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Are Belgian Malinois Hypoallergenic? When it comes to looking for a new best friend, it’s always good to research different dog breeds to make sure that you know if you’ll be a good fit for each other.
A dog is a huge commitment and is a lot of responsibility. It’s a life that depends on you for around 15 years for food, and shelter, companionship, and of course, love and affection.
There are many factors to think about, like energy level and trainability, for example, that may influence your decision. You’ll want to get a dog that blends with your life.
But, if you live with pet allergies, there’s only one question that really matters when you’re looking at breeds.
How much do they shed? Suppose you suffer from dog allergies and the beautiful Belgian Malinois has caught your eye. In that case, you will most likely find yourself wondering, “Are Belgian Malinois bad for allergies?”
The Belgian Malinois is a highly intelligent, agile breed that is known mostly for military and law enforcement use. Even though they’re often mistaken for the German Shepard, these Belgian beauties are on a completely different plain of performance and have a totally different coat.
However, one main similarity that the two breeds do share is that neither of them is even close to being considered hypoallergenic dog breeds.
DID YOU KNOW? Allergies to dogs or cats affects up to 10-20% of the worldwide population!
Table of Contents
Are Belgian Malinois Hypoallergenic?
Short Answer: No, they are not.
Long Answer: If you’re affected by allergies to dogs, the Belgian Malinois may not be the right choice for you. They’re a light to seasonal shedder and do produce a lot of dander. They’re also made to do a lot of work outside, which makes them pick up a lot of dust and dirt. These can all be risk factors for your allergies.
The Malinois coat is designed to face the elements with two shedding seasons to fit the changing temperatures for summer and winter. This means that they do shed quite a bit when the weather starts to change and require regular brushing. Throughout the rest of the year, they are known as a light to medium shedder.
However, compared to other doubled-coated breeds, they’re pretty low maintenance when it comes to grooming needs.
To truly understand what your options are as someone who suffers from dog allergies, let’s talk about what hypoallergenic means in the first place.
What Does Hypoallergenic Actually Mean?
When you hear the word hypoallergenic, what comes to mind? You’re likely thinking about a hypoallergenic beauty product or maybe even a hairless dog.
The term hypoallergenic first came about in the 50s for a marketing campaign by a cosmetic brand. The goal of this was to attract clients with sensitive skin and skin issues. Even to this day, you will often see creams, makeup products, and other cosmetics that have the word hypoallergenic on the label.
A common misconception is that a hypoallergenic product or breed will not trigger an allergic reaction at all, but that’s simply not true. This means that all those hypoallergenic labels are really just claims since the FDA doesn’t call for that type of regulation.
Here’s what hypoallergenic really means. The literary definition of the word hypoallergenic is something that is created to be unlikely to cause a reaction in someone with allergies. This does not mean that an allergic reaction is impossible, it’s simply less likely to cause a reaction.
In this specific case, a hypoallergenic dog is a breed that is less likely to affect a dog allergy sufferer. Simply put, it means that a hypoallergenic dog breed sheds less than other breeds.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?
First things first, it’s crucial to remember that no dog breed is purely hypoallergenic. As mentioned before, the term only means that they’re less likely to trigger an allergic reaction in someone that is allergic to dogs.
A hypoallergenic dog is a dog breed that is considered to be safer for people with allergies to dogs. Usually, they have a thinner coat they shed less loose hair and dander, which is what makes them a better choice for allergy sufferers.
All dog breeds have coats that are tailored to fit their lifestyle. Dogs from colder and wetter climates tend to have thicker, layered coats to protect them from the elements. Dogs from warmer areas of the world will have a thinner coat that is not well equipped for colder climates.
Surprisingly enough, breeds like the Labradoodle or Yorkie-Poo, called designer crossbreeds, are bred specifically to shed less. It’s common for designer breeds to be crossed with varieties of poodles to create a more hypoallergenic coat.
But just because a dog doesn’t shed a lot, that doesn’t mean that it won’t trigger symptoms in people with allergies to them. Even a hairless dog can produce dander, which could cause an allergic reaction.
What Causes Our Allergies From Dogs?
Chances are, you or someone you know has a pet allergy. The ASPCA reports that around 10% of the country experience pet allergies. There’s really no clear answer as to what exactly causes allergies to dogs. However, the general consensus is that allergies are caused by an over-active immune system in an individual’s body.
Some people are born with these allergies, while others can develop them throughout their life. There are even cases of people growing out of dog allergies.
Basically, an allergic reaction is your body’s response to what it thinks is a toxic substance, an allergen. Since the immune system doesn’t recognize the allergen, the reaction is how your body responds. Your body attacks the allergen by creating antibodies. The antibodies are how allergy sufferers may display symptoms like hives or watering eyes.
Pet allergies are common, but not all the same. Dog allergies can be triggered by many things, including dog hair, dander, saliva, and even urine. Pet dander is made up of dead skin cells that your pup will shed onto her coat. If you’re allergic to pet dander, finding the perfect pup will depend on how much dander the certain breeds shed.
What Are The Symptoms Of Allergies From Dogs?
If you suffer from allergies to dogs, you’ve most likely been able to tell if there was a dog in a home before you’ve even seen it. It’s not a pretty sight. Runny nose, tearing up; it almost looks as if the dog has made you upset.
You can almost always tell when someone has an allergic reaction. While some are severe and can be life-threatening, like anaphylaxis, most pet allergies usually display symptoms that include:
- Dry, itchy skin
- Rash, hives
- Itchy, runny nose
- Nasal congestion, pain
- Red, itchy, watering eyes
- Puffy Eyes
- Itchy mouth, particularly the roof
- Chest congestion, wheezing, coughing
These symptoms likely will all happen at once. They will vary in individuals, as well as how bad the reaction can be. Two people with the same allergy can experience reactions very differently.
If you’re unaware of how severe your dog allergy is, consult an allergy specialist to get tested before bringing your new pal home.
Let’s go over what we talked about today.
You’ve learned that hypoallergenic means that they are least likely to trigger allergic reactions. This means that hypoallergenic dogs shed less, making them less likely to trigger all the nasty symptoms that come with dog allergies that almost resemble a mild cold.
We also discussed where pet allergies actually come from and how it happens in the body. And lastly, all of the known hypoallergenic breeds were listed. To learn more about these breeds, visit the American Kennel Club.
So, are Belgian Malinois bad for allergies? It really depends on the type of allergy (between dander, saliva, and loose hair. The Belgian Malinois has a lot of collectively) as well as the severity of your symptoms.
Allergies are downright awful, puffy eyes, runny nose, itchy ears. It’s not an attractive look and can ruin your mood, among other things. While most allergies to dogs are relatively mild, severe reactions can cause bodily harm. Living with these allergens can harm your lungs, in the long run.
A lot of people will “suck it up” and live with milder symptoms like an itchy nose. However, if you have a more severe allergic reaction to dogs, the Malinois probably isn’t the best choice of breed for you. It’s always best to consult your doctor and a vet to see which breed is the right one for you!
If you’re wondering which collar may be the best for your Belgian Malinois, why not have a read of our ultimate guide on the best collars for Belgian Malinois?
- Are Belgian Malinois easy to train?
- Do Belgian Malinois Shed?
- Best Brush for Belgian Malinois
- Do Belgian Malinois like to cuddle?
- Do Belgian Malinois need haircuts?
About the Author
Hey there! I'm Jeremy and I’m the brains behind Pet Care Project, a website chock-full of pet-care know-how. I've got the experience and knowledge to help you keep your furry friends happy and healthy. And let's not forget about my own little fluffball, Lunar, my Ragdoll cat who keeps me on my toes.