Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic? Understanding Dog Allergies

woman sneezing from pet allergy to Boston Terrier

When you’re considering what breed of dog to bring into your home, especially if you have allergies, you might wonder if Boston Terriers are hypoallergenic. It’s essential to understand that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic. However, some breeds, like the Boston Terrier, are known to produce fewer allergens than others, which might make them more suitable for individuals with mild allergies. These charming and affectionate pups are not the least allergenic out there, but they do have a short coat that sheds minimally, which can reduce the amount of dander – a common allergen – in your environment.

Boston Terriers have a reputation for being good companions for allergy sufferers due to their size and grooming needs. But, every person with dog allergies reacts differently, and how you manage your symptoms can vary. It’s important to spend time with the breed before making a final decision. Dr. Dennis Ownby, a well-known expert in the field of pet allergies, suggests that exposure to pets early in life may actually help some people develop a greater tolerance to pet allergens. So, while managing pet-related allergies can be a bit tricky, it may be possible to enjoy life with a Boston Terrier as part of your family.

Living comfortably with a Boston Terrier when you have allergies might also involve some proactive steps. Frequent cleaning and the use of air purifiers can help minimize allergic reactions. Regular baths for your Boston can reduce dander, and choosing a vacuum with a HEPA filter can help trap allergens. It’s always a good idea to consult with an allergist and discuss your specific situation to create a personalized strategy for managing your allergies while enjoying the companionship of a Boston Terrier.

So, Are Boston Terriers Hypoallergenic?

Boston Terriers are not considered hypoallergenic. They have a short coat that sheds moderately year-round. While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, some breeds produce fewer allergens than others. Boston Terriers can still be a good option for some allergy sufferers with proper grooming and household cleaning practices to minimize dander.

When you’re looking for a dog, and you’ve got allergies, you might be told to look for a hypoallergenic breed. Hypoallergenic dogs are said to be safer for people with allergies. So what about Boston Terriers?

Boston Terriers

While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, some are better suited for allergy sufferers. Boston Terriers, unfortunately, aren’t considered hypoallergenic. They have a short coat, but they do shed. Despite their minimal grooming needs, these little guys still produce allergens.


Shedding is a normal part of a dog’s life cycle, and Boston Terriers are no exception. They shed year-round, and during shedding season, it might get worse. Regular brushing can help keep some of the hair under control, but remember, it’s not just the hair that’s the issue.

Allergy Symptoms

You might experience sneezing, runny nose, or itchy eyes if you’re allergic to dogs. These symptoms are triggered by proteins found in a dog’s dander, saliva, and urine. Boston Terriers produce these allergens just like any other dog.

Less Allergenic

If you’re set on a dog like a Boston Terrier, you might want to spend some time with one before making your final decision. Some people with allergies might tolerate them better than other breeds. Each dog produces a unique level of allergens, and each person’s allergic reactions can vary.

Before deciding, remember to consider how a pet will affect your allergies. Boston Terriers are wonderful dogs, but if you’re concerned about potential allergy issues, consulting with an allergist might be a good step.

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

When you see the word hypoallergenic (when it comes to dogs), think “less likely to cause an allergy.” It’s a term you often hear about pets, makeup, and even fabrics. The idea is that these things are designed to be less likely to trigger an allergic reaction in allergy sufferers.

  • Allergens are the little bits that can cause your body to say, “I don’t like this!”—leading to sneezing, itchy eyes, or worse. Everyone’s body reacts differently, so what doesn’t bother one person might make another person feel miserable.
  • If you’re allergic to something, your immune system works overtime to fight these allergens as if they’re unwanted invaders. This defense mechanism is great in some ways, but not so much when it comes to harmless pet dander or pollen, as it leads to those pesky allergic symptoms.
  • Hypoallergenic products or pets are created to be less allergenic, which means they have a lower chance of making you sneeze, cough, or get itchy eyes. They’re not 100% allergy-proof, but they’re better for people with allergies. Yes, they can still cause allergic reactions, but the chances are slimmer.

When it comes to dogs, like Boston Terriers, no breed is completely allergy-free, but some breeds shed less dander and hair and are therefore considered better for allergy sufferers. Always check with an allergist if you have concerns or want to make sure if a pet, product, or material is suitable for you. Remember, “hypoallergenic” means fewer allergens, not no allergens, so it’s kind of like a safety buffer, not an invisible shield.

