🦴 Updated on July 20th, 2023
When you have allergies, it can be difficult owning a pet of any kind that may contribute to your allergy symptoms. The funny thing is I never even realized I was allergic to my dog until a couple of months after I got my blue-nose pit bull, Lucy.
I saved her from a rescue shelter, and we have become best friends in the three years I have owned her.
While it’s challenging to be around her sometimes, she has changed my life in so many ways – gave my life meaning again, and I don’t know what I would do without her.
Although Pitbulls are not a hypoallergenic breed, there are many ways to decrease the allergy symptoms when she is around.
Since Lucy also suffers from allergies on her own, I thought we would make a perfect fit. Before I adopted Lucy, I cleaned regularly to combat and decreased my own allergy symptoms.
Now that I own a pit bull with its own allergies, I am more motivated to clean more often, ensuring our safety and comfortability.
Here’s everything you need to know about Pitbulls and allergies.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
The meaning of hypoallergenic states that something is not likely to cause an allergic reaction in people who suffer from allergies. In dogs, this means that their characteristics are less likely to give you an allergic reaction based on their breed.
You may read labels on soaps, and beauty cosmetics that state the ingredients used are 100% natural and hypoallergenic. The same meaning goes for plants and flowers, such as the ficus tree family, or flowers like tulips and hydrangeas.
Hypoallergenic dogs shed less, drool less, and are more allergy-friendly than other dogs.
What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?
People with dog allergies tend to have an overactive immune system that makes them sensitive to a dog’s body chemistry.
Dogs have proteins that reside within their saliva and urine. When a dog grooms itself, it spreads these proteins into its fur and skin. As the dog grows and the seasons change, they shed skin cells and fur, otherwise known as pet dander.
Pet hair is not harmful or cause for concern; however, dust, pollen, and dog proteins attach to the dead skin cells that remain airborne, which will find their way into the eyes, nose, and lungs.
But what makes a dog hypoallergenic? Nothing in the world is 100% hypoallergenic, though you can find some dog breeds that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Dogs that don’t shed (or are classified as hairless) produce less dander which helps decrease the symptoms of allergies when owning a dog.
What Are Pit Bulls Allergic To?
You’ll find that most Pitbulls itch more during allergy season. Like humans, Pitbulls are prone to seasonal allergies. Although they don’t sneeze, they’ll itch and groom more often. Pitbulls are more susceptible to skin issues than anything else.
The most common causes of skin issues in Pitbulls are contact allergens, the environment, and when allergens are most effective during the spring and summer.
Due to the pitbull’s short coat, pests, allergens, and other irritants can easily penetrate them, making them more susceptible to itching and grooming behaviors. The main culprits that a pitbull is genetically inclined to become allergic to are:
- Grass and pollen
- Some household cleaning agents
- Some laundry detergent
- Parasites or mites and fleas
- Fungal or yeast infections caused by a skin condition
- Animal-based nutrition includes beef, lamb, fish, pork, and rabbit.
Pitbull Allergy Symptoms
Pitbulls will start showing signs of allergies well after six months, leading into one or even two years of age.
Aside from the apparent itching and excessive grooming habits, your pitbull may be experiencing when introduced to a new allergy, other symptoms include:
- Digestive disturbance such as diarrhea or vomiting.
- Weight loss
- Skin lesions
- Red or inflamed skin
- Cold/flu-like symptoms
- Runny nose or watery eyes
While the above symptoms are subtle and may not be a cause for concern, the one thing you must watch out for is an allergic reaction. Like humans, Pitbulls (and other dogs) can go into anaphylactic shock, which is fatal if not treated right away.
If you know your pitbull is prone to allergies (showing signs of environmental or seasonal allergy symptoms), it’s a good bet that they will be allergic to specific things such as bee stings. Watch for allergen triggers, such as keeping an eye on their food type.
Pitbulls that are allergy-prone will need to be watched under any new drug or vaccine. Signs of anaphylactic shock include facial swelling and hives.
