Are Shiba Inus Good for Allergy Sufferers?

Have you fallen in love with the orange-red puppy that looks like a fox? You may have fallen in love with a Shiba Inu and you want to bring him home. He’s fluffiness and fur is what gets you. But if you are an allergy sufferer, one thing you should know is that the Shiba Inu may not be your best choice.

Are Shiba Inus Good for Allergy Sufferers

If you are prone to allergies, you may be wondering if Shiba Inus are hypoallergenic. Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic. Shiba Inus have two layers of fur. When they Shed the fur, pet dander gets into carpets, furniture, and air. Pet dander can trigger your immune system and cause allergic reactions.   

Are Shiba Inus Hypoallergenic?

Shiba Inus are not hypoallergenic. They have dander. Dander is a tiny piece of dead skin that your pet sheds. Because of how small dander is, it’s easy for dander to get airborne. If you have carpet flooring they remain embedded in the carpets and furniture.

When you breathe in the airborne pet dander your immune system may react to it.  Some people don’t have any reactions to dander. While some people display major allergy symptoms to pet dander.

Shiba Inus blow their coat twice a year. Remember this is not just simply shedding its “blowing”. When Shiba Inus blow their coat, hair gets everywhere!  Hair will get on your clothes, on your furniture, and in your carpet. When Shiba Inus do shed, they shed a lot.

According to a study done in 2011, in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy – no dogs are 100% hypoallergenic. Some dogs shed less and cause less pet dander. But all dogs have pet dander to a certain degree.

People can be allergic to pet dander or dog saliva. If you suffer from dog allergies then you are allergic to one of those two things. With a double-coated dog like Shiba Inu that has a lot of fur, there will be a lot of pet dander.

Shiba Inu Coats

The Shiba Inu is a double-coated breed. They have an outer coat. The outer coat is a stiff straight kind of fur. The inner coat is a thick soft undercoat. The outer coat protects them from the sun, water, and other objects. The inner coat is a dense fluff that helps the Shiba Inu stay warm. Shiba Inus were bred to be mountain hunting dogs and it’s important for them to stay warm.

You will hear that some dogs have hair and some other dogs have fur. If your dog has hair they will usually be better for allergy sufferers. But, if your dog has fur, they will cause more pet dander. So if you are a serious allergy sufferer, it may be better to get a dog with hair rather than fur. Shiba Inus have fur.

How Much do Shiba Inus Shed?

are shiba inus hypoallergenic
Shiba Shedding Heavily (Source:

The Shiba Inu sheds moderately throughout the year. But  twice a year they blow their undercoat. When they blow their undercoat, you will find their fur on your clothes, furniture and everywhere in the house.

Each shedding lasts approximately for one month. If your Shiba Inu is in one of the shedding periods, you will need to brush your dog regularly to manage all that extra fur.

How Often to Shiba Inus Shed

Shiba Inus shed pretty much all year round. But the main high-volume shedding occurs when the blow their undercoat. Shiba Inus blow their undercoat twice a year. Each time they blow their undercoat, the high volume shedding lasts for about 1 month.

So if you get a Shiba Inu you will pretty much need to handle shedding issues all year round.

Dog Allergy Symptoms

If you suspect that you may be allergic to dogs, look for these symptoms:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Watery red eyes
  • Rashes or inflammation on your skin

More severe symptoms include swelling of the eyes and lips, are anaphylactic shocks. If you have any of these more severe symptoms you seriously need to consider whether you want a Shiba Inu, or any dog. Consult a medical professional to discuss whether you need an EpiPen that you can carry with you.

It is also important to check what it is that you’re exactly allergic to. It could be dander, or it could be saliva or it could be urine. If you’re allergic to saliva or urine then it doesn’t matter if the dog is hypoallergenic.

Allergies don’t get better with more exposure, they actually get worse with more exposure. So it’s important to consider whether you want to take the chance.

Allergies show different symptoms from person to person. It is best to check for any or all these symptoms when you are considering getting a Shiba Inu.

Will Shiba Inus Trigger your Allergy?

How do you know if a Shiba Inu will trigger your allergies? It’s best to find out if you will have allergies before you bring the dog home.

