These Hypoallergenic Dog Mixes Could Keep Your Sneezes at Bay

Designer dogs or hybrid dogs are becoming more and more popular. If you are an allergy sufferer, consider these hypoallergenic dog mixes. They have little to no shedding, which means less dander to trigger your allergy symptoms.

Labradoodle

A cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle breeds, the Labradoodle was originally developed to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. The Labradoodle comes in three different sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle used for the first generation breeding. The Standard Labradoodle stands 22 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 65 pounds. The Medium Labradoodle stands 17 to 20 inches high and weighs 30 to 45 pounds. The Miniature Labradoodle stands 14 to 16 inches and weighs about 15 to 25 pounds. This widely popular dog takes after both of its parents. It is friendly, playful and intelligent. Its shaggy curly coat does not shed. This loving family dog is happiest when she is with her human companions. Intelligent and eager to please, the Labradoodle is easy to train. This is an excellent dog for first-time dog owners. This breed is good with children and other pets. This high-energy breed requires regular daily exercise. This is an intelligent dog that also needs mental stimulation to keep them from becoming destructive. The Labradoodle comes in a wide variety of colors. The Labradoodle was designed to be hypoallergenic, but it really depends on the coat type of the particular dog. If your Labradoodle’s coat is more like a Lab, it is likely to be high shedding, so be careful in choosing the right Labradoodle for you. If this is an issue for you, ask your breeder to help select a puppy that is less likely to shed. Expect to brush your Labradoodle once or twice a week. To learn more about the Labradoodle, go to Choosing a Labradoodle.

Schnoodle

Developed in the 1980s, the Schnoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Schnauzer. It was bred to be a low shedding family dog. Since both the Poodle and the Schnauzer come in three different sizes, the size of the Schnoodle can vary greatly, but the average Schnoodle is small, weighing about 20 pounds. This breed can stand from 10 to 26 inches tall and can weigh from 6 to 75 pounds. Schnoodles have no to low shedding, so this is a very good breed for people with allergies. This is a smart, cheerful, active breed that is eager to please. This wonderful family pet is playful and fun-loving. This dog loves to play with children and to be the center of attention. He is a loyal watchdog like the Schnauzer, and he is smart and affectionate like a Poodle. They get along well with other family pets. The Schnoodle will like the entire family but often will bond with one member more than the others. They love being around their people and can suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. This high-energy breed requires plenty of daily exercise. And because the dog is so intelligent, it also requires plenty of mental stimulation to avoid destructive behaviors. An apartment can be a good home for a small Schnoodle, but a large Schnoodle needs a home with a fenced yard. They make very good watchdogs because they are protective of their families. You will need to brush your Schnoodle once or twice a week. To learn more about the Schnoodle, go to Choosing a Schnoodle.

Yorkipoo

This fun-loving designer dog is a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. It stands between 7 and 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 3 and 14 pounds. The life expectancy for this breed is 10 to 15 years. This is an excellent companion dog – loving and fun, he loves being in the company of his family. This is also a good dog for allergy sufferers because it has low dander and is low shedding. This breed is intelligent, making Yorkipoos quick learners – although they do have a stubborn streak. With a gentle and loving disposition, Yorkipoos are good with the elderly and make good therapy dogs. And while they do well with older children, this breed is not recommended for homes with small children. They may suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time. The Yorkipoo makes a good watchdog. Active and energetic, this breed requires daily exercise. The Yorkipoo is known to bark a lot, although he can be trained to bark less. They usually do well with other pets. The silky coat requires daily brushing and comes in a variety of colors.

Maltipoo

A cross between the Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle, the Maltipoo stands about 8 to 14 inches high and weighs between 5 and 20 pounds. The life expectancy for this breed is about 10 to 13 years. This designer dog is gentle and very affectionate, making it a good therapy dog. They are great with the elderly and with older children who know how to handle them carefully. The Maltipoo is among the more popular of the designer breeds and prized by celebrities. Maltipoos can get along with other dogs and pets. Since both the Maltese and the Poodle are hypoallergenic dogs, the Maltipoo sheds very little and is a good choice for people who suffer from allergies. The intelligent Maltipoo is easy to train and is a good dog for first-time dog owners. These fun-loving dogs love being with people and are not a good choice for homes where they will be left alone for long periods of time. A good lap dog, the Maltipoo can be a little barker, so he makes a good watchdog, but he may not be a good choice for apartments or housing where there are noise restrictions. They are active and energetic, needing daily exercise. The Maltipoo’s fluffy coat is low shedding and low dander. It comes in a variety of colors with the most common being cream and white. This dog requires daily brushing.

Cockapoo

The Cockapoo comes in a variety of sizes. The Teacup size stands under 10 inches tall and weighs about 6 pounds. The Toy Cockapoo stands about 10 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds. The Miniature Cockapoo stands between 11 and 14 inches high and weighs 13 to 18 pounds. The Standard Cockapoo stands at least 15 inches high and weighs more than 19 pounds. A cross between the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel, this dog loves people, children, other dogs, and pets. This happy-go-lucky dog is the first designer dog, dating back to the 1960s. A real companion dog, the Cockapoo is very affectionate and will follow you around. He loves being around his family and is known to suffer from separation anxiety when left alone for long periods of time, which can lead to excessive barking and destructive behaviors. He is very outgoing and gets along with everyone. This lapdog makes a good therapy dog. The Cockapoo is intelligent and easy to train. This breed hardly sheds at all, making it a good choice for people who suffer from allergies; however, the Cockapoo requires daily brushing. The breed has moderate energy levels and requires daily exercise. To learn more about the Cockapoo, go to Choosing a Cockapoo.

Puppy Diaries #1: Deciding To Get A New Puppy (0-8 Weeks)

Welcome to the Puppy Diaries! Penned by a respected published author and first-time pup mom Laura Tiebert, the Puppy Diaries series chronicles the ups and downs of pup parenthood: from deciding to get a family dog to celebrating the pup’s milestones, health scares and even a ruined cherished rug. Revealing new pup-parent mistakes and unexpected successes, leading to advice, tips and plenty of humor, the Puppy Diaries will take the reader through the first year of life for Sommer, her pup. Sit, Stay and Enjoy!

Dear Diary,
Today we made the commitment we’ve been tiptoeing around for years. I called the dog breeder and asked her to put our name on the list for an upcoming litter. True confession: My emotions are careening back and forth like a ping-pong ball. I’m scared. And excited. And scared again. What have I done? I’m giddy with anticipation and more than a little anxious. Because I know our lives are about to change – forever.

Going into Puppy Parenthood with Eyes Wide Open

The unvarnished truth about the day I called the breeder? I was a reluctant puppy owner-to-be. Over the years, I’d witnessed friends and family going through all sorts of challenging experiences because of their dogs, some of them expensive (emergency vet calls at 2 a.m., anyone?) and others gut-wrenching (as was the case when my brother’s Sheepdog/Poodle mix was nearly mauled to death by a bulldog in daycare). The puppy love blinders were off, and I was well aware of the reality of dog parenthood.

In fact, two years before I made that call, we’d put down a deposit and had our names on the list to get a puppy. We started picking out names: Scarlet if our pup’s fur was red; Coco if her fur was brown. Months later, with the pups newly born, I got a classic case of cold feet. Although I felt like the world’s biggest curmudgeon, I followed my gut. I called the breeder and backed out, saying the time wasn’t right.

Breaking from the Script 

The kids were disappointed, to say the least. It didn’t help that we’d even received photos of the pups in the litter – teeny tiny fur balls of pure adorableness. Cuteness aside, I simply had too many misgivings. My family had a dog when I was growing up, but as an adult, I was looking at puppy ownership through new eyes. I already felt burdened with enough responsibility for one lifetime. I had a full-time job, my husband was commuting three hours a day for his job, and we had two young boys. Add to that the fact that I can hardly keep a plant alive, much less a living creature (ask Richard, our short-lived hamster who died an untimely death due to a cracked window. Who knew gerbils were so sensitive to a draft?).

