Small dogs for People with Asthma:
Can Someone with Asthma Live with a Small Dog?

Small Dogs for People with Asthma   By Lauren Laporte   |Last updated 06-14-2023

A lot of people with asthma have probably heard of the idea that living with a pet isn’t the smartest, safest, or healthiest course of action. However, these are usually rumors that are spread by those who are, by themselves, misinformed.

One of the biggest misconceptions about asthma is the idea that it’s always an allergic reaction or the fact that it’s caused exclusively by pet hair. In fact, pet saliva and dandruff are known to be even greater triggers. 

a hypoallergenic small dog is being held in the arms of a person

Fortunately, with the right course of action and all the necessary steps of precaution, here are several tips on how a person with asthma can safely live with a small dog.

1. Pet-free Zones

The first thing you need to consider is the fact that the duration of exposure matters as much as the exposure itself. This is especially true when it comes to your bedroom.

This is why, even though the thought itself might not seem quite appealing, it might be for the best if you were not to keep the dog in the bedroom.

Keep in mind that this isn’t a rule that applies just to dogs, seeing as how cats, hamsters, gerbils, guinea pigs, and birds are all considered somewhat risky.

Now, some of you might ask if keeping a pet under any circumstances is allowed, and there are several things you need to know about this. Well, if your pet is clean and your room regularly aired and vacuumed, it shouldn’t be triggering your asthma symptoms.

Another thing that is known to help is airing the room regularly, so make sure to have your windows frequently open, and consider researching quality air purifiers for allergies, since one of those is a must-have for someone with chronic infections of the respiratory tract.

The freshness of the air in the room does make a difference and has a huge role in alleviating some of the uglier symptoms of allergic asthma.

Best Small Dogs for People With AsthmaBest Small Dogs for People with Asthma

2. Small Dogs vs. Big Dogs

A lot of people believe that the most significant divide amongst pet owners is the one between cat people and dog people. Nonetheless, even the dog people group has its own internal differences.

While the very name of the dilemma may be quite descriptive, the truth is that size isn’t the only problem here. You see, large dogs aren’t always the lovable ones (despite the popular myth), and small dogs aren’t the loudest.

When it comes to choosing dogs according to their traits, there are a lot of small dogs that would be ideal for people who believe that they love large dogs.

There’s also a myth that small dogs don’t need much exercise (which is simply preposterous) and which is one of the main reasons why so many people with asthma opt for a big dog.

The truth is that, in general, people with asthma are probably better off with small dogs for several reasons, two of which we’re going to list right away…

3. Small Dogs Shed Less

A pug is staring off to the side of the camera.

Small dogs simply shed less due to their size.

Moreover, some breeds are known to almost not shed at all, which should be at the very top of your list. We’re talking about breeds like Affenpinscher, Basenji, and Maltese (despite looking like one big fur ball).

Another small dog that you might want to consider for this very reason is the Poodle, which is renowned for the fact that it’s hypoallergenic. The breed itself is quite tiny, yet, it’s possible for you to find an even smaller sub-breed like miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle. They’re also quite easy to train, which comes in quite handy. 

4. Less Dander

Small dogs naturally have less dander than big dogs, but with the right course of action, this can be reduced even further. There are, however, several methods that can help you reduce the amount of dander that you come in touch with.

First of all, bathing the pet every week is an often recommended practice, and brushing them while doing so is a plus. Second, like humans, dogs have allergies, too, and these allergies are known to make them quite itchy.

Therefore, speaking to a vet and doing some analysis might help out immensely.

5.  Your Asthma and Your Dog’s Grooming

As mentioned above, bathing and brushing can help reduce the level of dander, but should the person with asthma be responsible for these tasks? 

If others are living in the household, the non-asthma sufferers will do well to take over the grooming tasks.  If that is not possible, wearing gloves and a face mask may help.

Best Small Dogs for People With Asthma

Here are 18 great small dogs for people with asthma due to their hypoallergenic characteristics:

Conclusion Small Dogs for People with Asthma

Still, keep in mind that sometimes, one’s asthma symptoms are simply too intense for one to live with a pet of any kind. This is an unfortunate set of occurrences, but your health needs to come first.

Fortunately, these kinds of symptoms aren’t that strong, common, or frequent, which is why chances are that you’ll have no trouble living with a small pet.

Nonetheless, it’s the choice of the breed and the preparation of your home that will make a massive difference in this field. Also, when it comes to people whose asthma is too severe but who still love dogs, sponsoring an animal is always an option.

Bio: (Small Dogs for People with Asthma) Lauren is Health writer at, and she loves her niche very much. She's also an animal-nut, and very prone to hoarding all sorts of furry friends in need of help. Her favorite part is writing about health myths and misconceptions, as they are prevalent in the industry.

She particularly enjoys busting some myths about animals and health, and hopefully, reduce the high amount of fear that exists in potential pet owners.

About Janice (author and voice behind this site)

Having lived with dogs and cats most of her life, Janice served as a veterinary technician for ten years in Maryland and twelve years as a Shih Tzu dog breeder in Ohio.

Her education includes undergraduate degrees in Psychology with a minor in biology, Early Childhood Education, and Nursing, and a master's in Mental Health Counseling.

She is a lifelong learner, a dog lover, and passionate about the welfare of animals. Her favorite breed for over 50 years has been the Shih Tzu, but she has also lived with Poodles, Maltese, Yorkshire Terriers, Beagles, English Bulldogs, Carin Terriers, and a Cocker Spaniel.

When not writing, reading, and researching dog-related topics, she likes to spend time with her eight Shih Tzu dogs, husband, and family, as well as knitting and crocheting. She is also the voice behind Miracle Shih Tzu and Smart-Knit-Crocheting

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