Skip to Content

Are Havanese Hypoallergenic? Havanese Shedding And Grooming

Are Havanese Hypoallergenic? Havanese Shedding And Grooming

If you’re planning on getting a Havanese, you may be wondering if these dogs are safe for allergy sufferers. As the news about some dogs being hypoallergenic is spreading, people are on the lookout for these breeds.

So, are Havanese hypoallergenic, and should allergy sufferers buy them?

Thankfully, these gorgeous family dogs aren’t just perfect companions, but they are also acceptable for people who suffer from allergies.

In short, Havanese have all the qualities of dogs that don’t trigger allergies. They don’t drool much, and their silky fur sheds very little. They also produce very little dander compared to most other dog breeds.

These traits are usually what determines whether or not a dog can be considered hypoallergenic. But what does that really mean?

If you want to find a detailed answer to the question “Are Havanese hypoallergenic?” you are in the right place. We’ll let you in on what you need to know!

Quick Facts About Havanese

Before we further discuss the topic of “Are Havanese hypoallergenic dogs?” we need to give you a brief breed overview.

Here’s everything you need to know:

Breed type:Toy
Lifespan:13–15 years
Shedding:Very low/non-shedding
Energy level:Medium
Family dog:Yes

Physical Appearance, Temperament, And Coat Type

havanese dog lying on the grass

The Havanese is a breed that originates from Cuba – it is considered the Cuban national dog breed. These toy dogs have an amazing personality and are great family pets. In fact, they used to be lap dogs for noblemen and aristocrats.

They are affectionate, social, and playful, yet extremely loyal to their owner. Havanese will rarely bark, but they’ll demand your attention at all times.

In fact, these dogs can bond with their owners so much that they are known as “Velcro dogs,” as they act as if they are stuck to the human they love the most.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), they are small dogs that rarely grow higher than 11 inches and won’t weigh over 14 pounds. This makes them an excellent choice for people living in confined spaces, such as condos or apartments, or people living with roommates.

The breed has a double coat, including a thick undercoat and a longer outer coat. While there are also Havanese dogs with shorter hair, long-haired varieties are still more popular. Their hair is wavy but not curly.

Their fur comes in a wide variety of colors, including white, black, tobacco, mahogany, fawn, chocolate, and Havana brown.

While you have to groom your Havanese’s coat quite often, many dog owners minimize this task by giving their pooches a so-called “puppy cut.” This way, you can reduce the number of times you have to visit your groomer – but more on that later.

Now that you’ve learned the basics, you might want to know more about the main concern – are Havanese hypoallergenic dogs?

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

Beautiful young havanese dog sitting

The word hypoallergenic has been tossed around a lot in the last couple of years. It was first coined in the 1950s when the cosmetic industry needed a way to label products that were less likely to trigger an allergic reaction.

This word, however, didn’t mean that a said reaction won’t occur. It simply indicated that the chances were much lower than other products that were deemed as non-hypoallergenic.

In fact, the US government doesn’t have adequate standards that a certain product has to meet for the manufacturer to label it as hypoallergenic.

No matter where you turn, you might find a hypoallergenic label. Whether this is a cosmetic product, cleaning product, food item, or even a dog breed – this term is everywhere.

But what does this mean for this little dog from Cuba? Are Havanese hypoallergenic?

Hypoallergenic Dogs

white Havanese puppy outdoors

Photo from: @maxxy_the_havanese

Imagine you are planning on getting a new dog, but you or someone in your family has dog allergies. If this is the case, the word ‘hypoallergenic’ stapled onto some dog breeds might interest you.

Some dogs have a reputation for being hypoallergenic breeds. This is the case with most curly-haired dogs, such as Poodles.

These dogs have a coat with lots of tight curls. While this implies a lot of tangling and brushing, it also means that a dog likely won’t shed a lot. This is because loose hairs get stuck in the curls and don’t fall off, leaving the impression that a dog is non-shedding.

However, it’s important to note that no dog can truly be considered hypoallergenic. The AKC even acknowledges this on its list of hypoallergenic breeds.

Still, some breeds will most likely cause very few health problems for allergy sufferers. While it all comes down to a specific dog, the chances of an allergic reaction are lower with curly-coated breeds.