Managing Your Pitbull’s Allergies
It’s hard to see your canine companion suffer, so managing their allergies come allergy season is your best chance at giving them an enjoyable life. Firstly, ensure that you have antihistamines for dogs on hand at all times. Other things you can do to help them manage their allergies are:
- Having an anti-itch medication on hand
- Using air purifiers in your home
- Hypoallergenic dog food
- Give them flea treatment during ‘flea season as a preventative measure
- Avoid parks and areas where fresh-cut grass is during walks
- Use water and apple cider vinegar on your dog’s paws after you come from outside
- Use hypoallergenic laundry soap for their bedding
- Give your pitbull weekly baths
Are Pitbulls a Good Breed for People With Allergies?
While a pitbull is better than a german shepherd for being hypoallergenic, Pitbulls are not hypoallergenic dogs. Unlike the german shepherd who sheds daily, Pitbulls tend to shed twice a year as the season changes from hot to cold (or cold to hot).
Since pet allergies stem from dander that falls off your pet and becomes airborne, twice a year is when you’ll likely become more allergic to your beloved pitbull. So, how do you change this?
While there is no sure way to make your pitbull more hypoallergenic, grooming them daily and often (baths and brushing) will eliminate how much dander they shed.
10 Tips to Minimize Pitbull Allergies
While there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic pitbull, that just increases the chances that you’ll have pitbull allergies coming from the dander they shed and release into the air. Only two times a year is when your allergies will most act up; however, you may experience difficulties breathing and other allergy symptoms throughout the year.
Luckily there are many ways to reduce allergy symptoms while owning a pit bull. Such as:
To defeat the cause of pitbull allergies, getting the right grooming tools are crucial. Since Pitbulls are a short-haired breed, they aren’t high-maintenance dogs. You’ll need to invest in a deshedding brush since dander comes from the shedding of skin cells attached to the hair follicles.
Brushes used for deshedding ensure that it removes dead hair, skin, and tangles. Brush your pitbull at least once or twice a week to minimize allergens.
If you’re susceptible to allergies, you’ll want to start bathing your pitbull during puppyhood to allow them to get used to being bathed. While it’s good to get into a weekly bathing routine, your pitbull only needs to be shampooed once a month.
Water will decrease the amount of dander that falls off your pet, which significantly decreases the intensity of your allergies. After your daily walk, ensure you keep a wash bucket at the door to clean your pitbull’s paws ensuring no allergens reach inside your home.
While out on your walk, notice if your dog has rolled in grass or jumped in puddles. A wet wipe or microfiber cloth will strip allergens from their fur from the outside.
Due to the proteins in your pitbull’s urine and saliva, it’s best to eliminate licking altogether. Another way to show your love and affection is to provide them with mental activities and toys or treats.
If you get a friendly lick from your pitty, ensure you thoroughly wash your hands to prevent itching and irritation.
Maintain a Clean House
High traffic areas are mainly the hallways, entrances, kitchens, and bathrooms. If you have a hardwood floor, ensure that you sweep these areas daily to collect pet dander, dust, and other irritants caused by allergies.
For furniture, invest in a hypoallergenic fabric spray to spray on and around your seating areas for extra protection. Some house plants such as weeping figs (ficus trees), dracaena, and bamboo feed off dander and microscopic irritants throughout your household.
Replace Filters Monthly
Whether that’s a filter inside your vacuum or a filter inside your house that circulates through the vents, you’ll need a filter that states HEPA. The most popular allergen filter for a household filter is an allergen filter from filtrete.
Essentially, you’re looking for any filtered system that uses HEPA filters or helps eliminate pet dander and other allergens that float through the air.
Set Designated Pitbull Areas
Anywhere where there is carpet or rugs should be a no pitbull zone. Although many pet owners like sharing their rooms with their dogs, it’s a good idea to keep your room off-limits to your pitbull as well.
Find the triggers. The bedroom is a good no pitbull zone. If you’re finding it difficult to breathe through the night or in the morning, it could be because your pitbull is contributing to the problem. In order for you to function correctly and efficiently, you’ll need a good night’s rest.
On the other hand, the living room can be a pitbull designated area or if you have another room, allow them to have their very own.
Wear Separate Clothing When Training and Playing
If your allergies are so bad, it’s a good idea to wear separate clothing and gloves when training or playing with your pitbull. Keep the clothes you wear in the house separate from your play clothes. Only wear your play clothes (like a designated housecoat or sweater) when playing with your pitty.
Keep Allergy Medication on Hand
Allergy medications such as antihistamines, nasal sprays, and eye drops are beneficial during allergy season. They’ll also help when it comes to living with a non-hypoallergenic dog like your pitbull.
