Home Pet Care Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Hypoallergenic? An Allergy Sufferers Guide to Dogs

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Hypoallergenic? An Allergy Sufferers Guide to Dogs

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Rhodesian ridgebacks are esteemed for their protectiveness over their owners while being loyal guardians and a faithful part of the family. They are a sweet and loyal pet to own, but if you are an allergy sufferer, you may be wondering if they are hypoallergenic and a suitable companion for you?

Despite the short coat of a Rhodesian ridgeback, they are not hypoallergenic. The good news is that ridgebacks don’t shed a lot and are easy to groom, which is positive news for allergy sufferers.

Are Rhodesian Ridgebacks Good for Allergy Sufferers?

When your immune system is over-reactive, it releases a chemical called histamines, which triggers the body to push out allergens through your nose, eyes, and mouth, creating inflammation.

If you suffer from dog allergies, it is usually because of a protein that combines with the dog’s dander, urine, and saliva. Dander is dead skin cells that are released with the loose hair and are the most common culprit. This explains why allergy sufferers are only affected by certain breeds because some produce less dander. It is helpful to note that no dog is 100% hypoallergenic, and if you have your heart set on a Rhodesian ridgeback, you will be happy to learn that they don’t shed a lot, and mild allergy sufferers may be able to tolerate the breed.

How Much Do Rhodesian Ridgebacks Shed?

The coat of a Rhodesian ridgeback is short, and they are considered minimal shedders. Like most dogs, the amount of shedding will vary with the seasons, but the amount of shedding is of no need for concern.

Rhodesian ridgebacks don’t shed as much because the hair’s lifecycle is shorter than other dogs. If your ridgeback sheds excessively or more than usual, it could be a sign of illness. This could be due to an imbalanced diet, using the wrong shampoo, stress or parasites, or more serious concerns such as hormone imbalance, tumors, or underlying disease. If your pup is experiencing excessive scratching along with changes in behavior, it’s best to consult your vet.

Rhodesian Ridgeback sitting on grass
Image courtesy of Pixabay

How Can You Minimize Your Allergic Reactions?

Even though the Rhodesian ridgeback is a minimal shedder, there may be times that your allergies can flare up. Here are some things you can do to minimize your reaction.

  • Take time to groom your dog. Thankfully, Rhodesian ridgebacks are easy to groom because of their short coats. A brush once or twice a week with a short bristle will help reduce hair and dander, and an occasional wipe down with a damp cloth will also help remove debris and unwanted loose hair.
  • Regular baths will keep your dog’s shedding low. Be sure to use a pet-friendly shampoo since harsh shampoos can dry out the skin and increase dander.
  • Limit the amount of time your dog spends in the room where you are most. This way, you won’t be constantly surrounded by loose hair and dander. Try to keep your dog off your bed by providing them with their own comfy bed or dedicated chair.
  • Invest in a high-efficiency air purifier to remove any airborne allergens.
  • Clean and vacuum your carpets and rugs regularly or opt for a rug-free home if you have tiles.
  • Wash your hands every time you pet or play with your dog. If you have dander on your hands and touch your face, it could trigger a reaction.
  • Take your antihistamines regularly to help prevent and minimize the chances of an allergic reaction.
  • Some allergy sufferers find that a saline nasal spray helps to clear the nasal passages
  • Make sure your dog is getting regular exercise and is fed a proper diet to keep its coat healthy.


Rhodesian ridgebacks shed less frequently than many other breeds, but that doesn’t make them hypoallergenic. Knowing how your immune system reacts and the action you will need to take to minimize the chances of a flare-up before adopting a Rhodesian ridgeback is essential. If your allergies are mild or you can make minor lifestyle changes, you can enjoy the kind-natured and loyal dog as your companion.

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