Spending some Time with a Shiba Inu

The best way to know if a Shiba Inu will trigger your allergies is to spend a certain amount of time with a Shiba Inu. If you experience serious reactions during this time, it is best to avoid the Shiba Inu.

Get an Allergy Test

If you suspect that you may be allergic to pet dander, consider getting an allergy test. You can ask your family doctor for an allergy test. If the allergy test reveals that you have severe allergic symptoms to pet dander, it may be best to avoid pets altogether. People with bronchitis or asthma should avoid getting a dog.

If you have a minor allergy to pet dander you can consider getting a Shiba Inu. Just know that you will need to manage your symptoms.

How to Manage Shiba Inu Shedding and Allergies

If you already have a Shiba Inu and you have some symptoms of allergies, you should take precautions to minimize your allergy symptoms.

#1. Bathe your Shiba Inu Regularly

Bathing your Shiba Inu regularly will reduce the amount of dander. Just make sure that you don’t over bathe your dog. If you do that then he will end up with dry and itchy skin. The dry itchy skin can lead to even more pet dander in the air.

#2. Regularly Brush your Shiba Inu

It’s important that you brush your Shiba Inu outside instead of inside your home. When you brush your dog outside, the dander stays outside.

Grooming a Shiba Inu Outdoors

You can also blow dry your pet’s hair which will help reduce dander. During the heavy shedding periods, you will need to brush your Shiba Inu daily. During the rest of the year, you will need to brush your Shiba Inu once or twice a week.

#3. Establish a Pet Free Area

It’s good to have an area that is off-limits to your dog. Your bedroom or anywhere you sleep should be something that is off-limits to your dog. This will help your night time allergy symptoms.

#4.  Use a HEPA air purifier

Using a HEPA air purifier helps get rid of pet dander from the circulating air in the house. There are many options – here’s one that we use. It works pretty well at cleaning the air from allergens.

#5.  Vacuum Clean your Floor

If you have carpet flooring, consider vacuuming daily. Carpets can attract dander and it’s hard to get rid of dander from carpets. If it is possible, consider removing carpet and putting in tiles or hardwood flooring.

#6. Store your Clean Clothes away from Dander

Keep your clothes in the drawers where the clothes won’t come in contact with the pet dander. If you have clothes in the closet, make the closeted area is off-limits to your dog.

#7. Wash your Hands after Petting your Shiba Inu

After you pet your dog, make sure you wash your hands are rinse them before you touch your face. It’s hard to do this in the beginning. But with practice, you will manage to keep your hands away from your face without washing it.

#8.  Take Allergy Medication

If you already have a Shiba Inu and you are experiencing serious reactions, and you don’t want to give up your dog – consider an allergy shot or medications.

Antihistamines can help with mild symptom management, and they usually act very fast. But you should consider if you want to take antihistamines continuously if you have your dog.  Antihistamines like Zyrtec work for some people.

Some allergy sufferers need to take an immunotherapy shot to control their allergies. Consult your doctor about your symptoms and decide what will work for you.

If you have serious symptoms, then consider talking to your doctor about it. Make your final decision to get a dog based on the doctor’s feedback.

Best Dog Breeds for People with Allergies

There are no dogs that are 100% allergy free. But there are dogs that shed very little compared to the Shiba Inu.

Usually smaller dogs shed a smaller amount.

Some of the breeds that shed very little are good for allergy sufferers. Here are the best dog breeds for allergy sufferers.

  • Bichon Frise
  • Terriers
  • Poodles
  • Maltese
  • Labradoodle
  • Shih Tzu

Worst Dog Breeds for People with Allergies

Here are some of the worst dogs for allergy sufferers. Avoid these breeds if you suffer from pet dander allergies.

Basset Hounds

  • Dachshund
  • Siberian Husky
  • Boston Terrier
  • Akita
  • Boxer
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pomeranian
  • Saint Bernard
  • German Shepherd
  • Chow Chow

Are Shiba Inus Good For Allergy Sufferers? – Final Thoughts

Shiba Inus are adorable pets and their furs give them a cute Foxy look. But it can also trigger allergies for some people. If you think that you may be allergic to Shiba Inus, make sure that you get tested for pet dander allergies. Also, try to spend the day or two with a Shiba Inu to make sure that you don’t have any allergic reactions. It would be a shame if you get a Shiba Inu and then you have to return it for your allergies.