Understanding Allergies and Pet Dander

woman sneezing allergic to non-hypoallergenic Boston Terrier

When you have allergies, it’s your immune system reacting to something harmless as if it were harmful. Pet dander is one such common trigger. It’s not just the fur of animals like Boston Terriers that can cause sneezing and sniffles, but tiny flakes of their skin, known as dander. You can also be allergic to the proteins in a dog’s saliva or urine.

Dander is an allergen, which means it can cause an allergic reaction. Even if Boston Terriers shed less, they still produce dander. That’s why no dog is truly hypoallergenic, even though some breeds are marketed that way. All dogs produce some level of dander, but the amount can vary between breeds.

Shedding is often mistaken as the main culprit for allergies, but it’s actually the pet dander that’s clinging to the shed hair causing all that sneezing. Breeds that shed less may transfer less dander around your home, but they still produce it.

When managing allergies, consider the following:

  • Regular bathing of your pet can reduce the amount of dander.
  • Frequent cleaning can help control dander in your environment.

For a deeper understanding of how pet allergies work, you might want to read about recent research on pet exposure and the human immune system’s responses. This can help you make informed decisions about living with pets when you have allergies.

Remember, while no dog can be 100% hypoallergenic, managing allergens is key to coexisting with your furry friend.

Boston Terrier Characteristics

Boston Terrier standing with short bobbed tail

Boston Terriers are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them a popular breed. They are intelligent dogs that require regular exercise but are also well-suited for apartment living due to their short stature.

Coat & Shedding

Boston Terriers have a short-haired coat, which is low-maintenance compared to longer-haired breeds. They do shed, but it’s minimal, which means less fur around your home and on your clothes. Regular brushing will help keep it under control.

Physical Attributes

Your Boston Terrier is a small-sized dog, making it a great companion if you don’t have a lot of space. They have a compact build with a short tail and a distinct tuxedo-like pattern on their coat. Although these dogs are small, they still need daily exercise to stay fit and healthy.

Managing Shedding and Dander

If you’re a Boston Terrier owner, managing shedding and dander is crucial for a clean home and healthy living environment. These dogs are not hypoallergenic, as they do shed hair and produce dander, which are common allergens for sensitive individuals. Here are steps to help control shedding and reduce dander:

Regular Grooming

Frequent brushing is important. Use a slicker brush or a fine-toothed comb to catch loose fur. This not only lessens the amount of hair on your floors but also distributes natural oils, keeping your pup’s coat healthy.

Proper Bathing

Bathe your Boston Terrier with a mild shampoo monthly or as recommended by your vet. It helps to remove dander and loose fur, reducing what they leave behind on your furniture and carpets.

High-Quality Diet

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can improve coat health and minimize shedding. Ensure your dog’s food promotes a healthy coat.

Vacuum Regularly

With a good vacuum cleaner, tackle the floors and upholstery to pick up any shed hair and dander. For households with allergies, consider a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter to trap allergens effectively.

Air Purifiers

A good air purifier can help capture airborne dander and dust. Placing one in rooms where your dog spends a lot of time can be beneficial.

Clean Bedding

Wash your dog’s bedding weekly to remove hair and dander. Use hypoallergenic detergent to reduce the risk of skin irritations.

By implementing these steps, you can control shedding and reduce dander in your home, making for a more comfortable environment for you and your Boston Terrier.

Grooming Tips for Allergy Sufferers

If you’re dealing with allergies but love your Boston Terrier to bits, your grooming game needs to be on point. Here’s what you can do to keep your furry friend — and you — happy and sneeze-free.


Your dog’s brush is your best friend. Regular brushing will reduce the amount of hair and dander floating around, which are common allergens. Brush your Boston Terrier at least twice a week — outside, if possible — to trap the hair before it invades your space.


Bath time isn’t just for splashing and playing with rubber ducks. It helps wash away allergens that cling to your pet’s hair and skin. A gentle bath once every few weeks can keep their coat clean without causing dry skin.

  • Use a hypoallergenic dog shampoo;
  • Don’t bathe too often to avoid skin irritation; and
  • Dry them thoroughly with a towel or low-heat hairdryer.

Clean Living Space

After you’ve tackled the grooming, look around your home. Regular cleaning of your space is equally important — it’s like brushing and bathing your house!

  • Wash dog bedding weekly;
  • Use an air purifier to catch airborne hair and dander; and
  • Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum cleaner.

