Are Papillons hypoallergenic? No — but they still make great pets and you are going to learn all about them in this definitive guide about the Papillon dog breed.
There are many inquiries surrounding this adorable dog breed. These small dogs are completely adorable and can make great pets for the right family. However, one of their main characteristics is the abundance of silky long hair they shed, which would be noticeable throughout the year.
This raises two big questions: are Papillons hypoallergenic? And can you be allergic to a Papillon? Let’s take a closer look at these frequently asked questions, before going into the main attributes of this breed.
Are Papillons Hypoallergenic?
Let’s start by making clear that there is no such thing as hypoallergenic dogs. Instead, when we refer to hypoallergenic, we are talking about how much a dog sheds.
Some dog breeds shed the bare minimum or don’t shed at all, which is why they are considered hypoallergenic. This is the case of the Bichon Frise, the Barbado da Terceira, and the Afghan Hound, among others.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Papillon. Despite being a single-coated breed, they do shed. You don’t need to worry about big hairballs around your house because that won’t be the case with this breed.
Does Papillon shed a lot? The shedding season occurs twice a year — during the spring and fall — when Papillons lose a great amount of their long straight fur.
During the spring they start dropping more hair, which will help them keep their bodies fresh during the summer. On the other hand, during autumn, they shed their fur which allows them to grow new hair. The thicker coat will help them stay warm in cold temperatures.
As you see, shedding is necessary for these dogs to regulate their body temperature. Despite the two shedding seasons we’ve just mentioned, Papillons tend to shed a small amount of their coat all year long.
Can You be Allergic to a Papillon?
What causes allergic reactions in some people is a protein that dogs produce in their urine and their skin.
Since Papillons are not hypoallergenic dogs, it’s possible you may have an allergic reaction during shedding season. However, if you only have mild allergies, the symptoms may be controlled through adequate grooming.
Brushing your dog’s coat regularly is highly effective to control possible allergic reactions. What’s more, brushing its coat will release a natural oil that moisturizes its body and prevents it from getting dry. Dry skin increases the formation of dander.
Another alternative to reduce the allergens is to take special care of your dog’s diet. Papillons need to eat pet food of the best quality or you can also prepare their meals at home. If you decide to cook for them, you should consult with the vet first, as a lot of human food is considered unsafe for dogs.
Papillons Still Make Good Pets
Despite not being hypoallergenic, Papillons are still good pets for you and your family.
If you’re considering keeping a Papillon and you’re sure you can keep your allergies under control, then let’s get into other aspects of this dog breed.
Origin of the Breed
The Papillon’s history dates back to ancient times, and the first ones emerged in Italy. In 1542, Vicelli made some of the first paintings of the breed called Venus of Urbino. Other painters featured toy spaniels, whose appearance is similar to that of the Papillon.
The breed was the result of crossbreeding between pre-existing toy breeds with spaniels. They are very commonly found in European royal family paintings, where the dogs appeared lounging on their laps. At the time, they were considered great companion pets by the ladies in the royal court. They were also popular in Belgium and France.
“Papillon” is a term that originated from the French language. The name means “butterfly” — a reference to the dog’s ears, which stand upright, similar to the shape of a butterfly’s wings.
Papillons are tiny dogs that measure between 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder. Their structure consists of very delicate bones, so it’s important to handle them carefully.
Also, be extra cautious around tall furniture or stairs. Because they are so playful and energetic, they are prone to inadvertently falling off in an attempt to jump on the couch.
This dog breed is easily recognized by its large butterfly-winged ears. There is, however, a different breed called Phalenes, which has very similar body-shape characteristics but droopy ears.
These dogs appear graceful and dainty, with a full tail and luxurious silky fur. The base color of their fur is white; however, they are generally multi-colored or come white with patches of other colors. Their eye rims, lips, and nose are black while the color of their paw pads can vary. Depending on the dog’s coloring, its paw pads could range from pink to black.
Temperament and Training
Papillons are a great choice for a family pet, especially for first-time owners.
They have an effervescent personality, as well as a high level of intelligence and eagerness to please. You’ll notice that they get along with almost everyone, as they are incredibly outgoing. They’ll love to play with other dogs and people.
Their eagerness to please makes them incredibly easy to train, which is just what first-time owners need. Because they are really smart, they will learn new tricks and tactics quickly. However, any bad habits your dog may present when it is still a puppy need to be corrected before it grows.
They tend to assume they are in charge if the owner doesn’t take on the alpha position. This can all result in behavior problems in the long run and you need to avoid that from happening.
With their energetic nature, you’ll need to include frequent activities in your dog’s routine. However, they can be very calm sometimes, and that’s the reason why people often choose them as companion dogs. While they like to stay active, they also enjoy curling next to you or sleeping in your arms.