Hypoallergenic dogs are becoming more and more popular as time goes by, and there is a good reason behind their sudden popularity.

The American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology conducted research that proved around 10% of US citizens suffer from dog allergies. This means that approximately 32 million Americans are allergic to dogs!

If we apply this data globally, it would mean that around one-tenth of the world population have allergy symptoms around canines!

This particular piece of information should be enough to understand why a question like “Are Havanese hypoallergenic?” is Googled as much as it is.

Common Allergens

chocolate Havanese puppy with tongue sticking out

Every type of allergy is triggered by a specific allergen. When it comes to dog allergies, there are several potential triggers.

Most people think that dog hair is the biggest issue and that loose hair is the cause of dog allergies. The fact that many low-shedding breeds are considered hypoallergenic only enhances that.

However, the biggest allergen on dogs is their dander.

Pet dander is made out of very tiny flecks of dead skin shed by most animals with fur and feathers. This includes rodents, cats, birds, and dogs. These bits of skin can cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to these particular triggers.

Dander can get stuck onto a dog’s hair, which will eventually fall off. If this hair gets away from a dog’s fur, it will spread dander all over your house and clothes. This is why we tend to sneeze when dog hair gets into our noses. Still, the issue isn’t in the hair itself but in the dander it carries.

Other common allergens are a dog’s saliva or urine. This is why drooling dog breeds tend to be more problematic than dogs that don’t produce as much saliva.

As you might have noticed, all dogs produce dander, urine, and saliva to a certain extent. This is why you can never have an entirely hypoallergenic dog. However, if a dog doesn’t spread allergens around, the chances of you experiencing an allergic reaction are very slim.

Of course, your pooch might carry some external allergens. This is usually dust or pollen, which might also irritate you. If you have an allergic reaction to your dog only after you take a walk, this might be the reason.

Because of this, you should always brush your dog as soon as you get back from outside playtime. Otherwise, he might spread allergens everywhere!

Dog Allergy Symptoms

White havanese dog lying in the grass in the morning sun

Many people don’t realize they have a dog allergy. They’ll feel like something’s been bothering them, but they won’t connect the dots and understand that it’s their dog causing them health issues.

The only way you can be certain that what you’re feeling is an allergy is by visiting your doctor. However, there are some symptoms that might help you understand if you should have this problem checked out.

Some of the symptoms of a dog allergy include:

• Sneezing

• Runny nose

• Nasal congestion

• Coughing

• Wheezing

• Shortness of breath

• Chest tightness

• Watery or red eyes

• Skin rash

If you notice any of these signs after playing with a dog, it might be wise to consult a professional that can confirm the diagnosis and give you proper treatment if needed.

Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

small chocolate poodle on the grass

As we’ve already mentioned, most hypoallergenic dogs have curly coats that don’t shed. Some don’t have any hair at all!

Here are some of the most popular hypoallergenic dog breeds.


Poodles are the most common hypoallergenic dog breed. In fact, they are usually first on lists of dogs recommended for allergy sufferers.

Poodles shed very little, and you can reduce this even more by cutting their coats short. Even if you leave it long, it isn’t likely to cause you any issues. However, you’ll need to brush them regularly, as they are prone to matting and tangles.

This dog breed is so unlikely to cause any issues that many breeders mate it with other dog breeds in an attempt to create hybrid dogs that won’t trigger an allergic reaction.

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise is another popular hypoallergenic dog breed. They are easily recognizable by their snow-white coat and playful personalities. This makes them amazing companion dogs that are beloved worldwide.

They shed very little, and most of their hair gets caught up in their undercoat. While this means you’ll have to brush them or trim their fur, they still aren’t likely to cause any problems for allergy sufferers.


Maltese have a silky coat that comes in pure white color. Similar to Bichon Frises, they require a lot of maintenance, but they won’t trigger an allergic reaction.

These pups make excellent family dogs as they don’t have extreme exercise needs and love spending time on your lap – all the while allowing you to breathe without any issues.

Chinese Crested

The Chinese Crested is a dog whose hair won’t fly around, spreading dander everywhere – because they barely have any hair at all. While they can come in a coated variety, even these don’t shed a lot.

