Are French Bulldogs Hypoallergenic? Truth or Myth?

Are French Bulldogs Hypoallergenic

In doing some research, you may have found information that tells you Frenchies are hypoallergenic. Could this be a solution to your dog allergy woes?

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When it comes to the question of whether French Bulldogs are hypoallergenic or not, the answer is NO, they are not hypoallergenic. Sure, you’ll find all sorts of information out there that tells you they are “more hypoallergenic than other dog breeds”, but the key part of that phrase is “more”. All comparisons aside, French Bulldogs (whether you have a blue French Bulldog or a black French Bulldog) are just the same as every other dog breed and are not hypoallergenic

What does hypoallergenic mean?

Are you confused with the yes versus no when it comes to a Frenchie being hypoallergenic? You certainly aren’t alone. Let’s take it apart bit by bit to make proper sense of the term and what it means when you get away from the conflicting internet-based opinions.

At its base, a hypoallergenic animal does not cause an allergic reaction in someone sensitive to animals (i.e., they are allergic to dogs). From living with the pooch to sleeping and curling up with him, that sensitized person doesn’t have any other kind of wayward reaction. In this case, this particularly doggo is considered to be hypoallergenic. But there’s a catch…

Why do some people say that Frenchies are hypoallergenic?

Okay, so with that information in your mind, all you have to do is search for puppies or Frenchie adults that are only listed as “hypoallergenic”, right? Unfortunately, no. This is where the catch mentioned above comes in. The term hypoallergenic can only be used in connection with one single pooch and one single person. One Frenchie could cause a reaction in one person and not in another. So, in word alone, a Frenchie could be considered hypoallergenic, but it would only be with that one person that is sensitive. More likely than not, someone else who is also allergic to dogs could pet your Frenchie, which would cause an allergic reaction.

Are French Bulldogs Hypoallergenic?

The term hypoallergenic does not refer to a particular dog breed, but the dog as an individual in combination with a person as an individual. French Bulldogs are thought to be better for allergies because they have a single coat of fur rather than the traditional two coats of fur. This causes them to shed less, and they have less likelihood of causing an allergic reaction.

When it comes to your French Bulldog, however, there are more things to worry about than his amount of fur lost when it comes to dealing with a possible allergic reaction. 

What causes someone to be allergic to French Bulldogs?

Most people (including allergy sufferers themselves) think that the allergy comes from the loose fur of your Frenchie and the dander that it brings with it. This is true, but it’s also only half of the story! You can expect a possible allergy trigger from all of these following categories:

  • Shedding fur:  This could be tufts of hair that you take out while grooming your Frenchie, or the fur in his bed when you go to clean or wash it.
  • Dander: Dander is tiny, microscopic fragments of skin and then come loose and get worked throughout the fur when you pet them. It can also come loose on shed fur.
  • Urine: While it’s not everyone’s favorite subject, it’s not uncommon for your pooch to track urine into your house on his paws or fur. While this may make you squirm, humans do the same thing (bathroom hygiene is essential for a reason…but that’s another topic). So even if your pooch doesn’t go on pee pads inside, he will still track urine around your home no matter how careful he is.
  • Saliva: Pooches love to lick you as well as their fur, and this very same saliva can create an allergic reaction. Even snuffling your fingertips could hypothetically be enough to cause a problem in a sensitive person. 

The common factor in all of these different potential allergen routes is the protein. This particular protein is shared by all animals (and birds), and that’s why someone can be allergic to horses, cats, dogs, birds, hamsters, etc. An allergic reaction will always hit everyone differently, and sensitivity factors will always be unique from person to person!

So even if you got a hairless dog (just go with it for a moment), you would still have potential allergens that could cause a problem because the proteins exist in saliva and dander, none of which have anything to do with your doggo’s fur.

Allergies and getting a Frenchie

woman blowing her nose in front of her French Bulldog

If you’re serious about bringing home a snuffly French Bulldog — who could blame you? — but you know that you have allergies, you can look at the idea of shopping around for Frenchies and see if any of them leave you reaction-free.

To do this, it’s pretty straight-forward. With the breeder or adopter’s permission, you would spend time with a Frenchie and deliberately get up close and personal with the pooch. For best results, spend about an hour with him and get a feel for how your body reacts. Give him hugs, let him lick your face, play with him, snuggle with him, etc. After the “exposure”, take note of your symptoms and see how you feel. It should go without saying, but make sure you don’t take any kind of allergy medication before the meet-up!