Another reason Papillons are good pets is that they are great watchdogs, as they notice even the slightest changes in the environment. They’re quick to let their owners know something is going on.
Unfortunately, not everything about their temperament is easy to handle. Being so loving and social, these dogs don’t do well while spending time alone. When left alone for long periods of time they are prone to suffer from separation anxiety.
Papillons are healthy little dogs, with a lifespan of between 14 and 16 years. In some cases, they can even live past the age of 17 years.
Despite their resilience, you should consider breed-specific health concerns. It doesn’t mean that your dog will have them; it is just prone to them. Among the health concerns are:
- Patellar Luxation, caused by the dislocation of the knee cap
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy
- Intervertebral Disk Disease
- Sensitivity to Anesthesia
Since these are small dogs, you can avoid patellar luxation and intervertebral disk disease by taking special care with the stairs and furniture.
To control these potential health issues, it’s recommended to do orthopedic, cardiac, and ophthalmologist evaluations as part of their regular examinations.
Papillons are very active dogs that like to play a lot with people and other dogs. However, that may not be enough for them to burn excess energy. They need to exercise regularly.
You’ll need to create an exercise schedule for them, which includes running and walking. Toy fetching is also an activity you can enjoy with them whether inside or outside.
If you play with your dog outside, be aware that while they are loyal and obedient to their owners, they also get easily distracted. If they run after a squirrel or another person, it’ll be tough to get their attention back.
One thing is for certain, it’s very important to help Papillons stay active. Otherwise, they can resort to misbehavior or destructive practices in order to burn excess energy.
As we’ve mentioned, brushing your Papillon’s fur will help you control the shedding in case you have mild allergies. However, Papillons need grooming not only to prevent an allergic reaction. Despite being relatively easy to groom, they do require some basic maintenance.
To avoid knots and mats in their long, silky hair you’ll need to brush it regularly as well as a bath to keep them clean. When we talk about regular brushing, we mean every day or every other day at most. Bathing, however, can occur once every six weeks or so.
Aside from brushing and bathing, as with any other dog, Papillons need to have their nails trimmed on a regular basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Papillons can suffer from allergies and trigger allergic symptoms in their owners.
This breed has a moderate amount of shedding. Their main shedding season is in the spring and again in the fall.
Due to their energy and intelligence, it’s not advised to leave a Papillon alone for, say, a typical eight-hour workday. These social dogs can be destructive when left alone for too long.
Conclusion for “Are Papillons Hypoallergenic”
The main purpose of this article was to determine whether or not Papillons are hypoallergenic.
To sum up, Papillons are not hypoallergenic dogs, but the truth is no dog really is. The term is used to identify dogs that shed and those that don’t. Papillons in this case belong to the former group.
Papillons shed twice a year during the shedding season (spring and autumn), but they lose a small amount of their long, silky coat year-round. Shedding its coat is the way this breed manages to regulate its body temperature.
In the case of mild allergies, you may lessen the symptoms by proper grooming. Brushing your dog’s coat every day or every other day will help the production of natural oils that keep skin moisturized. Another way to control the allergens is to keep your dog on a healthy diet. It could be either high-quality dog meals or homemade meals for which you’ll need to consult your vet.
With everything we’ve learned about Papillons and potential allergic reactions, it’ll be time to move to the next big question: are Papillons good pets?
It’s surprising how many fantastic attributes these little dogs have. First, they are friendly and social as well as incredibly smart. These kinds of dogs are great for owners who are new to dogs, as they are easy to train due to their eagerness to please.
If you take it to a dog park, you’ll instantly notice they get along well with almost everyone — dog or human. However, remember to be cautious around big dogs as they have a delicate bone structure and can get accidentally hurt.
These dogs also need a lot of exercise. For that reason, you’ll need to include long walks, running, and playtime as part of your daily exercise routine. They also have moments of calm in which you’ll enjoy their company while lying on the couch next to you.
Papillons don’t have many breed-health concerns for you to worry about. Patellar luxation, progressive retinal atrophy, allergies, intervertebral disk disease, and sensitivity to anesthesia are the main health concerns for your Papillon.
Papillons may not be hypoallergenic dogs, but they sure make an excellent pet for the right family.
If you find this guide, “Are Papillons Hypoallergenic,” you can check out these other dog-related guides from our team at We Love Doodles:
- Are Aussiedoodles Hypoallergenic? (2023)
- Are Cockapoos Hypoallergenic? (2023)
- Are Cavapoos Hypoallergenic? (2023)
You can learn more about the Papillon dog breed by watching “Papillon Dog – Top 10 Facts” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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