This dog breed requires a lot of care, especially skincare. Still, they make amazing hypoallergenic pets. They are playful, loving, and fun to look at!

Are Havanese Dogs Hypoallergenic?

After reading all this about hypoallergenic dogs, you might be wondering where Havanese stand in this matter. If you or a family member has a dog allergy, you need to know this before bringing a new puppy home.

While the Havanese breed makes an amazing pet, all of this could mean nothing if your dog’s presence makes your life harder. Will this happen?

Let’s explore!

Do Havanese Shed?

White havanese dog standing on a tree trunk

Before you learn the answer to “Are Havanese hypoallergenic dogs?” you need to know how much they shed.

In short, every dog with a coat has to shed out dead hairs from time to time so that it can replace them with new, healthy hairs. This means that there also isn’t a dog that is literally “non-shedding.”

However, as we’ve mentioned while we discussed the Poodle (which is, in fact, a distant relative of the Havanese breed), some dogs have a unique coat texture that prevents hairs from falling out.

The coarse hair of curly-coated breeds catches the shed hair, trapping it inside the coat. This means the dander has no way of spreading around and finding a way to your mouth, eyes, nose, and skin.

Keep in mind this means these dogs are prone to matting and need a bit more grooming. Otherwise, their hair will clump up, and you might need to cut it out. This also means the skin underneath the mats can become badly infected.

Still, the Havanese’s long coat seems to be unlike that of a Poodle. In fact, it resembles human hair.

Despite this, such a hair texture still traps the majority of shed hair, keeping it from contaminating the space around you with dander.

This will give you the impression that they aren’t shedding dogs and that no strands of hair fall off them.

While this is untrue in a literal sense, all you need to know is that this dog breed won’t leave hairs all over your furniture.

So, Are Havanese Dogs Hypoallergenic?

As we’ve mentioned, no dog can truly be hypoallergenic. Still, the Havanese dog breed comes really close.

Havanese don’t shed a lot, so you won’t have a problem with hairs getting all over your face. Even if you groom them, most of their loose hair will stay on the comb and away from your skin.

Also, they produce very little saliva, and they rarely drool. As drool is the second most common cause of allergies, this is one less thing to worry about.

Are Havanese Puppies Hypoallergenic?

Havanese puppy dog in the meadow

Dog allergies can be a weird thing. Some people are allergic to all dogs. Others only have problems with certain dog breeds. But did you know that a dog’s age might also affect what triggers your allergies?

In general, Havanese puppies are just as hypoallergenic as adult dogs. Even though there are some minor differences in their baby coat, puppies commonly produce less dander than adult dogs, so you should be fine around them.

However, some people reported that they had an allergic reaction to their dog only while he was of a certain age.

In other words, even if adult Havanese don’t cause you problems, you might experience a mild allergic reaction if you’re exposed to Havanese puppies.

It may also work the other way around. While you may not have an allergic reaction to your dog while still a puppy, you might have it once he grows older.

This is because the dog’s skin and dander production might change as they grow older, increasing or reducing the number of allergens that your pet produces.

How To Know If Your Dog Will Give You Allergies

Woman hugging her cute havanese Dog

There isn’t a precise way to know whether a certain dog will trigger an allergic reaction until you have contact with it.

If you aren’t sure whether you have a dog allergy, the best option would be to go to a professional who will conduct some sort of allergy testing.

The most common method for detecting whether or not you’re allergic to something is a skin-prick test. This is a quick way of knowing if dogs, in general, might cause you problems.

Keep in mind that just because you have dog allergies doesn’t mean you’ll have issues with every single dog. Some people even have issues with just one particular pup, while they’ll be fine with others!

The best way to see whether you’ll have certain health issues is to spend a lot of time with a specific dog. If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, you’ll know that you likely have pet allergies.

If you aren’t able to spend time with the particular dog you’re planning to adopt or buy, spend a lot of time with dogs of the same breed. For example, if your neighbor’s Havanese doesn’t cause you to sneeze or cough, chances are you’ll be fine with all Havanese dogs.

Most people who’ve been exposed to dogs during childhood or their early teen years have a higher chance of preventing the onset of allergies. This might even help prevent asthma!