Skin Health

Remember, healthy skin sheds less and reduces allergy symptoms. Keep an eye on your dog’s diet and consider supplements that promote skin health if needed.

  • Look for food designed for skin and coat health; and
  • Omega fatty acids are great for keeping skin healthy.

Grooming your Boston Terrier is a good step in managing your allergies, helping to limit your exposure to allergens, and making life more enjoyable for both of you. Keep up with it, and you’ll be able to cuddle your buddy with fewer sneezes in no time!

Creating an Allergen-Reduced Environment

When you share your home with a Boston Terrier, you know that these friendly pups can often bring allergens into your living space. To minimize these, it’s essential to focus on a few housekeeping strategies.

First off, prioritize your bedroom since you spend a lot of time there. Encase your mattress and pillows in allergen-proof covers to form a barrier against pet dander. Make sure to wash your bedding in hot water weekly.

Vacuuming is your next best friend. Equip yourself with a vacuum that includes a HEPA filter. This type of filter is super good at trapping tiny allergens. Vacuum at least twice a week and don’t forget carpets and rugs, as they can be major allergen hangouts.

Another smart move is to swap out carpets with hardwood floors or tiles if you can. They’re way easier to keep clear of allergens.

When it comes to the air you breathe, air purifiers have your back. Place one in your bedroom and any other rooms you chill in a lot. These cool devices pull allergens out of the air — just double-check they have a HEPA filter for the best results.

Lastly, regular cleaning can make a huge difference. Wipe down surfaces to keep them free from dust and pet hair. And, don’t forget to replace your air filters in your home often to keep the air as clean as possible.

Remember, these steps aren’t a magic fix, but they’ll definitely cut down on allergens and make your home more comfy both for you and your furry buddy!

Quick Tips:

  • Keep it clean: Regular washing and vacuuming reduce allergens.
  • Air quality matters: Use air purifiers with HEPA filters to clean the air.
  • Flooring: Consider hardwood or tiles instead of carpets.

Non-Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

When you’re browsing through dog breeds to find your new furry friend, you may come across the term “hypoallergenic.” This implies a breed is less likely to cause allergic reactions in people. However, it’s important to understand that no dog breed is completely hypoallergenic.

While some dogs are promoted as having a non-shedding coat or being low-shedding, like the Poodle or Bichon Frise, this doesn’t mean they’re allergen-free. Allergens can also be found in a dog’s saliva and urine, not just their fur. Breeds such as Schnauzers and the Chinese Crested are often included on lists of hypoallergenic dogs due to their coat types.

Still, there are many popular breeds that are not hypoallergenic. These are typically your non-shedding and low-shedding dogs. They may shed more, spread dander around the home, and produce more allergens.

Here’s a small breakdown:

  • Non-shedding breeds: May still cause allergies due to dander.
  • Low-shedding breeds: A better choice for those with mild allergies but not foolproof.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) can offer guidance and more information on breeds that might fit your lifestyle, but they also confirm that there is no such thing as a completely allergen-free breed. When considering adding a furry member to your family, you should spend time with the breed you’re considering to see how your allergies react.

Living with Dog Allergies (And Immunotherapy)

If you find yourself constantly sneezing or rubbing watery eyes after playing with a dog, you might have dog allergies. This doesn’t mean you have to give up on having a furry friend, though. Understanding and managing your allergies can make a huge difference.

First, get to know what triggers your allergies. Pet allergens are usually found in dander, saliva, and urine. These tiny flakes of skin or proteins can linger in the air, on furniture, and on your clothes, leading to symptoms like sneezing, congestion, and runny nose. Even if a dog is labeled allergen-free, no breed is truly hypoallergenic, including Boston Terriers.

To keep symptoms at bay:

  • Clean your home regularly: Reducing the number of allergens in your environment can help alleviate asthma and allergy symptoms.
  • Medications can help: Over-the-counter or prescription medications can provide relief for symptoms like sneezing and itchy eyes.

When it comes to long-term relief, immunotherapy might be effective. This involves gradually exposing your immune system to the allergen, helping it become less sensitive over time. It could diminish your stress and the impact allergies have on your life, and it’s usually done under the guidance of an allergist.

Immunotherapy for pet allergies could come in the form of allergy shots or sublingual tablets. While the approach takes commitment, it’s been effective for many and could even result in lasting remission of allergy symptoms.

