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Italian Greyhounds, also called Iggys, are adorable small dogs that previously were a favorite dog breed of noblewomen during the Middle Ages. These small dogs make excellent companions due to being small enough to cuddle up on your lap and their temperament, but they’re also speedy and athletic. With so much love for their owners, Italian Greyhounds are prone to separation anxiety.
Using the best crate for them while you’re gone can prevent them from anxiously scratching or biting things in your home. When you’re considering adding a new furry family member to your household, considering if the breed is hypoallergenic is crucial if you or someone else you live with suffers from pet allergies. Many people believe the smaller the dog, the less they shed and the better they are for allergies. But are Italian Greyhounds hypoallergenic?
Great news! Italian Greyhounds are a hypoallergenic dog breed! These affectionate and loyal dogs not only will love you endlessly, but they shouldn’t cause you to suffer from allergies you usually would with a non-hypoallergenic dog breed.
Why are Italian Greyhounds Hypoallergenic?
You may be wondering why Italian Greyhounds are dubbed hypoallergenic while other dog breeds aren’t. While we call Italian Greyhounds hypoallergenic, it’s important to note that no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic. When we call a dog breed hypoallergenic, it simply means that they’re much less likely to cause allergic reactions in people.
The most straightforward answer is that Italian Greyhounds have a short-haired coat, and they hardly shed. Keep in mind that it’s nearly impossible to have zero shedding with an animal. Still, when you compare this breed to other popular breeds, the shedding you can expect will be minimal. If you notice that your Italian Greyhound is shedding more than usual, it could be a sign of an allergy or their food sensitivity. A way to help reduce the shedding is finding the best food for them and brushing off any excess hair you may see on their coat.
People have allergic reactions or symptoms to dogs due to a protein that is present in their urine and saliva. Of course, your dog probably isn’t urinating on you, but the saliva is another story. Dogs show affection by licking, so it’s not unheard of for your furry friend to lick you. The good news is that Italian Greyhounds have a significantly less amount of this protein in their body, causing fewer people to have allergic reactions to them.
Another reason people have allergic reactions or allergy symptoms with animals is the dander on their pets and the shedding that occurs. Since Italian Greyhounds barely shed compared to other short-haired dog breeds, allergy symptoms may be minimal to non-existent.
Something a little unique about this dog breed is that not only are their coats short, but they’re also almost entirely odorless. You read that right. For some reason, Italian Greyhounds fur doesn’t smell like other dog breeds. The combination of an odorless coat and short hair that hardly sheds make an Italian Greyhound hypoallergenic.
How is a Dog Not Hypoallergenic?
As we mentioned, no dog is 100% hypoallergenic. But some dog breeds, including the Italian Greyhound, are less likely to cause allergic reactions for several reasons.
Dogs that are not hypoallergenic tend to have longer hair. The longer the hair, the more protein that this hair can hold. The protein we’re talking about is one of the most significant sources of allergens. Going along with a longer coat, long-haired dogs are more likely to shed. This releases dander into the air and can potentially irritate humans.
Regardless of how short or how long a dog’s hair is, the more that they shed, the more likely they are to cause allergy symptoms. If you let your dog onto the furniture, you’re more likely to have their fur on your couch, bed, and other furniture. Luckily with Italian Greyhounds, even if you do find some shedding around your house, it’s less likely to cause you to sneeze or have other allergy symptoms.
For example, you can have two different dog breeds that are similar, but one is hypoallergenic while the other is not. Let’s consider the Italian Greyhound and a standard Greyhound. Both have very short hair and overall are very similar except in size. Italian Greyhounds are hypoallergenic because they rarely shed, and if they do, it’s minimal. At the same time, standard Greyhounds are not a hypoallergenic dog breed because they shed quite a bit, and it’s enough to classify them as a non-hypoallergenic dog breed.
Are Italian Greyhounds High-Maintenance?
Overall, Iggys aren’t a high-maintenance dog breed. Since they don’t shed a lot and rarely smell, they don’t need to be brushed or bathed often. But, they are still a dog and bathing, and grooming is necessary every so often to ensure they’re happy and healthy.
Whether you consider a dog to be high or low-maintenance is really a personal opinion. What you think is high-maintenance, another may think they take minimal maintenance.
As with any dog, you’ll need to bathe them every so often to prevent them from smelling and dirt building on their coat. You’ll need to trim and potentially grind their nails so that they don’t scratch anything too bad, brush their teeth, and clean their ears. Of course, none of these grooming activities is a daily requirement for owning an Italian Greyhound.
Italian Greyhounds do need special harnesses and collars. They need special collars, Martingale, and harnesses due to how sleek and slender their necks are. These dogs can easily slip out of traditional dog collars and harnesses, so investing in a high-quality collar and harness that are best for this breed is crucial for their wellbeing.
How Often Should You Groom Your Italian Greyhound?
Since you don’t need to perform all of those grooming activities on your Iggy every day, how often should you be grooming them?
As with most dog breeds, how often you need to bathe them depends on their lifestyle. Italian Greyhounds can be bathed as often as once a week to as minimal as every six weeks. The best way to determine what’s the right amount for your Iggy is to look at their lifestyle. Are they constantly outside playing and getting dirty? Then they may need a bath more often than an Italian Greyhound that stays mostly inside and when they are outside, avoid getting too dirty. One way to minimize bathing is to use pet wipes on your Italian Greyhound in-between baths to ensure they stay relatively clean and they’re not bringing dirt into your home.
Italian Greyhounds are prone to having bad teeth and dental issues. Therefore, brushing their teeth at least a few times a week is essential to their dental and overall health. Many dogs do not like having their teeth brushed, so it’s best to start early in their life so that they get used to us. Suppose you’re not comfortable brushing your dog’s teeth. In that case, you can buy cleaning treats and have them professionally cleaned at the vet every so often.
As for keeping your Italian Greyhound’s ears clean, you should be cleaning them once a week. Of course, things happen, and it may not always be once a week. If you can remember to do it once a week, great. If not, cleaning them as much as you remember is better than nothing, and they will thank you for that.
There’s nothing more irritating than a dog with super long nails. It’s irritating for you and, most likely, for your dog. Trimming and even grinding your Iggy’s nails can help keep your sanity and prevent them from scratching objects or themselves too hard. There’s no rule of how often you should be trimming their nails because every dog is different. The best way to determine when you need to trim their nails is by keeping an eye on them. Whether you choose to cut them yourself at home or bring them to a professional, this will need to happen every so often.
Italian Greyhounds have a very short coat, and therefore don’t need to be brushed as often as other breeds. With other dog breeds, you’ll need to watch for tangles and even mats that begin to form when their fur isn’t brushed regularly. Iggy’s have such short hair that it’s almost impossible for their coat to tangle or mat. A tangle-free coat means you won’t need to be brushing them often, if at all. If you are going to brush your Italian Greyhound, you won’t need a brush that’s specifically for tangles. A gentle hand glove with rubber bristles should do the trick.
Italian Greyhounds are one of the most unique and loving small dog breeds. These adorable animals can have a lot of energy but are still great apartment dogs due to their small size. When you bring an Iggy into your home, you don’t have to worry about allergies getting you down. This hypoallergenic dog breed rarely sheds and shouldn’t cause your allergies to act up.