And then, life happened, and my husband received a job offer in another state – a job offer that was so good, we couldn’t refuse. My gut feeling was vindicated. That night, with our family sitting around the kitchen table, my husband broke the news to our boys: We’re moving. Our boys broke down in tears. Through his tears, our older son sobbed, “After we move, can we at least get a puppy?”

“Yes!” my husband responded, “Yes, we can.” I looked at him in alarm. “What did you just say,” I screamed inwardly. “You’re going off script! A puppy isn’t part of the deal!” But it was too late. A deal had been struck.

Fast forward a year and a half in our new home later. The family was settled in, and it was time. A deal was a deal — even if I didn’t make the deal.

As it turns out, I was right to seriously consider the timing of taking on a puppy. As my mom sagely put it: “Your life will never be the same.” As much as I hate to admit it, Mom was right.  Our family’s life has forever changed – but in the very best way.

Next Entry: Bringing Our Puppy Home

“The Puppy Diaries” is an ongoing series that explores the journey of pet parenthood, from making the decision to get a puppy, to bringing a puppy home, to the joys and struggles of training, and beyond. Laura Tiebert is an experienced nonfiction writer and first-time puppy parent who lives in Minnesota with her husband, two sons and a new puppy. 

Are you puppy crazy or considering adding a puppy to your family? Sign up for our Puppy Diaries email newsletter and get the next entry directly to your inbox.

What We Learned: How to Make a Good Decision About a New Puppy

Do your homework when determining whether to get a puppy (yes, there’s homework involved, if you do it right). My research boiled the decision down to two key factors that determined our ability to be good puppy owners: the availability of time, and money. My advice? If you are short on either, proceed slowly and with caution.

Understanding the Costs of Getting a Puppy

According to the American Pet Products Association, Americans spent an estimated $62.75 billion on their pets in 2016 (and that number is estimated to grow to $69.36 billion in 2017!). Estimates for the cost of a puppy in the first year range from $770-$1,285. There is great variation in cost, depending on whether you’re getting a puppy from a breeder or a shelter.

Try These Medium Size Hypoallergenic Dogs

Hypoallergenic dogs are a good choice for people with pet allergies. They shed very little, which means there is less dander in the house to stir up allergies. These medium-size hypoallergenic dogs make great additions to any family. They’re not too big and not too small, and they’re easy on your allergies. So if you’re looking for medium dogs that don’t shed, take a look at these wonderful canines.

Irish Terrier

The Irish Terrier stands about 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 25 to 27 pounds. It has a life expectancy of about 12 to 16 years. This is an active, energetic, spunky dog. This breed of terrier is easy to train and makes a good watchdog. They may become excessive barkers if not trained from an early age. The goal of this fearless dog is to protect their loved ones. This is a great family dog that is wonderful with children, however, they do not do well with other dogs. They will not back down from a challenge and are known to take on much larger dogs. The Irish Terrier can get along with cats if raised with them from puppyhood, but because of their strong hunting drive, they are not good with small animals like hamsters. This is an intelligent dog, but the Irish Terrier tends to be independent and a bit stubborn. This athletic breed requires daily exercise and a job to keep them occupied so they do not bark or become destructive. The Irish Terrier has a tight, wiry coat that requires regular grooming. To learn more about the Irish Terrier, go to Choosing an Irish Terrier.

Kerry Blue Terrier

The Kerry Blue Terrier stands between 17 and 19 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 33 and 40 pounds. This working breed comes from Ireland and has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. This terrier breed has soft, thick, wavy hair with little to no shedding, however, it does require daily brushing to avoid mats. The unique coloring of this breed is a blue-gray, although puppies start out black transitioning to their blue-gray coat at about 18 months of age. The Kerry Blue Terrier is a very good watchdog. They are smart and do very well with training. However, this breed can be strong-willed, so it will take a firm hand at training. Because of this, the breed may not be the best choice for the first-time dog owner. This is a good family dog that bonds with all members of the family, and they are great with children. Energetic and playful, the Kerry Blue Terrier needs plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation. They do best when they have a job to occupy them, so they won’t resort to barking or destructive behavior. Like all terriers, he loves to dig and chase and has a high prey drive. This breed has a tendency to chase smaller animals. They are not especially good with other dogs. They can become aggressive with other dogs and are not known to back down from a fight. To learn more about the Kerry Blue Terrier, go to Choosing a Kerry Blue Terrier.

Lakeland Terrier

The Lakeland Terrier stands about 13 to 14 inches high at the shoulder and weighs about 15 to 17 pounds. It has an average life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. The Lakeland Terrier is friendly and affectionate, making it a great companion. They are very intelligent but a bit stubborn when it comes to training. This breed gets along well with people, children, and other dogs but is reserved around strangers. The Lakeland Terrier can be stubborn, independent and difficult to housetrain. Like any terrier, the Lakie is prone to chasing small animals. They should be socialized to cats and other small animals from a young age. This can be an excitable dog with lots of energy. This breed is active and requires a lot of daily exercise to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. They can also be very possessive about their food and toys. The Lakie excels as a watchdog, but excessive barking can be a problem. Originally bred to hunt foxes and to protect livestock in England, the Lakeland Terrier is energetic and agile with a high prey drive. This breed needs to be brushed several times a week and periodically stripped.

Puli

The Puli stands about 16 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 23 and 38 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of about 10 to 15 years. The Puli has a unique corded coat that looks like a giant mop. But the Puli is not born with his dreadlocks. Rather, the adult coat grows in at about one year of age. The fluffy coat must be separated by hand into cords. His corded coat makes the Puli look much bigger than he actually is. The coat comes in solid colors including black, gray, white and rusty black. The Puli is originally from the country of Hungary, though its exact ancestry is not known. This affectionate companion dog is very loyal to its family but wary of strangers. With an instinct to protect and herd, they act as guardians of children and other family pets. They are also very sensitive to the needs of the sick and elderly, making them great therapy dogs. This playful dog enjoys the company of children and gets along with other dogs and family pets. Self-confident and highly intelligent, this dog can also be a bit stubborn. This breed requires lots of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid anxiety and destructive behaviors. They are very vocal and tend to bark. This breed enjoys playing well into their adult years. For more information about the Puli, go to Choosing a Puli.

Standard Schnauzer

The Standard Schnauzer stands about 17 to 20 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 30 and 45 pounds. This breed has an average life expectancy of about 13 to 16 years. Native to Germany, the Schnauzer is a good hunter and herder. He makes a wonderful companion dog that will follow you wherever you go. This is an extremely intelligent and active dog that is especially good with children. These dogs insist on being part of the family activities. They are outstanding companions known for their loyalty and love of family. The Schnauzer is not a one-person – it is a true family member. This breed learns quickly and is eager to please, making them very good therapy dogs; but they are known to be stubborn making them a little difficult to housetrain. This affectionate and energetic breed needs daily exercise to prevent boredom and destructive behaviors. He is a high energy dog. They love to please their owners and they love to be the center of attention. The outer coat is tight and wiry with a soft undercoat. The wiry coat can be either pure black or salt-and-pepper gray (a mix of black and white) in color, and requires daily brushing. The Standard Schnauzer makes a good watch dog and will alert you to the presence of strangers. They will share their homes with other dogs and cats if they have been socialized to do so at a young age, but they are not to be trusted with small pets such as hamsters. They may be aggressive toward unknown dogs.

Tibetan Terrier

The Tibetan Terrier stands about 14 to 16 inches high at the shoulder and weighs about 20 to 28 pounds. Its average life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years. Although this breed is called a “terrier”, it actually is not related to a terrier. The breed originated in Tibet where it was regarded as a good luck charm. This dog can easily adapt to many different types of household. The Tibetan Terrier is affectionate and loves being with people. They are best suited to homes with school-age children who understand how to properly handle a dog. They do best in homes where they will receive a lot of attention and will not be left alone for long periods of time. Lively and fun-loving, this dog has a very sweet nature. This breed makes a very good therapy dog. The Tibetan Terrier does well with other dogs and pets, especially when they have been raised together. With a lot of energy to burn, these dogs require daily exercise to keep them from becoming bored and resorting to barking or destructive behaviors. This smart breed is easily trained. The Tibetan Terrier’s thick shaggy coat needs to be brushed every day. The Tibetan Terrier is known to bark and makes a good watchdog.

