. The growth rate varies from dog to dog and will determine how long a dog’s fur is in the end.

Number Of Coats

The number of coats a dog has isn’t immediately visible, but a closer examination will reveal it. The main difference here is that hair has only one coat, while fur can have two.

With fur, the dog will have both an undercoat and a top layer of fur. To clarify, just because a dog has only one coat layer doesn’t mean they have hair. However, those with hair can’t have two coats, instead, they possess only one. 

The two coats that make-up fur have different functions, with the undercoat serving the function of insulation. The undercoat also happens to be soft, while the outer coat is harder and serves a protective function.

Hair on the other hand has just one layer, and it is a mixture of both under and outer coats, serving both functions.

Additionally, fur tends to be thicker and denser than hair which adds to it being shorter. It does also mean that when grooming, you’ll need a different kind of brush for hair, than the one for fur.

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Need Grooming?

Hypoallergenic dogs not only require grooming, but they do so more frequently than those with fur. Firstly, hypoallergenic dogs have hair, which is much longer than fur and needs to be trimmed to keep from tangling. The longer a hypoallergenic dog goes without a trim, the greater the chances of it harbouring pests.

Grooming includes more than just hair trims, featuring baths, brushing, nail care, and in some cases, shots. The requirements of all these practices vary, depending on other factors, but not all of them are required quite as frequently.

Nail trimming for example can be done at regular intervals, but it should often correlate with the dog’s nail growth rate. Brushing on the other hand will need to be very regular, especially if the dog likes to lick people.

Fun Fact: While Hypoallergenic dogs don’t produce dander, they can still cause allergies with saliva and excrement. Proper maintenance and grooming will further reduce the chances of an allergic reaction.

How Often Should You Bathe A Hypoallergenic Dog?

You can bathe a Hypoallergenic dog once in two months, or if you are overly eager, once in six weeks. As they don’t shed as much as regular dogs, there isn’t a need to bathe them too much.

Overbathing is a distinct possibility and may have dire consequences both to the hair and the skin. While bathing once a month may be appropriate for a regular dog, it is too much for a hypoallergenic dog.

While bathing is a welcome development, it is never enough for a hypoallergenic dog. With all the hair they have, they require special care, which is often more demanding than with regular dogs.

When bathing, their hair needs shampoo and other hair care products to not only maintain its texture but improve overall hair health.

Never use human hair products or regular dog ones for that matter, to wash a hypoallergenic dog’s fur. As opposed to healing and improving hair health, you may actually be causing more damage, than good.

You can get a good product recommendation from your vet, or find one in your local store.

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Still Smell?

All dogs smell, but they tend to vary, with Hypoallergenic dogs smelling significantly better than most other dogs. The most common belief is that by being hypoallergenic, a dog won’t smell at all.

By this logic, no dog in the world is hypoallergenic, though some of them may come close. Some hypoallergenic dogs actually smell nice, as opposed to other dogs that most likely smell awful.

Not all hypoallergenic dogs smell as pleasant as one would like, but without dander in the air, the smell is much better. Dander is one of the reasons why most dogs smell unpleasant, and with it trapped, the dog has a better chance of smelling better.

While Dander remains trapped in their hair, it still doesn’t cause them to smell terrible.

Most times, whether a dog sheds or not isn’t related to it being hypoallergenic or not. Some of the dogs that have the most pleasant smells aren’t hypoallergenic. Consider all this, especially if you are looking for a dog that doesn’t smell bad.

Advantages Of Hypoallergenic Dogs

Having a hypoallergenic dog comes with a lot of advantages, hence why they are largely popular. The most obvious advantage associated with Hypoallergenic dogs is that they don’t cause allergies.

This alone is reason enough for most people to get them, but that isn’t all there is to them. Some of the other benefits associated with Hypoallergenic dogs include:

They are Hairy

Hairy dogs carry an extra appeal as they tend to be more attractive, and cuter. All that extra hair allows you to give your dog the haircut of your choice, adding to its cuteness.

They have just one coat, which serves multiple functions, so it maintains the same texture from the base to the tip.

With more hair comes the added responsibility of caring for the dog. Fortunately, it doesn’t necessarily mean more work than you would do with a regular dog.

However, your care routine will need to account for the possibility of pests hiding in your dog’s hair.

Less Shedding

It seems ironic that the dog with longer hair is the one that will shed less, but that is precisely the case. The same reasons responsible for them not triggering allergic reactions are also responsible for their reduced shedding.

Their hair spends the bulk of its time in the growing phase, before finally entering the shedding phase.

Their reduced shedding also equals less shedding, which is also behind its ability to not trigger allergy, by trapping dander. The long hair also covers the dander so effectively that it rarely escapes, making them ideal for those with allergies.

On a non-allergy-related note, less shedding equals less hair to clean up. Cleaning up hair during the shedding season is one of the most dreaded parts of owning a dog, a possibility that is greatly diminished with Hypoallergenic dogs.

Less Drooling

Drooling is one of the most unappealing qualities of a dog, and many dog owners are dissuaded from certain breeds as a result. Most Hypoallergenic dogs have reduced drooling capacities, making them ideal for those who hate drooling.

Drool also happens to be another possible allergy trigger, another medium that is reduced with Hypoallergenic dogs.

Urine also happens to be another possible trigger for allergies and while they don’t urinate less, there are fewer allergens present in their urine.

The same applies to saliva, further reducing the possibility of it causing an allergic reaction. Many other factors may still apply, but your chances of avoiding allergic reactions are greatly reduced with a Hypoallergenic dog.

Conclusion: Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Have Hair Or Fur?

Hypoallergenic dogs have hair instead of fur, which is the main reason they don’t trigger allergic reactions. However, it is important to note that not every dog with hair is Hypoallergenic.

All Hypoallergenic have hair, but hair isn’t the main thing that makes them less pliable to triggering allergic reactions.

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