Most and Least Dander Producing Pets
As much as we love and cherish our furry little friends, dander is a stubborn issue many pet owners battle daily. Not only does dander cling to your clothes and furniture for what seems like forever, but it also lingers in the air. Airborne dander lands in the food you eat, settles on surfaces in your home, and enters your body through the air you breathe.
For some, dander may be a minor inconvenience, but dander can cause severe allergy symptoms for others. According to the American Lung Association:
People suffering from pet allergies will have symptoms consistent with swollen nasal passages. This includes a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, itchy or watery eyes, and shortness of breath.
Coming into physical contact with pet dander can cause contact dermatitis, or a skin rash, hives, or trigger a person’s asthma.
If you suffer from pet dander allergies or want to avoid pet dander messes, we can help you pick the perfect low or no-dander pet. We created lists of the top 10 non shedding cats, the top 10 dogs that don’t shed, and the top 10 low-dander pets to help you find a critter that suits your home and lifestyle.
What is Dander?
It’s a common misconception that pet dander is just dog and cat fur. Dander actually includes fur, hair, feathers, and dead skin produced by any pet. While dogs and cats are the most common pets found in American households and the primary source of pet dander, dozens of other pets also produce dander. Birds, hamsters, ferrets, rats, mice, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and rabbits all have dander which can cause allergies.
Another common misconception is that dander is the only source of pet allergens. According to Northeast Allergy, pet saliva, urine, and feces can also trigger allergic reactions. This is why people with allergies can still experience symptoms when exposed to cats or dogs that don’t shed. Dander management and owning non shedding cats, dogs, or other pets may be enough to protect those with mild allergy symptoms. If you have moderate or severe allergies, we recommend choosing a pet from our list of least dander-producing pets.
Top 10 Dogs That Don’t Shed
- American Hairless Terrier
- Peruvian Inca Orchid
- Chinese Crested
- Bichon Frise
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Spanish Water Dog
Though there is a long list of dogs that don’t shed or shed very little, it’s important to remember that no dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic. Dogs that don’t shed still produce allergens and dander from their skin, saliva, urine, feces, and natural oils. This is why some people can even be allergic to hairless dogs that are fully incapable of shedding. Dogs that don’t shed are as close to hypoallergenic as they get but are not allergen-free creatures.
Top 10 Dogs That Shed the Most
- Alaskan Husky
- German Shepherd
- Labrador Retriever
- Alaskan Malamute
- Great Pyrenees
- Chow Chow
- Golden Retriever
- Bernese Mountain Dog
Hundreds of different dog breeds exist and many shed a considerable amount. Even if the specific breed you are looking for does not appear on this list, it still could be a heavy shedder. We recommend researching the hair type, shedding season, and ideal climate for any breed before purchasing or adopting your pet.
Top 10 Non Shedding Cats
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Oriental Shorthair
- La Perm
- American Wirehair
Similar to dogs that don’t shed, non shedding cats are considered low-allergen, but not 100% hypoallergenic. If you are sensitive to cat dander but still want to own a cat, you must take extra precautions when choosing a non shedding cat. Unlike dogs, cats groom themselves daily by licking their fur and skin. Inevitably, there will be traces of saliva all over their bodies which can be a major allergy trigger. If you experience anything but very mild allergy symptoms from cats, we recommend choosing a pet from our list of least dander-producing pets.
Top 10 Cats That Shed the Most
- Maine Coon
- Russian Blue
- American Bobtail
- Norwegian Forest Cat
If you want a non shedding cat, short-haired cat breeds tend to shed less and for shorter seasons than longhair cat breeds. Shorthair cats also produce a much lower volume of dander than longhair cats, which means the hair they do shed will be less noticeable. Even if you do pick a shorthair cat, we still recommend researching hair type, shedding season, and ideal climate for any breed before purchasing or adopting your cat.
Least Dander-Producing Pets
For those who are highly allergic to pet dander but still want to be pet owners, there are plenty of options for no and low-dander pets. These pets may not be standard cats or dogs, but they make great companions. Many no and low-dander pets are smaller species, but that doesn’t mean they require any less responsibility. Before you commit to any of these pets on the list below, we recommend getting comfortable with handling the species you choose and determining if you can meet their needs.
- Hermit Crab
- Bearded Dragon
- Guinea Pig
How to Treat Pet Dander Allergies
While there is no permanent cure for pet allergies, there are ways to treat and prevent symptoms. Besides regularly cleaning all the dander out of your home, choosing a no or low-allergen pet, and changing your air filters, you can medically treat pet allergies. According to Cleveland Clinic, over-the-counter antihistamine pills, nasal antihistamines, nasal corticosteroids, and immunotherapy via allergy shots are all options. Over-the-counter solutions are short-term, but allergy shots offer longer-lasting relief.
Allergy experts believe that allergies can be preventable in some capacity. According to the Carolina Asthma and Allergy Center:
Some recent research indicates avoiding allergens can make it more likely for an individual to develop adult-onset allergies, because the immune system is unfamiliar with more substances.
The strangest part about adult-onset allergies is that you can wake up today irritated by an allergen that didn’t bother you yesterday.
If you’re a parent to a young child, you can reduce their chances of developing allergies by cautiously exposing them to common allergens at an early age. Avoiding allergens can be counterproductive and actually cause allergies to develop. It’s important to discuss with your child’s doctor before exposing them to allergens, especially if you have a history of allergies in your family.
How to Reduce Dander
Reducing dander can be a major challenge, especially if you have a heavy shedder or multiple pets. Over time, dander accumulates on your clothes, furniture, and hard surfaces and it can be impossible to get rid of it all. There are plenty of ways to manage dander in your home and even reduce dander at the source. Here are some easy ways to control dander:
Do Air Filters Help Reduce Dander?
Air filters are an effective and practical way to manage dander in your home. Dander particles stay airborne for long periods of time, so one of the most efficient ways to trap those particles is using an air filter! As air gets forced through the air filter inside your HVAC system, the airborne particles that are too large to pass through the air filter get stuck in the fibers of the filter media. All the pollutants trapped by the air filter get thrown out as you replace the filter every 3 months.
Do you want to control the dander in your home and start breathing clean air? Filterbuy produces the highest quality made-in-U.S. air filters on the market in 600+ sizes. All the MERV ratings we offer are proven to filter out pet dander, and we even have an Odor Eliminator option. All U.S. orders ship free and we make custom-size filters too! Get your pet dander under control, click here to find your size.
Need help determining which MERV rating to pick? Our MERV Match quick can help you choose the ideal filter for your home.