Got Allergies? Here Are Small Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

If you’ve got pet allergies but you still want to own a dog, you should look for a breed that does not shed or one that sheds very little. Dander gets trapped on a dog’s fur, so the less the dog sheds, the less dander there is to cause an allergic reaction. Shedding is also a big concern for allergy sufferers because shedded hair can collect other allergens like dust and pollen.

Small hypoallergenic dog breeds make great companions. If you’re looking for small breeds that don’t shed, then take a look at these small hypoallergenic dog breeds.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

The Bichon Frise descended from the Water Spaniel in the Mediterranean region and is beloved in that area. This small hypoallergenic breed is a truly non-shedding small dog, making it an ideal pet for people with allergies. It has a sweet disposition and is a very popular house dog. The Bichon Frise looks like a little white powder puff. It does not shed a lot but its fluffy white double coat requires regular brushing and trimming. This breed needs daily exercise. This is a playful, happy dog that is extremely affectionate and loving. The Bichon Frise craves attention from its human companions and they are good with children. They do not do well with being left alone for long periods of time. They are intelligent dogs that learn quickly. Because of its small size and nature, the Bichon Frise makes a good apartment dog. To learn more about the Bichon Frise, go to Choosing a Bichon Frise.

Cairn Terrier

Cairn terrier dog

The Cairn Terrier stands 10 inches high and weighs about 13 to 14 pounds. The most famous Cairn Terrier is Toto from The Wizard of Oz. Their weather resistant double coat should be brushed regularly, and their coat can be any color except for white. This is a very active breed with lots of energy to burn. They need to run every day. This is an active and adventurous dog. It is important to provide enough daily exercise for your Cairn Terrier so that he will not get bored, which could lead to nuisance behaviors like barking, chewing and digging. This breed is brave and adventurous. They are very intelligent dogs that have a loving, playful nature. They make great companions for both adults and children. This breed is easy to train and they love to learn new tricks. Cairn Terriers are known to have a stubborn streak. They will chase and bark at small animals and they love to dig and swim. To learn more about the Cairn Terrier, go to Choosing a Cairn Terrier.

Coton De Tulear

Coton de TulearThe Coton De Tulear originated in Madagascar. It is about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs between 8 to 13 pounds. This dog has a life expectancy of about 14 years. The Coton De Tulear is related to the Bichon Frise and the Maltese and it has a long fluffy coat. This breed is hypoallergenic. As a small dog that doesn’t shed, it is a good choice for allergy sufferers. This dog’s coat requires regular grooming. The Coton De Tulear has a gentle nature – it is sweet and cuddly. A real people pleaser, this dog enjoys spending time with his family and his favorite activity is to cuddle up on the couch with you. Cotons are good with older children and children who know how to be gentle. This is a smart dog that quickly learns what is expected of him. The Coton De Tulear requires daily walks and playtime. He is well socialized – he loves being with people and doesn’t like being separated from them. Although they prefer the company of humans, the Coton will get along with other pets.

Havanese

The Havanese stands about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs about 7 to 14 pounds. Its life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years. This small dog originated in Cuba and it is hypoallergenic. This is a loving lap dog that loves being with his family. He will follow you from room to room. But the Havanese does not like being alone and is known to bark and howl when you are gone. This breed gets along with people of all ages and all animals. The Havanese is intelligent and sensitive. They love attention and they closely bond with their human companions. This breed is smart, eager to please and very trainable. For a small breed, the Havanese has a lot of energy and needs a daily walk and playtime. Frequent brushing is recommended to keep your Havanese’s thick, soft coat free from mats.

Maltese

maltese small hypoallergenic dogThe Maltese stands about 8 to 10 inches high and weighs between 4 to 7 pounds, making it one of the smallest of the toy breeds. The life expectancy of the Maltese is about 12 to 15 years. Although the exact origin of this breed is unknown, it has been around for thousands of years. This is an elegant and energetic small dog. This breed can become very attached to its owners. They dislike being left alone and can suffer from separation anxiety, which can lead to barking and destruction. This dog has a protective nature, making it suspicious of strangers. In an attempt to protect their owners they are known to bark and bite. The Maltese also has an impatient nature, so children and other pets may annoy this breed. Also, because of their small size, they are not recommended for households with small children. This breed is highly intelligent and easily trained. They enjoy a daily walk and playtime and often remain playful even into old age. The Maltese has a long, soft, white coat and low shedding. It needs to be brushed regularly to avoid mats. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Maltese.

Miniature Schnauzer

The Miniature Schnauzer stands about 12 to 14 inches high and weighs about 10 to 15 pounds. It was created in Germany using a cross between the Affenpinscher, the Poodle, and the Standard Schnauzer. With a long beard and bushy eyebrows, he is a very popular breed that truly enjoys the company of people. He wants to be next to you all the time. This active and intelligent breed loves to be the center of attention. They are affectionate and make wonderful companions. This is an energetic small dog that needs daily exercise and mental stimulation so they don’t become bored and destructive. They love being in the middle of the action. He is protective of his family and wary of strangers. The Miniature Schnauzer can be noisy, but he’s good with children and other dogs. This intelligent breed is a quick learner, but he can be very stubborn. Their wiry double coat requires regular grooming and many owners prefer a shortcut for easier maintenance.

Shih Tzu

shih tzu hypoallergenicThe Shih Tzu (which means “little lion”) stands about 9 to 11 inches high and weighs about 9 to 16 pounds. It has a life expectancy of about 10 to 16 years. This breed was developed in China and has a very recognizable appearance. This lovable dog is playful and loves to be the center of attention. These good-natured dogs will follow you around the house and make very good companions. They are good with people of all ages, children and other pets. The Shih Tzu is friendly, outgoing and affectionate. He is very loyal to his family and makes a great family pet. This small dog has a lot of energy and loves to play. The Shih Tzu may be difficult to housebreak. This is not an extremely active dog. Their soft, silky, long coat needs daily brushing. Many owners decide to keep their dogs in a short puppy cut to make grooming easier. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Shih Tzu.

Toy Poodle

The Poodle is one of the most popular house pet breeds. The Toy Poodle is the smallest of the three sizes that Poodles come in. The Toy Poodle stands up to 10 inches tall and weighs about 6 to 9 pounds. Poodles rank as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are eager to please their owners and very easily trained. This athletic dog needs daily exercise so they do not become bored and resort to destructive behavior. The Toy Poodle is outgoing and friendly with plenty of energy. They enjoy being around people of all ages, including children, and they make great family pets. The Toy Poodle is protective of his home and family.This is a hypoallergenic dog with little to no shedding. Still, you’ll need to brush this dog every day and visit the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain that fluffy coat. The coat comes in many different colors and the hair is curly and dense. To learn more about the Toy Poodle, go to Choosing a Toy Poodle.

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire Terrier HypoallergenicThe Yorkshire Terrier or “Yorkie” as it is also known is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. The Yorkie stands about 7 to 9 inches high and weighs about 4 to 7 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. This breed is smart and self-confident. The spunky Yorkie is often the center of attention. These small dogs are big on personality and they make loving companions. Their small size is great for apartment living. This lovable lap dog has lots of energy and loves to play. They do not do well being left alone for long periods of time. The Yorkie will form an extremely close bond with its primary caretaker and is often not good with strangers and other dogs, but they can get along well with other dogs and cats if they are socialized to them at a young age. The Yorkie is bold and fearless, often going after much larger dogs. Because of their small size and their tendency to be aggressive, they are not recommended for families with small children. The Yorkie’s silky coat should be brushed daily. Many owners will clip their Yorkshire Terriers to reduce the amount of grooming needed. This breed can be difficult to housebreak. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Yorkshire Terrier.

What’s the Right Canine Epilepsy Diet?

Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that has no known underlying cause. Epilepsy can be treated with various seizure medications with the goal is to decrease the frequency of the seizures, the severity of the seizures, and how long it takes your pet to recover from a seizure. Seizure medications are used to control seizures but generally do not totally eliminate seizures. Clients commonly ask their veterinarian if there is a canine epilepsy diet that can help control this disease. Below we will review what are seizures and epilepsy, treatment options, and discuss the potential benefits of a canine epilepsy diet.

