Yorkies Are One Of The Best Dogs For Allergy Sufferers

yorkie tissue box cover

Believe it or not, there is a select group of dogs that hold the title Best Dogs for Allergies. Yorkshire Terriers are classified as hypoallergenic because they have hair instead of fur, do not shed, and have less dander than most other dogs. But the reality is that no dog is non-allergenic – not even a hairless breed – because a person could be allergic to the saliva or urine of a dog as well as the dander and fur.

Even though Yorkies are on that list, I cringe every time someone asks: “I have allergies, will I be allergic to a Yorkie?” because there is no way to be sure. Just as every person is different, every dog is different too and even dogs of the same breed can affect an allergic person in varying degrees. It is also possible for a person’s allergic response to a puppy to worsen as the dog reaches adulthood. So the best answer I can give someone who is planning to bring a Yorkie into their home but has had allergic reactions to other dogs is: You can’t know for sure until you spend time with a Yorkie. Ideally, you should spend a full day or better yet, overnight with a Yorkie. Some people can tell within minutes if they are allergic and if you are sure that you will know right away, then perhaps a visit to a breeder who has Yorkies but no other animals in their home would be a good idea. 



If you find you are allergic to your Yorkie but can’t bear the thought of giving up the family dog it may be possible to improve the situation (notice I didn’t say cure because there really is no cure) by doing the following:   

  • Although a Yorkie’s long flowing coat is a thing of beauty, people with allergies should keep their pets’ coat clipped as short as possible. This is not because less hair means less dander, but because it is easier to keep the dog very clean, and a clean dog will be less bothersome to the allergic person.


  • Bathe your Yorkie often with a high-quality dog shampoo with moisturizing ingredients or even better a shampoo like Allersearch that is made specifically for this situation. Most importantly, use a cream rinse (conditioner) at the end of the bath to help hold the dander down.


    Someone other than the allergic person should do the bathing.

    If the allergic person also has other allergies, be sure not to choose a scented shampoo and conditioner that will further aggravate their condition.


  • You can also try applying a product to your Yorkie that is specifically made to hold down dander like Allerpet.


  •  Brush your Yorkie often to remove dust and other allergens from its coat. Ideally, this should be done outdoors.


  • Keep the Yorkie out of the allergic person’s bedroom.


  • If possible, carpeting should be removed from the area where the dog spends most of its time. Carpet holds in dander, as well as other allergens.

  • Frequent vacuuming of bare floors and rugs with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Air) filter and dusting of surfaces is a must.


  • Your Yorkie’s bedding should be washable and should be laundered every time the dog has a bath. Allersearch makes an unscented detergent that may be helpful.
  • An electronic air purifier with a HEPA filter may offer some relief.


  • As a last resort, consider seeing an allergist, who can give you a course of desensitizing shots. This can be costly and does not work for everyone; it also can take months or even years to complete the treatment.


In the end, I find myself praying that these measures will prevent a dog from having to be removed from the home because that can be heartbreaking for the family as well as the puppy, especially if there are children involved. I therefore strongly recommend that you try to determine whether you can live with a Yorkie or not before bringing one home. 

Unfortunately, it has been my experience that some people just cannot live with a dog of any breed, despite how much they would like to or how closely they follow all this advice. Of those people I ask the following: If you must give up your Yorkie please contact me. Your dog deserves to have a new home where he or she will be loved as much as they were with you, and I would be happy to help you find that home. 


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