Remember, it’s important to consult with an allergist to create a tailored plan for your allergies and health, which may include immunotherapy. Your four-legged friend doesn’t have to be the source of stress and tissue piles; with some management strategies, you can live together, happily and healthily.

Other Considerations

When you’re checking if Boston Terriers are hypoallergenic, it’s important to look beyond the fur. Truth is, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, but some factors might make a Boston Terrier a good fit for you if you have allergies.

Size Does Matter

Boston Terriers are relatively small, which means they have less skin than bigger dogs. And since skin is what sheds dander (those tiny flakes that can make you sneeze), a smaller dog might be preferable.

  • Weight: Usually between 10 to 25 pounds
  • Height: Around 15 to 17 inches tall

But it’s Not Just About the Dander

Your Boston Terrier’s saliva and urine also contain allergenic proteins. When they lick themselves or you, they’re spreading those proteins around. And guess what? That drool from their toys can stick around too!

  • Proteins: Found in saliva, dander, and urine
  • Drool: Can spread on toys and surfaces

Individual Dogs Vary

Remember, each dog is different. Some Boston Terriers might shed less, drool less, or produce fewer allergenic proteins in their sweat and saliva.

  • Pet Hair: Not the main culprit for allergies
  • Sweat: Yes, dogs sweat too, mostly through their paws

Intelligent and Easy to Train

Boston Terriers are smart, which makes them easier to train. You could teach your dog not to lick excessively or to stay off the furniture, which can help reduce the spread of allergens.

  • Intelligence: High
  • Training: Could help with managing allergens

In short, while you’re considering a Boston Terrier as a companion dog, think about the spread of dander, saliva, and urine proteins. Keeping your space clean and managing where your pooch hangs out can help. Just because they’re not labeled as hypoallergenic doesn’t mean they can’t be your perfect pet pal.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

In this section, you’ll find specific information addressing common inquiries about Boston Terriers and hypoallergenicity.

What breeds of dogs are considered hypoallergenic?

You might be looking for a dog that doesn’t stir up allergies. Breeds like Poodles, Maltese, and Schnauzers are often considered hypoallergenic because they shed less fur and dander.

Can people with allergies generally do okay with Boston Terriers?

Boston Terriers are not hypoallergenic, but each person’s allergies are different. Some allergy sufferers may find they are less sensitive to Boston Terriers, while others can still experience allergic reactions.

What’s the difference between a Boston Terrier and a Boston Terrier hypoallergenic mix?

A Boston Terrier hypoallergenic mix combines a Boston Terrier with a hypoallergenic breed. This can sometimes result in a dog with fewer allergens, but it’s not a guarantee.

How much do Boston Terriers shed?

While Boston Terriers do shed, they are known to shed less than many other breeds, making them a bit easier to manage for someone with mild allergies.

Are there any specific grooming tips for Boston Terriers to reduce allergens?

Regular grooming, including brushing and baths, can help minimize the dander Boston Terriers produce. More frequent cleaning and using allergen-reducing products can also be beneficial.

Are there breeds similar to Boston Terriers known to be better for allergy sufferers?

If you love Boston Terriers but have allergies, consider the Bichon Frise or the miniature Schnauzer. These breeds share some similar traits and are also on the list of dogs less likely to trigger allergies.

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking about getting a dog and have allergies, you might be wondering if Boston Terriers are hypoallergenic. While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, some breeds are better suited for people with allergies. Boston Terriers have a short coat, and they don’t shed as much as many other breeds. This might make you think they’re a good choice if you have allergies, but there’s more to it.

Allergens from dogs come from their dander, saliva, and urine, not just their fur. Boston Terriers produce these allergens like any other dog. So, even though they shed less, they can still trigger an allergic reaction.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Regular Grooming: Brush your Boston Terrier regularly to reduce dander.
  • Clean House: Vacuum and dust often to keep allergens at bay.
  • Wash Hands: After playing with your dog, wash your hands.

Remember, spend time with a Boston Terrier before you decide to bring one home. This will tell you if your allergies can handle it. If your heart is set on a Boston Terrier, these steps might help you manage your symptoms.

Dr. Sara Kim, DVM

Dr. Sarah Kim combines her veterinary expertise with her passion for Boston Terriers in a warm, engaging manner. Alongside her own Boston Terrier, she offers heartfelt advice and insights drawn from personal experience. In her book, she welcomes readers into the Boston Terrier Hub world, sharing her professional knowledge with the warmth of a friend to both pets and their owners.

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