What are Seizures?

Seizures, also known as convulsions or fits, are classified as a symptom and are not a disease. What this means is that seizures can be caused many different underlying problems such as trauma to the head such as that occurs when hit by a car or hit with a ball bat, ingestion of various toxins, brain tumors, infections, organ failure and many more possible causes. Learn more about Causes of Seizures. Epilepsy is a seizure disorder when no underlying cause has been identified.

A seizure occurs when excessive electrical activity occurs in the brain that results in a series of involuntary contractions of the muscles, abnormal sensations or behaviors, or some combination of these events. Most often seizures occur at night or early in the morning while a dog is at rest.

Many believe there may be a genetic basis for epilepsy but the cause of epilepsy is largely unknown. It is believed that the incidence rate of epilepsy in dogs is 0.5% to over 2% of all dogs. Epilepsy generally begins in dogs that are fairly young ranging from 6 months to 5 years. Epilepsy can occur in females and males equally.

Tests for Epilepsy in Dogs

  • Diagnostic tests are recommended to look for an underlying cause for the seizures. Testing recommendations may depend on your dog’s symptoms and may include:
  • Bloodwork that includes a complete blood count (CBC) and biochemistry profile to evaluate for signs of infection, anemia, kidney or liver abnormalities
  • Urinalysis to evaluate kidney function
  • Bile acid blood test to evaluate for liver disease
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to look for structures changes in the brain or tumors
  • Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) tap to look for signs of inflammation or infection
  • Fecal examination to check for parasites

These tests can help determine if there is an underlying cause for the seizures. If there is not an underlying cause found, epilepsy is often diagnosed.

Treatment for Canine Epilepsy

Treatment of epilepsy will depend on the frequency of the seizures. If the seizures occur more than once every 4 to 6 weeks or a dog has more than one seizure in any 24 hour period, the medical therapy is often recommended.

Treatment generally includes medications designed to manage the seizures by decreasing the frequency and severity of the seizures.  Common medications used for canine epilepsy are Phenobarbital, Potassium bromide, Diazepam (Valium), Zonisamide, Levetiracetam, Felbamate, Gabapentin, Clorazepate, and/or Topiramate.  

It is important to carefully follow your veterinary instructions regarding these medications. These drugs should not be started, stopped, increased or decreased without the approval of your veterinarian.  Some drugs, such as phenobarbital, require regular blood testing to determine if the amount of the drug in the blood is therapeutic.

What You Should Feed Your Dog if He Has Epilepsy

Nutrition is important for overall health of all dogs. Specific diet recommendations for dogs with epilepsy include:

  • There appears to be benefits in feeding dogs with epilepsy a medium chain triglyceride (MCT)-based diet. Diets that were developed for the treatment of canine cognitive dysfunction were was studied to determine if there were any benefits in dogs with epilepsy. The results suggested that the frequency of seizures were lower in dogs fed this diet compared to a placebo food. You can supplement MCT’s in your dog diet by offering your dog natural coconut oil with his food. Coconut oil is a very good source of all four MCT’s. The coconut oil dose most commonly used is ¼ of a teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight twice daily. For example, a 40-pound dog would require 1 teaspoon every 12 hours. A MCT-based dog food is Purina Pro Plan Bright Mind formula.
  • There have been studies to evaluate high-fat and low carbohydrate diets and their impact on epilepsy. These studies have shown no improvement in seizure control in dogs with epilepsy.
  • If your dog is overweight, a diet plan for a weight-reducing plan is recommended to optimize your dog health.  Many dogs on seizure medications can gain weight while on therapy.
  • Dogs receiving potassium bromide medications require study levels of dietary salt. Too much salt can increase the excretion of bromide which decreases the bromide blood level. Too little salt can lead to increased bromide levels.

Can You Feed Dogs with Epilepsy Human Food?

You can feed your dog some human foods but he doesn’t actually need human foods. What he needs is a good quality balanced dog food. It is important to know that some human foods can be dangerous and even toxic. Read more about Dangerous Foods – Learn What is harmful to Your Dog.

These Pooches Are Large Breeds That Don’t Shed

Dogs that don’t shed or dogs that have low shedding are typically better choices for people who suffer from pet allergies. It is not the actual dog hair that we are allergic to, rather it is the dog’s dander, saliva, urine, skin and other proteins. Allergens, especially dander, get trapped on a dog’s fur and then transferred to the carpet or furniture and eventually into the nose of an allergic person. So the less the dog sheds, the less dander there is to aggravate your allergies. Shedded dog hair can also collect allergens like dust and pollen, which can cause symptoms in allergy suffers.

Looking for large breeds that don’t shed? Then you should take a look at these large hypoallergenic dogs.

Airedale Terrier

The Airedale Terrier originated in England. It is a good working dog that was used to guard the home, for hunting small game and for police work. They excel in protection, agility, and obedience. The Airedale Terrier is an active and athletic dog that needs regular exercise. It is a good idea to have a fenced backyard when owning an Airedale. The Airedale is loyal and protective of their family, but the Airedale is willing to accept outsiders once their family has welcomed them inside. This breed is also good with children. The Airedale is high spirited and should be supervised around cats and small animals. This intelligent dog is highly trainable and should be socialized from a young age. These giant British Terriers have a double coat with soft fur underneath and a coarse top coat that requires regular brushing. Because it is the largest of the terriers, the Airedale has been given the nickname “King of the Terriers.” This breed stands about 23 inches tall and weighs about 45 pounds. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing an Airedale.

Bouvier Des Flandres

This breed is a working dog. It is also a very good guard and police dog that was used as an army dog during the two World Wars, carrying messages and hunting out the wounded. The Bouvier Des Flandres originated in Belgium and France and was introduced to North America in the 1930s. This loyal breed is protective of the children in his herd. They learn commands easily but some Bouviers can be strong willed with less assertive owners. The breed can be aggressive towards strangers. The Bouvier needs regular exercise and at least two long walks every day. Its long, shaggy coat requires regular brushing and trimming. For a large dog, this breed is quite agile and light on its feet. This is a large dog measuring 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 90 pounds. Health concerns for this breed include hip dysplasia.

Giant Schnauzer

The Giant Schnauzer averages about 23 to 27 inches high and weighs between 65 to 100 pounds. The males are typically larger than the females. This breed has a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. This handsome bearded dog has a wiry and dense double coat that requires regular brushing and occasional grooming. It can be either black or salt and pepper gray in color. The Giant Schnauzer was developed in Germany in the late 1800s as a working farm dog. It was originally bred by cattlemen to move livestock to market. During WWI, this breed was trained as police dogs. This fiercely loyal breed is very protective of their human companions. This breed makes an excellent guard dog or watchdog. A very willful breed, the Giant Schnauzer should be trained and socialized from a young age. This is an active dog that needs daily exercise. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Giant Schnauzer.

Irish Water Spaniel

Standing between 21 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 45 and 65 pounds, this large dog is known for its unusual tail – it has curly hair on the first four inches from the base of the tail, and the rest of the tail is nearly hairless. This is an intelligent breed. The Irish Water Spaniel was bred as a bird dog. Unlike other spaniels, this breed was not developed to flush out birds, but rather to jump into the frigid waters of Ireland to retrieve dead or wounded fowl. This breed loves the water. They have webbed feet and their coat is naturally water resistant. The Irish Water Spaniel has a double coat with tight ringlets. Its tight curly coat should be brushed and groomed regularly to prevent matting. This loving dog bonds closely with their family and is anxious to please, but they are naturally reserved towards strangers. The Irish Water Spaniel requires plenty of social interaction, toys, and playtime to keep them entertained. This dog would be happy with a large fenced backyard. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing an Irish Water Spaniel.