If you decide to go this route, it’s essential to be honest about the entire experience. Are you just pretending that your favorite Frenchie doesn’t make you sneezy or coughy? If you bring home this pupper and then change your mind and decide he’s too hard on your allergies, it may force you to re-home him — which presents all sorts of new problems and potential traumas on your pooch. This should always be avoided as much as possible by being honest.

No matter what, French Bulldogs are never going to be hypoallergenic, so no matter how much you want one in your home, you have to be realistic about your allergies or make accommodations to living with a Frenchie when you have allergies. 

What should I do if I’m allergic to my Frenchie?

Sometimes allergies can pop up that you didn’t know about before bringing home your pooch. Maybe you have a child who is allergic, which you only find out after birth. Or, perhaps you just brought one home and ignored the fact that you were allergic. These things happen, and the good news is that there are tips that you can consider when it comes to living with a Frenchie when you have allergies!

Proper bathing and grooming

A lot of the allergens in the fur and dander can be lessened if you take the time to regularly bathe and groom your pooch. This will remove unnecessary amounts from around your home as well as direct contact with your Frenchie. If possible, have someone who is not allergic to him bathe and groom him (such as a professional groomer or even someone else in your home) to keep reactions minimal.

Keep on top of your home’s cleanliness

Woman steam cleaning her carpet with her French Bulldog by her side
French bulldog oversees house cleaning. Animals are friends of man

Another perk to help with particle spreading and exposure is keeping your home as clean as possible! Vacuum, wipe, sweep, and wash everything your Frenchie pup touches (yes, everything). His bed, collar, and leash should all be cleaned regularly and consider throwing his food bowls in the dishwasher as well. Cleanliness limits that amount of exposure.

Don’t allow your Frenchie in bed (or anywhere else) with you

While this may break your heart a little bit, you’ll want to limit close contact with your pooch when it comes to your commonly used furniture. From couches to armchairs, to your bed, keep your Frenchie out of there to keep your space as clear as possible from allergens.

Try a doggy onesie

Some Frenchie parents find comfort and relief in a doggie onesie. Made specifically for your doggo, these lightweight onesies can help keep contact safe and sound and may even allow you to snuggle up with your doggo (minus the face kisses) every once in a while. If this is the path that you want to take, be extra careful about materials and watch for doggo for signs of distress while wearing it. It doesn’t take much for your pooch to become overheated even in thin clothing. A dog’s fur is responsible for moderating its temperature, and he might become overheated in the onesie. An onesie is also a great way to help protect your French Bulldog’s sensitive skin, too!

Use meds if and when you have to

As a last resort, consider allergy medications when you are having a specifically bad flare-up of symptoms. While you don’t want to medicate every day, taking proper medication dosages as needed can help alleviate a lot of the symptoms when you need a break.

All of this being said, it’s imperative to remember that allergies are always very serious. Allergies are weaknesses in the immune system, and they don’t always cause “reactions” the same way. What may appear as runny eyes one time could be difficulty breathing the next time! If you know that you are prone to severe allergic reactions, living with a French Bulldog may not be the best idea. The tips above are only for those situations where allergic reactions are mild or uncomfortable at the most. 

The bottom line about French Bulldogs and allergies

It all comes down to the reality that French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic. From fur and danger to urine and saliva, dog allergens are in every part of your pooch and can’t be avoided even in a hypothetically bald doggo. If you knowingly have severe allergies and want to bring a pooch home, it’s good to make sure that you don’t have any reaction to the specific Frenchie you’re considering. If you react and still choose to bring him home or find out you have allergies after adopting your Frenchie — the tips above can help you make the most out of it and still give your doggo a space in your family. 

Conclusion

While it’s nice to think that you can own a Frenchie if you know that you have moderate or severe dog allergies, the reality sadly tells a different story. The worst thing you can do is bring a pooch home and then have to rehome him a few months later when you decide the allergic reactions are “too much”. It’s unfair to your innocent pooch, and it’s also hard on your family, as it means unnecessary heartache to everyone involved. Make sure that you keep this in mind when researching French Bulldogs.

No matter what a breeder or adaptor or the guy down the street may say, French Bulldogs are not hypoallergenic, and there is no way that anyone can ever guarantee that someone with dog allergies will not react to a French Bulldog when asked. Sad and unfair, maybe, but true.

Before you bring a French Bulldog into your life, it’s essential to understand what hypoallergenic really means and how it connects to your new furry friend.

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I'm Sara, an animal enthusiast and proclaimed dog lover. All I write comes from reading and reading about the various topics I'm interested in.