Still, there isn’t much proof to support this, and you shouldn’t take it as fact. If you’ve never had a chance to spend time with a Havanese before, it might be a good idea to find a way to discover whether or not you have dog allergies first.

Even though breeders will be able to answer the question, “Are Havanese hypoallergenic?” surprises can always happen, and it’s best if you know beforehand.

Do Short-Haired Havanese Shed?

havanese dog sitting on the beach

Some Havanese dogs carry a unique genetic mutation that leads to a short coat that is fairly different from the coat of the rest of the breed. While this gives them a unique look, it creates its own set of problems.

Believe it or not, short-haired Havanese dogs shed more than their long-haired cousins. This is because their coat is somewhat different, and the outer coat is too short to catch all the loose hair that might be flying around.

This means that while you may spend less time grooming these pups, it’ll take you a long time to clean up their hair from your couch and clothes.

Most Havanese breeders conduct all sorts of tests on their dogs. Some of these tests can help them see whether their dogs carry the short hair gene.

Are Short-Haired Havanese Hypoallergenic?

Unlike their longer-haired cousins, short-haired Havanese cannot be considered entirely hypoallergenic.

This is because they shed a lot more than regular Havanese dogs. While they’ll produce the same amount of dander as their wavy-coated counterparts, this dead skin will easily fly everywhere, causing problems.

What Causes Havanese Dogs To Shed?

havanese dog sitting on the bench

We’ve already established that purebred Havanese are low-shedding dogs. But what if you suddenly notice your dog losing more hair than usual?

While this will certainly make your allergy symptoms worse, it can also indicate that something is wrong with your Havanese health.

Like all other dog breeds, Havanese are prone to certain health problems, such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation, or ear infections that might cause deafness. However, none of these influence the shedding amount. What could possibly be the issue in this case?

Some health issues do cause Havanese dogs to lose their hair. We’ll go through some of the most common ones.

Poor Nutrition

Havanese can be sensitive to certain ingredients in dog foods. Canines can become allergic to some things they eat, just like humans can. One of the ways their body reacts to allergen triggers is by shedding hair.

Another common reason is simply that your dog isn’t getting enough nutrients. A poor diet is the most common cause of hair loss in dogs. If you buy only the cheapest possible pet food from Amazon, your dog might be lacking in protein or certain vitamins and minerals.

To avoid this, feed your Havanese pup high-quality dog food only. This might help you prevent hair loss in the future.

Don’t change your dog’s diet without consulting your vet first! Sudden changes in nutrient intake might cause more harm than good, so you have to be careful.


A dog might lose hair if it is infested with fleas, mites, ticks, or even fungi! This can be caused by your pet scratching an itchy spot or the parasites themselves.

If you notice your Havanese is losing its hair, try to find any signs of skin inflammation or redness. Fungi-induced hair loss is usually circular, while hair loss induced by parasites shows up around his eyes, ears, chest, and stomach area.

Unless the infection is severe, you can use antifungal shampoos or give your dog flea baths to get rid of parasites.


Havanese are prone to allergies. This doesn’t have to include only food-induced allergic reactions.

Your dog might have a negative response after you give him some medication. He might be allergic to pollen, dust mites, fleas, or mold, causing him to lose hair.

As for food allergies, the most common problematic foods are dairy, corn, soy, beef, chicken, and wheat. Try experimenting a bit until you see what works for him.


If your Havanese is expecting puppies, you can expect some hair loss. This is because future mother dogs can run short of the minerals required for a healthy coat, such as calcium. As a result, her hair will lose its shine, and it might even start to fall out.


Has your Havanese started shedding excessively after you’ve moved houses? Think about anything you might have done that caused changes in his environment. Maybe you’ve adopted a new puppy, or your new dishwasher machine is too loud.

Dogs can become stressed, just like humans. When they do, they might express a lot of different symptoms. Hair loss is one of them.

Severe Illness

Unfortunately, sometimes hair loss is caused by some form of serious disease. If you notice any changes in your dog’s skin quality or shedding amount but can’t seem to find the reason behind it, contact your vet as soon as possible.

What To Do If You Have Dog Allergies

White and black havanese dogs lying in the green grass

Not all people are willing to give up their chances of becoming a dog owner just because they could feel physically bad around them. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can help yourself.