Komondor

The Komondor stands about 25 to 31 inches tall and weighs about 70 to 80 pounds. This breed looks like a big dust mop with a long, soft white coat that is corded into dreadlocks. This coat would help him to blend in with sheep if he were caring for them. A big muscular dog, the Komondor comes from Hungary. This breed is at its best when it is working. If they are left without a job to do they become bored quickly. Traditionally this breed has been used as a herder and a police dog. A great guardian, the Komondor is loyal, devoted and protective. He tends to protect his family, his home and his possessions. He is easily trained but because of his protective nature, he may not be gentle enough for every family. The Komondor enjoys long daily walks and outdoor country living. This is an independent thinker so begin training and socialization early and establish yourself as the dominant member of the pack. Common health problems in the Komondor are hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, and skin problems.

Saluki

The Saluki stands about 23 to 28 inches high and weighs up to 65 pounds. Female Salukis can be much smaller. One of the world’s oldest breeds, Salukis were never sold – they were given as gifts. This breed can have either a smooth or feathered coat which is short and close. The coat is smooth, soft and silky. The Saluki requires occasional brushing, maybe once a week. Salukis are friendly, loving and gentle. They do not tolerate roughhousing and do better with older, gentle children. This breed is devoted to its family members and often has one special person. Salukis become so attached to their family members that they can become depressed if left alone for long periods of time. The Saluki has a strong hunting instinct. This breed needs room to exercise in a large fenced yard.

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle stands about 15 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 45 and 70 pounds. This breed has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. The Poodle has been used in France and Germany since the 1400s for hunting and retrieving, as water dogs and as companions. This breed was known as a circus trick dog and it was also known for its ability to sniff out the famous truffle mushrooms. Poodles have webbed feet. They have thick, curly, short hair. Poodles should be brushed on a daily basis and they need regular grooming. This is a very intelligent breed that learns quickly. They are very friendly dogs and make great companions. Poodles get along well with children and they enjoy being around other people and animals. They are very obedient. The Poodle is very active and requires a healthy amount of daily exercise. Health concerns for this breed includes progressive retinal atrophy, digestive tract disorders, skin problems and heart problems. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Standard Poodle.

Wirehaired Pointing Griffon

Also known as a Griff, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon stands about 20 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 60 pounds. This breed came into existence in Europe in the mid to late 1800s. This active dog is a strong swimmer and an excellent water retriever. It has a rough double coat that needs to be brushed twice a week. This is a graceful dog. The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is friendly and easy to train. It is an intelligent and obedient dog that is deeply devoted to his family. This breed makes a great family pet. Extremely sociable, the Griff gets along well with children and other dogs, but does not do well with cats and other small pets. This breed does well in an active country setting with plenty of room for running.

Mixed Breeds

If a breed is hypoallergenic, you may wonder if mixed breeds of these dogs also have that same trait. The answer is, maybe. It depends on which traits the hybrid dog has inherited from which parent. In fact, different puppies in the same litter may or may not be hypoallergenic, depending on which type of coat they have inherited.

Looking for a Hypoallergenic Dog? Here’s What You Need to Know

While dogs are known to be man’s best friend, people who suffer from dog allergies might not have the same sentiment. Between 15 – 30 percent of Americans are allergic to pets. A majority of those people are allergic to cats instead of dogs, but there is still a sizeable amount of people who react negatively when they’re around dogs.

If you get a dog only to find out that you are allergic, what can you do? Many people in this position consider rehoming. To learn more about rehoming, go to What Is Rehoming for Pets.

For many people with pet allergies, the recourse for staying healthy is to avoid pets. This typically prevents people with dog allergies from owning a dog. The good news is – there are hypoallergenic dogs. Particular breeds are hypoallergenic dogs, which means that people with dog allergies will experience greatly decreased symptoms around dogs of those breeds. In some cases, people with dog allergies will not experience any symptoms at all.

Hypoallergenic dogs are the best choice for allergy sufferers who want to own a dog. That’s because they do not shed, or they shed very little, producing less dander. This makes them less likely to cause serious allergic reactions in those with dog allergies. If you own a hypoallergenic dog, it is recommended that you bathe the dog regularly to remove dander. This will help to reduce allergic reactions.

While hypoallergenic dogs are easier on people with allergies, the bottom line is, there is no dog that is 100 percent hypoallergenic. The saliva and skin of the dog can still trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive people. Before choosing a pet, you should discuss your options with your doctor. Also, before adopting hypoallergenic dogs, you should first visit with them before you adopt to test for allergic reactions.

Hypoallergenic dogs come in all sizes, giving you plenty of choices. Hypoallergenic dogs also come in long-haired and short-haired varieties. Many people make the mistake that longer-haired dogs will be worse for their allergies than short-haired dogs, but the fact is that there are hypoallergenic long-haired dogs.

You should be careful when adopting a hypoallergenic dog from a shelter. That’s because many shelter dogs are mixed breeds, so it is impossible to tell if the dog is really hypoallergenic. If you’re looking for hypoallergenic dogs, your best bet is to work with a breeder.

These Pooches Are Large Breeds That Don’t Shed

Looking for large breeds that don’t shed? Then you should take a look at these large hypoallergenic dogs.

Airedale Terrier
  • The Airedale Terrier excels in protection, agility, and obedience. It is an active and athletic dog that needs regular exercise. The Airedale is loyal and protective of its family, but the Airedale is willing to accept outsiders once its family has welcomed them inside. This breed is also good with children. This intelligent dog is highly trainable and should be socialized from a young age. This breed stands about 23 inches tall and weighs about 45 pounds. For more information about the Airedale Terrier, go to Choosing an Airedale.
Bouvier Des Flandres
  • This breed is a working dog. It is also a very good guard and police dog. The Bouvier Des Flandres is protective of the children in his family. They learn commands easily but some Bouviers can be strong willed with less assertive owners. The breed can also be aggressive towards strangers. The Bouvier needs regular exercise. Its long, shaggy coat requires regular brushing and trimming. This is a large dog measuring 24 to 28 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 90 pounds.
Giant Schnauzer
  • The Giant Schnauzer averages about 23 to 27 inches high and weighs between 65 to 100 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. This handsome bearded dog has a wiry and dense double coat that requires regular brushing and occasional grooming. This fiercely loyal breed is very protective of their human companions and makes an excellent guard dog or watchdog. This is an active dog that needs daily exercise.
Irish Water Spaniel
  • Standing between 21 and 24 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 45 and 65 pounds, this large dog is an intelligent breed that loves the water. Its tight curly coat should be brushed and groomed regularly to prevent matting. This loving dog bonds closely with its family and is anxious to please, but they are naturally reserved towards strangers. The Irish Water Spaniel requires plenty of social interaction to keep them entertained. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing an Irish Water Spaniel.
Komondor
  • The Komondor stands about 25 to 31 inches tall and weighs about 70 to 80 pounds. This breed looks like a big dust mop with a long, soft white coat that is corded into dreadlocks. This breed is at its best when it is working. If they are left without a job to do they become bored quickly. A great guardian, the Komondor is loyal, devoted and protective. He tends to protect his family, his home and his possessions. He is easily trained but because of his protective nature, he may not be gentle enough for every family.
Saluki
  • The Saluki stands about 23 to 28 inches high and weighs up to 65 pounds. Its coat is smooth, soft and silky. The Saluki requires occasional brushing, maybe once a week. Salukis are friendly, loving and gentle. They do not tolerate roughhousing and do better with older, gentle children. This breed is devoted to its family members and often has one special person. Salukis become so attached to their family members that they can become depressed if left alone for long periods of time. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Saluki
Standard Poodle
  • The Standard Poodle stands about 15 inches high at the shoulders and weighs between 45 and 70 pounds. This breed has a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years. They have thick, curly, short hair. Poodles should be brushed on a daily basis and they need regular grooming. This is a very intelligent breed that learns quickly. They are very friendly dogs and make great companions. Poodles get along well with children and they enjoy being around other people and animals. They are very obedient. To learn more about the Standard Poodle, go to Choosing a Standard Poodle.
Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
  • Also known as a Griff, the Wirehaired Pointing Griffon stands about 20 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 60 pounds. This active dog is a strong swimmer and an excellent water retriever. It has a rough double coat that needs to be brushed twice a week. Friendly and easy to train, this intelligent and obedient dog is deeply devoted to his family. This breed makes a great family pet. Extremely sociable, the Griff gets along well with children and other dogs, but does not do well with cats and other small pets.
Mixed Breeds
  • If a breed is hypoallergenic, you may wonder if mixed breeds of these dogs also have that same trait. The answer is, maybe. It depends on which traits the hybrid dog has inherited from which parent. In fact, different puppies in the same litter may or may not be hypoallergenic, depending on which type of coat they have inherited.

