Are Frenchies Hypoallergenic or Will They Make Dog Lovers Who Have Allergies Worse Off?

🔄 Updated on November 4th, 2022

french-bulldog-puppy-stretching-on-yoga-mat

I am faced with a dog allergy but have always loved the idea of raising a dog. I began looking across dog breeds, and as it turns out, some breeds can be far more irritating than others. I wanted to know: are french bulldogs hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, I have relatively intense allergies, and it doesn’t look like Frenchies are the best option for me. However, dog ownership is not out of the question for those with mild allergies.

Ultimately, there are numerous factors to weigh up before adopting a dog. 

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean When It Comes to Pets?

If something is 100% hypoallergenic, then it poses virtually no risk of causing an allergic reaction. Since the cause of dog allergies in those who suffer from them comes from a natural enzyme in the dog, a dog would have to be free of this protein to be hypoallergenic.

The protein is present in the dog’s body and on fur, dead skin, and in urine and saliva. No dog breeds lack this protein totally, but some will be better suited than others for pet owners prone to allergy. However, that unfortunately means that no dog is actually hypoallergenic. 

The good news is that there are ways you can mitigate the impact a Frenchie or other dog has on your allergies.

Are French Bulldogs Hypoallergenic? 

As discussed, there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic french bulldog. In truth, no dog can be completely hypoallergenic, but some breeds can be better than others regarding allergies and impact your breathing less.

Many millions of people suffer from allergies, but not all as severely as others. For some, a dog may simply produce just a mild sniffle with no teary eyes and no itchiness. For others, this can seriously impact breathing, congestion, and swelling.

To some extent, when someone uses the phrase ‘hypoallergenic’ colloquially, this will boil down to just how sensitive someone’s allergies are. 

For some pet owners with mild allergies, just managing fur and dander in the home can be enough, while in others who are more sensitive, saliva will also trigger a reaction. 

Is French Bulldog Fur a Natural Allergen?

Fur, and shedding of fur, is the primary factor in the onset of an allergic reaction. While the fur itself is not the allergen, the proteins the dog exudes collect on all of this fur in the form of dander.

On the one hand, Frenchies have shorter fur that may help manage symptoms. They also tend to be a small breed. If you keep a relatively clean house, there is less fur to overcome. With less fur flying about, you’ll inhale less dander, which can mean your allergies won’t be as severe as a long-haired dog.

Unluckily, however, Frenchies shed a relatively high amount compared to other dogs. That can be a major contributing factor to the severity of allergic response. 

How Bad Are They For My Allergies?

All dogs will produce the substances that cause allergies in people – there is no way around it, even if the dog is marketed as “hypoallergenic.” Moreover, allergies exacerbate other respiratory ailments like asthma. Worst of all, those who have asthma will likely suffer from allergies as well.

Some allergic reactions, like sneezing, coughing, or puffiness are better known, but allergies can present themselves in other ways. Many people struggle to sleep, and many have itchy or swollen skin.  

While it might not be ideal, many people have emotional reasons for keeping a dog at home. If you want to get a dog despite your allergies, or you have one and can’t part with your Frenchie, then you need to find methods to mitigate your allergies. 

Fortunately, there are different ways that someone could have a Frenchie and reduce allergic reactions.

How Can I Mitigate Allergies with My Frenchie?

Even though these dogs are not considered ideal for those who suffer from allergies, it may be feasible if you only have a mild allergy. Perhaps you love French bulldogs, or your partner already owns one. There are some ways to help mitigate the living situation.

These will only patch over the problem, not solve it, and would only work if someone’s allergies are mild. 

These tools and strategies are not recommended for anyone with severe allergies. 

Air Purifiers and Filters

Air purifiers and filters, particularly HEPA filters, can trap dog hair and particles, reducing the amount of allergenic material in your air. It will also keep shed hair and skin flakes accumulating excessively on surfaces. 

Air vents can be covered with permeable cloth to help catch fur before circulating in an HVAC system. This is less effective in a smaller apartment when compared to a house, but still worth trying.

Thoroughly research filters and air cleaning products before buying them.  

Vacuum

Vacuuming or any regular cleaning to remove all of the fallen hair will help reduce allergies in a home. This is a good practice in general as it will remove other potential sources of irritation. Keep in mind that pets may be afraid of noisy, powerful machines.

Medication

There are commercially available medications to reduce symptoms like inflammation or congestion. If you’re already in a situation with dogs, it can be a partial solution. 

However, the effectiveness of the medications varies and may take some time to work and get used to. Consult a physician about using medications or immunotherapy to combat pet allergies.

Brush Frequently

Because french bulldogs shed so much, getting ahead of the problem by brushing the dog can save a lot of effort in the long run. This includes regular washing to clear dead skin. Plus, grooming may be enjoyable for the dog, with less to vacuum later. 

Maybe the actual brushing would be best left to a friend or relative who isn’t allergic to dogs, though, since otherwise, you’re just bringing out the hair into your mouth, nose, and eyes.

If possible, get help with grooming to reduce contact with pet dander.

Behavior

Your mindset and behavior are important factors. If you’re dead set on owning a Frenchie, change some expectations. Maybe he won’t be a lapdog. 

Perhaps you’ll cover your furniture with a layer of sheets while out of the house. The dog may be restricted from the bedroom. Some alterations to your lifestyle may be needed. 

Doggie kisses are not behavior that an allergy sufferer should encourage.

For someone with mild allergies, Frenchies are probably not the best option for a dog, but that decision to get the pet is personal. Some people decide to put up with a bit of sneezing or puffiness, probably using a few other tricks to help. 

Closing Thoughts

At the end of the day, from an objective standpoint, a french bulldog is not the ideal choice for someone looking to avoid allergy flare-ups. Still, some people are very attached to owning one. Especially if someone in your life already owns one.

It’s a personal decision if you are willing to put up with the extra effort to combat mild symptoms, but ultimately this may just be exhausting for your health. You should consider other options if you have dog allergies.

Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Sarah Alward | Doctor of Veterinary Medicine
Our resident DVM helps review every article to ensure we always provide scientifically accurate, up-to-date information. She’s proud to help provide pet parents everywhere with the info they need to keep their pets safe, healthy, and comfortable.