Maintain Personal Hygiene
Every time you’re playing with your friendly companion, ensure you’re keeping an eye on how much you wash your hands. Since too much water can make your skin crack, keep hypoallergenic lotion on hand – using it every other time you wash your hands and face.
If you like sleeping with your dog, ensure that personal hygiene consists of washing your laundry in hypoallergenic soap and using specific allergy-reducing bedding like bamboo-filtered pillows.
Clean Rugs, Carpet, and Cloth Material Regularly
When it comes to carpets, rugs, and other material household items, you must clean, vacuum, and dust off these items daily. Rugs and heavy material items can hold tons of pet dander and microscopic allergens that contribute to your symptoms.
Although there is no hypoallergenic pitbull breed, it’s reasonably easy to eliminate if not decrease the amount of dander they cause simply by brushing them daily and bathing them weekly.
While it may be a pain in the butt to clean regularly to decrease allergy symptoms, someone who suffers from allergies will need to maintain a tidy household anyways.
Dog allergies should not stop you from owning a pit bull because, unlike other long-haired, double-coated dogs, Pitbulls are relatively low-maintenance.
In fact, what makes Pitbulls and humans alike is that they are prone to allergies as well, with their genetically inclined skin issues during allergy season. Pitbull allergies also flare up during the times of the year when they shed the most.
Many people assume that Pitbulls are a vicious breed that has difficulty containing their aggression. However, this assumption is strictly a myth as Pitbulls are one of the most friendly and compassionate dog companions.
Since Pitbulls are truly lovable companions, why wouldn’t you want a pitbull? Don’t let allergies get in the way of a happy household. Some of the common questions regarding Pitbulls and allergies are as follows.
Do Pitbulls Have Allergies?
Yes, Pitbulls are prone to skin issues stemming from sensitive skin caused by allergens. You can find out if your pitbull has a skin allergy by noticing red, inflamed itchy areas under skin folds, their belly (naked part), ears, and feet.
Symptoms of atopy (skin allergy) start at one year of age and worsen as they grow.
Are American Pitbulls Hypoallergenic?
No, American Pitbulls are not hypoallergenic. Every pitbull breed contains allergen proteins that shed off their skin as they grow and groom themselves. These dander allergens become airborne and attach themselves to furniture and material-like substances.
Hence why it is a good idea to create a daily cleaning routine to minimize the irritating symptoms that allergies cause.
Are Blue Nose Pitbulls Hypoallergenic?
No, blue nose Pitbulls are not hypoallergenic.
Are Pitbull Terriers Hypoallergenic?
No, pitbull terriers are not hypoallergenic. While most terriers are hypoallergenic, the pit bull terrier is not because, like most mixed breeds, if one part of the dog is prone to shedding and has long furry coats, the hypoallergenic side of them counters out.
For example, the only way a mixed breed can become hypoallergenic is if both or all parts of the mixed breed are born from hypoallergenic parents.
Is There Any Breed of Pitbull That is Hypoallergenic?
No. All breeds of pitbul are non-hypoallergenic. Due to their excessive shedding twice a year and moderate shedding throughout the year, any pitbull breed cannot be hypoallergenic.
Also, the proteins that make up the breed’s body chemistry remain in their saliva and urine, which will irritate people who are prone to seasonal allergies.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds?
Hypoallergenic dogs don’t shed as much or have the proteins in the body chemistry that contribute to allergy symptoms. These dogs are mainly hairless or have different types of coats, such as hair (not fur).
– These breeds consist of:
– Afghan Hound
– American Hairless Terriers
– Bichon Frise
– Bedlington Terrier
– Barbados da Terceira
– Chinese Crested
– Kerry Blue Terrier
– Giant Schnauzer
– Irish Water Spaniel
– Yorkshire Terrier
– Shih Tzu
– Lagotto Romagnolo
– Peruvian Inca Orchid
– Wire Fox Terrier
Are Pitbulls Hypoallergenic: Final Thoughts
If you’re planning to own a dog that is not hypoallergenic like the pitbull, ensure you’re maintaining good hygiene, wearing separate clothing during playtime, set up designated pitbull areas, and stay strict with the no licking rule.
In case of any emergency such as anaphylactic shock, ensure that you have an antihistamine on you at all times for both you and your furry companion.