To learn more about large breeds that don’t shed, go to These Pooches Are Large Breeds That Don’t Shed.

Got Allergies? Here Are Small Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds

Small hypoallergenic dog breeds make great companions. If you’re looking for small breeds that don’t shed, then take a look at these small hypoallergenic dog breeds.

Bichon Frise
  • This small hypoallergenic breed is a truly non-shedding small dog, making it an ideal pet for people with allergies. It has a sweet disposition and is a very popular house dog. The Bichon Frise looks like a little white powder puff. This is a playful, happy dog that is extremely affectionate and loving. They are intelligent dogs that learn quickly. To learn more about the Bichon Frise, go to Choosing a Bichon Frise.
Cairn Terrier
  • The Cairn Terrier stands 10 inches high and weighs about 13 to 14 pounds. The most famous Cairn Terrier is Toto from The Wizard of Oz. This is a very active breed with lots of energy to burn. They are very intelligent dogs that have a loving, playful nature. They make great companions for both adults and children. This breed is easy to train and they love to learn new tricks. Cairn Terriers are known to have a stubborn streak. To learn more about the Cairn Terrier, go to Choosing a Cairn Terrier.
Coton De Tulear
  • The Coton De Tulear originated in Madagascar. It is about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs between 8 to 13 pounds. This dog has a life expectancy of about 14 years. As a small dog that doesn’t shed, it is a good choice for allergy sufferers. The Coton De Tulear has a gentle nature – it is sweet and cuddly. A real people pleaser, this dog enjoys spending time with his family and his favorite activity is to cuddle up on the couch with you. Cotons are good with older children and children who know how to be gentle. This is a smart dog that quickly learns what is expected of him.
Havanese
  • The Havanese stands about 8 to 12 inches high and weighs about 7 to 14 pounds. Its life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years. This small dog originated in Cuba and it is hypoallergenic. This is a loving lap dog that loves being with his family. The Havanese does not like being alone and is known to bark and howl when you are gone. This breed gets along with people of all ages and all animals. This breed is smart, eager to please and very trainable.
Maltese
  • The Maltese stands about 8 to 10 inches high and weighs between 4 to 7 pounds, making it one of the smallest of the toy breeds. The life expectancy of the Maltese is about 12 to 15 years. This is an elegant and energetic small dog. This breed can become very attached to its owners. This dog has a protective nature, making it suspicious of strangers. This breed is highly intelligent and easily trained. The Maltese have a long, soft, white coat and low shedding. To learn more about the Maltese breed, go to Choosing a Maltese.
Miniature Schnauzer
  • The Miniature Schnauzer stands about 12 to 14 inches high and weighs about 10 to 15 pounds. With a long beard and bushy eyebrows, he is a very popular breed that truly enjoys the company of people. He wants to be next to you all the time. This active and intelligent breed loves to be the center of attention. They are affectionate and make wonderful companions. He is protective of his family and wary of strangers. This intelligent breed is a quick learner, but he can be very stubborn.
Shih Tzu
  • The Shih Tzu (which means “little lion”) stands about 9 to 11 inches high and weighs about 9 to 16 pounds. It has a life expectancy of about 10 to 16 years. This breed was developed in China and has a very recognizable appearance. This loveable dog is playful and loves to be the center of attention. These good natured dogs will follow you around the house and make very good companions. They are good with people of all ages, children and other pets. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Shih Tzu.
Toy Poodle
  • The Poodle is one of the most popular house pet breeds. The Toy Poodle stands up to 10 inches tall and weighs about 6 to 9 pounds. Poodles rank as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are eager to please their owners and very easily trained. The Toy Poodle is outgoing and friendly with plenty of energy. They enjoy being around people of all ages, including children. This is a hypoallergenic dog with little to no shedding. Still, you’ll need to brush this dog every day and visit the groomer every 4 to 6 weeks to maintain that fluffy coat. To learn more about the Toy Poodle, go to Choosing a Toy Poodle.
Yorkshire Terrier
  • The Yorkshire Terrier or “Yorkie” as it is also known is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. The Yorkie stands about 7 to 9 inches high and weighs about 4 to 7 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. This breed is smart and self-confident. The spunky Yorkie is often the center of attention. These small dogs are big on personality and they make loving companions. This lovable lap dog has lots of energy and loves to play. The Yorkie’s silky coat should be brushed daily. Many owners will clip their Yorkshire Terriers to reduce the amount of grooming needed. This breed can be difficult to housebreak. To learn more about this breed, go to Choosing a Yorkshire Terrier.

Try These Medium Size Hypoallergenic Dogs

Hypoallergenic dogs are a good choice for people with pet allergies. They shed very little, which means there is less dander in the house to stir up allergies. These medium-size hypoallergenic dogs make great additions to any family. They’re not too big and not too small, and they’re easy on your allergies. So if you’re looking for medium dogs that don’t shed, take a look at these wonderful canines.

Irish Terrier
  • The Irish Terrier stands about 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weighs about 25 to 27 pounds. It has a life expectancy of about 12 to 16 years. This is an active, energetic, spunky dog. This breed of terrier is easy to train and makes a good watchdog. They may become excessive barkers if not trained from an early age. This is a great family dog that is wonderful with children, however, they do not do well with other dogs. The Irish Terrier can get along with cats if raised with them from puppyhood, but because of their strong hunting drive, they are not good with small animals like hamsters. To learn more about the Irish Terrier, go to Choosing an Irish Terrier.
Kerry Blue Terrier
  • The Kerry Blue Terrier stands between 17 and 19 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 33 and 40 pounds. This working breed comes from Ireland and has a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. This terrier breed has soft, thick, wavy hair with little to no shedding, however, it does require daily brushing to avoid mats. The unique coloring of this breed is a blue-gray. The breed may not be the best choice for first-time dog owner. This is a good family dog that bonds with all members of the family, and they are great with children. They can become aggressive with other dogs and are not known to back down from a fight. To learn more about the Kerry Blue Terrier, go to Choosing a Kerry Blue Terrier.
Lakeland Terrier
  • The Lakeland Terrier stands about 13 to 14 inches high at the shoulder and weighs about 15 to 17 pounds. It has an average life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years. The Lakeland Terrier is friendly and affectionate, making it a great companion. They are very intelligent but a bit stubborn. This breed gets along well with people, children, and other dogs but is reserved around strangers. They are active and require a lot of daily exercise to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. They can also be very possessive about their food and toys. The Lakie excels as a watchdog, but excessive barking can be a problem.
Puli
  • The Puli stands about 16 to 18 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 23 and 38 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of about 10 to 15 years. The Puli has a unique corded coat that looks like a giant mop. His corded coat makes the Puli look much bigger than he actually is. This affectionate companion dog is very loyal to its family but wary of strangers. With an instinct to protect and herd, they act as guardians of children and other family pets. They are also very sensitive to the needs of the sick and elderly, making them great therapy dogs. This playful dog enjoys the company of children and gets along with other dogs and family pets. To learn more about the Puli, go to Choosing a Puli.
Standard Schnauzer
  • The Standard Schnauzer stands about 17 to 20 inches high at the shoulder and weighs between 30 and 45 pounds. This breed has an average life expectancy of about 13 to 16 years. Native to Germany, the Schnauzer is a good hunter and herder. He makes a wonderful companion dog that will follow you wherever you go. This is an extremely intelligent and active dog that is especially good with children. These dogs insist on being part of the family activities. This breed learns quickly and is eager to please, making them very good therapy dogs; but they are known to be more stubborn making them a little difficult to housetrain.
Tibetan Terrier
  • The Tibetan Terrier stands about 14 to 16 inches high at the shoulder and weighs about 20 to 28 pounds. Its average life expectancy is about 12 to 15 years. Although this breed is called a “terrier”, it actually is not related to a terrier. The breed originated in Tibet where it was regarded as a good luck charm. The Tibetan Terrier is affectionate and loves being with people. They are best suited to homes with school-age children who understand how to properly handle a dog. They do best in homes where they will receive a lot of attention and will not be left alone for long periods of time. The Tibetan Terrier does well with other dogs and pets, especially when they have been raised together. To learn more about the Tibetan Terrier, go to Choosing a Tibetan Terrier.