Of course, if you or someone in your family suffers from dog allergies, the best thing you can do is avoid having dogs come into your house.

However, for some dog lovers, this isn’t an option. Not to mention all those Havanese owners who didn’t know they had allergies until they brought their new dog home or spent long periods of time with them!

The first thing you should do is ensure there is a pet-free zone inside your house. This way, you’ll have an area in which there will be little to no allergens, and you can breathe freely.

You might also want to place a HEPA filter or a humidifier in the room you spend the most time in. These products will keep the air fresh and clean as much as possible, which might help you feel better.

Unfortunately, if you’re an allergy sufferer that has decided to become a Havanese owner, you should expect that you’ll spend a lot of time vacuuming your house. If you don’t, all that dander might pile up.

Still, most people will have no problem with their Havanese dogs whatsoever.

Also, while some people might claim that a specific gender contains fewer allergens than the other, this isn’t the case. When it comes to male vs. female Havanese, both produce the same amount of allergens. Any possible difference comes down to an individual dog and not its sex.

Grooming Tips

female groomer with havanese puppy at grooming salon

A good way to ensure your Havanese doesn’t cause you any issues is to keep him well-groomed.

Long-haired Havanese dogs should be brushed at least once every day. If you take them outside, you should give them a bath every week, as their silky coat can easily get dirty.

Their coat should be trimmed every once in a while. If you aren’t sure how to do it, you should take them to a professional groomer who will take care of this for you.

Of course, you can ask your groomer to cut their coat fairly short. This will help you with maintenance, but it might increase the chances of having allergic reactions, as there will be fewer locks for loose hairs to latch onto.

While brushing your Havanese, look for matted hair. The most common locations where matting occurs are under the ears, around the base of the tail, in the groin area, armpits, and on the pup’s stomach.

These mats can be untangled quite easily if they are new. However, if the fur has been matted for a while, you might need to cut them off.

Very bad tangles can be avoided if you brush your pet regularly. Keep the comb in an area where you will easily see it. This can help you make a routine out of it.

It would be wise to buy two types of combs. One you can use for general brushing, and the other should help you remove mats from the fur. You can get more if you feel like it, but two should be the minimum.

Even if you’re not brushing your Havanese at the moment, run your fingers through his hair while you cuddle. This will help you find any tangles you might have missed.

Also, keep in mind that dirty hair will mat more than clean hair. This is another reason why weekly baths are important for this dog breed.

Some people who suffer from severe dog allergies might experience issues while combing their dogs, even if they are hypoallergenic breeds. This is because the comb’s teeth might raise some dander and release it from the coat.

If you’re an allergy sufferer and you’ve experienced this problem, it might be wise to take your pup to a groomer who will give him the “puppy cut.” This type of hair is easier to maintain, and it doesn’t require as much brushing.

Of course, you can always leave brushing the Havanese’s fur to your roommate or a willing family member if this is a huge issue for you.

Are Havanese Good For Allergy Sufferers?

Cute little Havanese puppy dog stands on the grass

The Havanese dog breed is one of the more popular types of pets out there. These toy dogs are amazing family pets suitable for all kinds of living situations. They are playful and social, but they will still prefer spending most of their time on your lap.

When you have a dog that wants to be close to you all the time, having a dog allergy can be devastating. So, are Havanese hypoallergenic, and should you get one?

These dogs are as close to being hypoallergenic as a dog can be. They don’t produce a lot of dander, and the little amount they do stays stuck in their curly fur. At the same time, they barely drool.

In other words, they keep all the allergens at bay.

It’s important to note that all people react differently to allergens. Sometimes, you may even react differently to two dogs of the same breed.

If you notice any signs of an allergic reaction that you didn’t have before, contact your doctor who will advise you on what steps you should take.

And don’t panic! Plenty of people with dog allergies are still dog owners. In the worst-case scenario, your dog will have to sleep in his own bed, and you’ll be taking antihistamines to reduce your symptoms.

Still, with a dog breed like the Havanese, you aren’t likely to experience any issues.

Are Havanese Hypoallergenic? Havanese Shedding And Grooming