To learn more about medium size hypoallergenic dogs, go to Try These Medium Size Hypoallergenic Dogs.

These Hypoallergenic Dog Mixes Could Keep Your Sneezes at Bay

Designer dogs or hybrid dogs are becoming more and more popular. If you are an allergy sufferer, consider these hypoallergenic dog mixes. They have little to no shedding, which means less dander to trigger your allergy symptoms.

Labradoodle
  • A cross between the Labrador Retriever and the Poodle breeds, the Labradoodle was originally developed to be a hypoallergenic guide dog. The Labradoodle comes in three different sizes, depending on the size of the Poodle used for the first generation breeding. The Standard Labradoodle stands 22 to 24 inches high and weighs 50 to 65 pounds. The Medium Labradoodle stands 17 to 20 inches high and weighs 30 to 45 pounds. The Miniature Labradoodle stands 14 to 16 inches and weighs about 15 to 25 pounds. It is friendly, playful and intelligent. Its shaggy curly coat does not shed. Intelligent and eager to please, the Labradoodle is easy to train. This is an excellent dog for first-time dog owners. This breed is good with children and other pets. To learn more about the Labradoodle, go to Choosing a Labradoodle.
Schnoodle
  • Developed in the 1980s, the Schnoodle is a cross between a Poodle and a Schnauzer. It was bred to be a low shedding family dog. Since both the Poodle and the Schnauzer come in three different sizes, the size of the Schnoodle can vary greatly, but the average Schnoodle is small, weighing about 20 pounds. This breed can stand from 10 to 26 inches tall and can weigh from 6 to 75 pounds. Schnoodles have no to low shedding, so this is a very good breed for people with allergies. This is a smart, cheerful, active breed that is eager to please. This wonderful family pet is playful and fun-loving. This dog loves to play with children and to be the center of attention. To learn more about the Schnoodle, go to Choosing a Schnoodle.
Yorkipoo
  • This fun-loving designer dog is a cross between the Yorkshire Terrier and a Toy or Miniature Poodle. It stands between 7 and 15 inches at the shoulder and weighs between 3 and 14 pounds. This is an excellent companion dog – loving and fun, he loves being in the company of his family. This is also a good dog for allergy sufferers because it has low dander and is low shedding. This breed is intelligent, making Yorkipoos quick learners – although they do have a stubborn streak. With a gentle and loving disposition, Yorkipoos are good with the elderly and make good therapy dogs.
Maltipoo
  • A cross between the Maltese and a Toy or Miniature Poodle, the Maltipoo stands about 8 to 14 inches high and weighs between 5 and 20 pounds. This designer dog is gentle and very affectionate, making it a good therapy dog. They are great with the elderly and with older children who know how to handle them carefully. Maltipoos can get along with other dogs and pets. Since both the Maltese and the Poodle are hypoallergenic dogs, the Maltipoo sheds very little and is a good choice for people who suffer from allergies. The intelligent Maltipoo is easy to train and is a good dog for first-time dog owners.
Cockapoo
  • The Cockapoo comes in a variety of sizes. The Teacup size stands under 10 inches tall and weighs about 6 pounds. The Toy Cockapoo stands about 10 inches tall and can weigh up to 12 pounds. The Miniature Cockapoo stands between 11 and 14 inches high and weighs 13 to 18 pounds. The Standard Cockapoo stands at least 15 inches high and weighs more than 19 pounds. A cross between the Poodle and the Cocker Spaniel, this dog loves people, children, other dogs, and pets. He is very outgoing and gets along with everyone. This lapdog makes a good therapy dog. The Cockapoo is intelligent and easy to train. This breed hardly sheds at all, making it a good choice for people who suffer from allergies. To learn more about the Cockapoo, go to Choosing a Cockapoo.

To learn more about hypoallergenic dog mixes, go to These Hypoallergenic Dog Mixes Could Keep Your Sneezes at Bay.

Here’s What to do After Your Dog Has a Seizure

Seizures in dogs can be scary to watch and seem to last forever.  Seizures cause involuntary contractions of muscles due to the sudden and excessive firing of nerves in the brain.  How a seizure looks in dogs can vary from dog to dog. Signs can range from falling over to one side, padding of all limbs, teeth chattering, foaming at the mouth, barking or vocalizations, urinating, and/or defecating. Some dogs will have focal seizures that cause abnormal muscle movements in one group of muscles such as facial twitching.  Clients commonly call veterinary hospitals wondering about dog seizures and what to do after.

First, let’s talk about the components of a seizure. This will help you understand what to expect and what to do after a seizure.

There are three phases of a dog seizure:

  1. Aura Phase. The first phase of a seizure is the Aura phase. Some dogs have this and others don’t. Certain signs of an impending seizure may be evident, such as restlessness, whining, shaking, salivation, wandering, hiding or some dogs will seek affection. These signs may persist from seconds to days in duration and may or may not be apparent to you. Some dogs will run to you or seem “needy” just prior to a seizure.
  2. Ictal Phase. During the ictal phase of a seizure, the actual seizure occurs. The seizure may last from seconds or minutes. The typical generalized seizure looks like this: your dog falls on his side and begins paddling and chomping his jaws. Some owners will notice dog teeth chattering. They may drool, foam at the mouth, urinate and move their bowels. They may bark or vocalize. Dogs are unaware of their surroundings during this time.
  3. Post-ictial Phase. This phase of a seizure occurs immediately after the seizure. Dogs will appear confused and disoriented and may wander or pace. Some dogs will be temporarily blind and may run into objects. The typical post ictal dog will wander around aimlessly, be unsteady on their feet, may stumble over to their water dish and overdrink and/or overeat, drool, and seem generally confused. This phase may last a few minutes to hours.

What To Do and NOT to Do if Your Dog Has a Seizure

Clients commonly want to know what do and what not to do if a dog has a seizure. Seizures can be really scary and often seem to last forever when it is only a few minutes. Clients commonly ask if their dog will die from a seizure. Learn more about the risk of death in Can a Dog Die From a Seizure?

In general, the recommendations on what to do when your pet is having a seizure are:

  • Don’t panic. Even though it is really scary, understand that your dog is unconscious and not in pain. He is not aware that he is seizing.  He is not aware you are there and may react in fear, including to bite.
  • Be safe. Pets do not swallow their tongues. Do NOT put your hand or any other object in your dogs’ mouth. This is how many pet owners get bit.
  • Remove kids and pets. Keep children and other pets (both cats and dogs) away from seizing pets. They are often scared and their reactions can be unpredictable. There have been reports of attacks to both seizing dogs and people during this stressful and confusing time to the other household pets.
  • Time the seizure. Look at your watch and time the seizure. Seizures often seem like they are taking forever but may only be seconds.
  • Protect your pet. Seizuring pets can thrash and hurt themselves. Protect your dog from water, stairs, and sharp objects. We generally recommend pulling your dog gently toward the center of the room by the back legs. Many dogs may urinate or defecate. If you have a towel handy, place this under their back end.
  • Observe the seizure. Notice how your pet behaves and moves during the seizure. Is there padding of all legs or just the front? Is there chomping? Foaming? Does your dog urinate or defecate?
  • Comfort your pet. Stay with your dog but away from his/her mouth. You may calm your dog by speaking softly and petting your dog.
  • Be ready to go. If the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, call your veterinarian or veterinary emergency clinic immediately. If you have any questions – call your vet. They can help guide you on if you should come in or if any treatments are recommended.

What to Do After a Dog Seizures

The period after the seizure is called the post-ictal period. This can last from minutes to hours. Typically dogs are disoriented, often lethargic, with inappropriate behavior such as stumbling, walking into walls, overdrinking at the water bowl.

Can a Dog Die From a Seizure?

Clients commonly ask if dogs can die from seizures. The answer is yes. The risk largely depends on the underlying cause of the seizure. Seizures that result from head trauma, brain tumors, organ malfunction, toxins, and other serious medical problems are at high risk for dying. Learn more about the possible Causes of Seizures in Dogs.

Seizures caused by epilepsy, which means there is no known underlying cause for the seizures, are at much lower risk of dying from a seizure. Epilepsy most often occurs in young healthy dogs. Even though a seizure is scary and it seems like your dog is in pain or may die, this is unlikely when there is a single seizure event in a young healthy epileptic dog.

Situations that Increase the Risk of Death from Seizures

As identified above, the risk of death from seizures in dogs will be very dependent on the underlying cause. If the cause is from a serious medical problem, the risk of death can be high.

If a seizure occurs once in a young healthy dog with no trauma or toxin exposure, the risk of death is lower.

However, prolonged or recurrent generalized seizures can be life-threatening and increase the risk of your dog dying during or from secondary complications from the seizure. Two multiple seizure events include:

  • Cluster seizures occur when multiple seizures occur in one day.
  • Status epilepticus occurs when there is continuous seizure activity or seizures that reoccur without recovery between seizures.

When either of these multiple seizure situations occurs, there is potential for the body temperature to increase due to the increased muscle activity associated with the padding and muscle movements. Some dogs can quickly increase their body temperatures from normal (which is 100 to 102.5°F [degrees Fahrenheit]) to over 108°F. This produces a potentially life-threatening problem of hyperthermia (high body temperature). This is a form of a Heat stoke.  At temperatures > 109°F critical organ failure can develop.

The elevated body temperature can lead to additional abnormal neurological symptoms such as lethargy, weakness, or coma. Life-threatening secondary complications may include disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), gastrointestinal ulceration, low blood pressure (hypotension), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), infections, and/or renal failure.

The treatment for hyperthermia from seizure activity focuses on immediately stopping the seizures and decreasing the body temperature. Intravenous (IV) diazepam (valium) is commonly used to stop seizure activity. If that doesn’t work, other injectable drugs such as propofol may be used.  Cooling methods may include a cool water bath, cool fan, and IV fluid therapy. For more information on various cooling methods, please read Heat stoke in Dogs.

Hyperthermia is an emergency and is why if a seizure lasts longer than 5 minutes – you should head to your veterinarian or your closest veterinary emergency clinic.

When To See Your Vet

It is best to see your veterinarian for the following:

  • Any Seizures that lasts longer than 5 minutes
  • When there are more than three seizures in a 24 hour time period
  • Seizures that begin before your pet has completely recovered from the previous seizure
  • Abnormal signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, bleeding or any other concerns develop as or after your dog is recovering from the seizure

How to Help Your Dog if They are Having a Seizure

During a seizure event, the best things you can do are to ensure your safety and your dog’s safety.

The general rules of how to help your dog if he or she is having a seizure include:

  • Be safe. Don’t move your dog unless he in a location where he can be injured during the seizure.  If your dog is near the stairs, gently move him away from the stairs. The safest way to do this is to gently drag your dog by his back legs. If your dog is outside, make sure he is not near the road, sharp objects or bodies of water such as a pond, lake or swimming pool where he could fall in and drown. Again, if he is near anything dangerous, carefully and gently drag your dog by his back legs to an area of safety.
  • Don’t touch your dog’s mouth. There is an old wives tale that a dog will swallow their tongue during a seizure. This is NOT true.  Do not get near your dog’s mouth and don’t put anything your dog’s mouth. Many pet owners get bit from being too close to their dog’s mouths or worrying about them swallowing their tongue during a seizure.
  • Time the Seizure. Check your watch and notice how long the seizure lasts. Many pet owners believe a seizure lasts several minutes when it is only seconds. The seizure event is a stressful time and the actual seizure can seem to last longer than it actually is.
  • Start a Seizure Log. Develop a system or calendar to document this seizure, time of day, length of seizure and anything your dog was doing immediately before the seizure.
  • Call Your Vet. If you have any questions or concerns, please call your veterinarian.  They can help guide you on when you should have your dog evaluated and if treatment or testing is indicated.

Additional Articles of Interest about Canine Seizures:

What’s the Best Tasting Dry Dog Food for Your Pet?

Dogs have different tastes, just like people. What flavor or texture that appeals to one dog may not appeal to another dog.  Some dogs prefer dry kibble, some semi-moist kibble, and others canned food. Some prefer foods that have certain aromas and other dogs don’t seem to care either way and will eat just about anything. Dog owners commonly ask about what is the best tasting dry dog food.

Recommendations for Dry Dog Food

Good quality dry dog food can be good for dogs of all sizes and life stages. Recommendations include:

  1. Trust. Find a company you trust that provides consistent high-quality foods made in the USA. It is ideal for the company to source quality ingredients from the USA with quality control measures and no recalls. Find a company that makes you feel good about what you are feeding your dog. You may want to do your own research or review our recommendations below.
  2. Quality. Whatever dog you feed needs to conform to AAFCO standards. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is an organization that publishes regulations for nutritional adequacy of “complete and balanced” dog foods. Diets that fulfill the AAFCO regulations will state on the label: “formulated to meet the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for…(a given life stage). This indicates the manufacturer is following the national consensus recommendations for dog foods.
  3. Life Stage. Pick the food for your dog’s life stage. This includes puppies, adults, breeding, working dogs, and senior pets.
  4. Feed to Optimize Health. It is important to feed to maintain your dog at an ideal weight and avoid obesity. If your dog is overweight, a weight-reducing diet plan is recommended to optimize your dog health.  Don’t over or under feed. You can use the guidelines on the bag as a baseline to determine how much to feed your dog but monitor your dog weight and adjust accordingly to maintain and ideal weight. Some dogs need more calories and others less.
  5. Water. As part of a healthy diet, provide plenty of fresh clean water at all times. Carefully clean and wash out the water dishes every other day.

For more information about the best recommendations for feeding your dog – go to Nutrition in Dogs.

How to Choose the Right Food for Your Dog’s Diet

After researching various dog food companies, we have found the following food brands to be both good quality and highly palpable:

  • Stella and Chewy’s
  • Zignature
  • Fromm
  • Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Foods
  • Acana
  • Orijen
  • Natures Recipe
  • Wellness Core
  • Taste of the Wild
  • Best Breed
  • Halo
  • Grandma Lucy’s
  • Orijen
  • Wellness Core
  • Merrick
  • Primal Pet Foods

How to Tell if Your Dog Likes It

Pet owners want to feed a food their dogs’ food that they really like. One way that you can test if your dog likes a food is by the blind brown bag taste test.

How to Do a Blind Dry Dog Food Taste Test On Your Dog

This test goes like this:

  1. Obtain food samples you want to test.  Some pet stores will sell or provide free samples for you to try.
  2. Remove your dog from the room where you are going to test the food.
  3. Place paper on the floor in the form of a long rectangle.
  4. Place small samples of each food (1 to 2 tablespoons) spaced out on the paper 6 to 8 inches apart. Label the paper with the name of the food above the samples.
  5. Open the door for your dog to come in the room. Do not speak, pet or stimulate your dog. Allow your dog to find the food.
  6. Note your dog’s preferences. Some dogs will smell all samples then go back and eat their favorite first.
  7. This test works best for “Picky” dogs. Some dogs love to eat and will eat anything and everything. If that is the case, choose a company you believe produces high-quality food and stick with it.

How to Change Your Dog’s Food If you decide to change your dog’s food – make sure you do it right which is gradual. Any food change can cause vomiting and diarrhea in some dogs. Get our tips on the best way to change foods to avoid problems. Go to: How To Switch Your Dog’s Food: Vet Recommendations.

We hope these tips help you choose the best tasting dry dog food.

Additional Articles of Interest Relating to Food for Picky Dogs: