Cairn Terriers Hypoallergenic

Dogs are amazing animals to own and if you’re looking for a cuddly companion, they’re a great option. While many people think about the look and size of the dog, other people have allergies to think about. You might think that allergies mean that you can’t get a dog, but there are more hypoallergenic options for a furry companion that won’t trigger your allergies as much.

One of those dogs is the Cairn Terrier. One of the reasons this dog is popular is because of its small size, but it’s also known as a hypoallergenic option for people with allergies. This is the dog for you if you need a furry friend but don’t want burning eyes and a runny nose.

What is the Cairn Terrier

The cairn terrier is one of the oldest terrier breeds. This dog originated in the Scottish Highlands and it’s one of Scotland’s oldest working dogs. It was given its name because of its function in the past, which was to hunt and chase quarries in the cairns of the Scottish Highlands. The breed existed before it had a name, but in 1909 in the United Kingdom, it was brought to official shows under the name of short-haired Skye Terriers. The original name wasn’t approved and the Kennel Club changed its name to Cairn terrier as an alternative.

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The dog is known for its small size. Is popular for being a very weather resistant dog that can withstand harsh Weathers. It’s very tough because of its outer coat. It comes in a lot of colors and it can be black, cream, red, sandy or gray. A notable characteristic of this dog is that they change color throughout their lives. It’s not uncommon for a Cairn Terrier this brindle to become more black or silver. This is a dog that’s generally healthy and they can live around 12 to 17 years.

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean for a Dog

There isn’t such a thing as a dog breed that’s 100% hypoallergenic. However, when a dog is described as hypoallergenic that means that they’re less likely to cause allergy symptoms and others. Allergy sufferers with that dog breed will likely have fewer allergy symptoms then if they were to have another dog that was not described as hypoallergenic.

You have to understand that many people believe that pet allergies are caused by their dog’s fur, but really the source of it is often a protein in the saliva and urine of the dog or cat. The protein sticks to the dander, or the dried skin flakes, on your pet skin and you react to that dander.

Dog breeds that are marketed as hypoallergenic are deemed as such because they don’t shed or they shed very little. Since they hardly shed, the dander that sticks to their fur and causes your allergy symptoms isn’t getting released into the air on to the floor as much. If you were to have a shedding dog, the dander would be left all over your furniture and it would go into the air and onto your floor. While you may have less dog hair with a non-shedding dog, the dog breed will never be 100% hypoallergenic.

Keep this in mind when you get a dog like the Cairn terrier. You will still have allergy symptoms, but they will be much less than the symptoms you would experience with a dog that is not hypoallergenic.

Is the Cairn Terrier Hypoallergenic

Cairn Terriers are considered hypoallergenic. They tend to not produce a reaction in people who have dander allergies. Every dog is different but most Cairn Terriers are low shedding and don’t produce a lot of dander. They’re also generally low-maintenance for older people or busy people who have allergies.

The Cairn Terriers do shed to some degree. Shedding is natural and necessary so that the coat can get rid of old or worn-out hair. It needs to shed to be replaced with fresh new growth. But, the Cairn Terriers will not have as many dead skin cells flake off from their hair. They shed very little so the dander doesn’t spread into the air or get scattered throughout your house as your dog wanders around or shakes itself.

Keep in mind that your dog will often self groom itself. They will likely lick themselves to remove dirt or smooth down their coat. Also, if your cairn terrier has fleas, they will scratch with their hind paws and bite with the itchy areas to soothe their skin. All of this distribution saliva throughout their body and on their coat.

If you’re an allergic person and you come into contact with their hair by petting them and then touch your face, you might experience allergy symptoms because of their saliva. However, because they don’t shed much, without that contact you likely won’t experience much allergy symptoms.

Also, you have to anticipate your allergic response to your dog’s urine. When both female and male dogs urinate, urine might get splashed back onto their coat. This happens in small dogs often and the cairn terrier is considered to be a small dog. Some dogs aren’t concerned with a few drops of pee on their coat and they likely won’t be aware of it. If you give your dog a belly rub, then you’ll be exposed to the dogs urine and have an allergic response. Otherwise, to minimize your response make sure that your dog is clean after peeing and also be sure to wash your hands before you touch your face after petting them.

Cairn Terriers are usually dogs that have proteins that are much better tolerated by people with allergies. Broadly speaking, these dogs are hypoallergenic and they would lessen your allergic responses.

You Need to Know This About Your Cain Terrier

If you want to own have a Cain Terrier or own one, you need to know about them first. Getting a Cain Terrier when you’re unfamiliar with them is a bad idea as you won’t know the proper way to look after them. For your dog to have the best health, be comfortable in your home and presence, you need to understand them fully.

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Whether you are a new dog owner, have owned a dog for years, or just love dogs, our Canine Solutions book will give you an in-depth explanation of the many everyday things that people struggle with as dog owners and will help you maintain your dog around your home. A lot of our readers have used this book to be better dog owners and increase the well being of their dog along with their lifespan.

How Much Do They Shed

Cairn Terriers don’t shed much at all. Even after roughhousing and snuggling with their cairn terrier, many owners reported that they only see two or three hairs stuck to their clothing.

They will shed more depending on the season. Most dogs shed very heavily in the spring as warmer weather is approaching. They’ll also experience more shedding in the fall so that they can make space for their warmer winter coat. With Cairn Terriers, they shed very minimally in the spring and the fall shed might not even be noticed by owners.

There are some factors that can lead to increased shedding. Pregnancy, whelping and nursing a litter can increase their shed. Also, situations like medications, dry skin, improper diet parasites, and fungal or bacterial skin infections can increase the shedding. Also, you want to beware of changes in the environment. If you moved from a humid area of the country to a drier climate, the change will cause your cairn terrier to shed more. Otherwise, you only have to worry about stress which will increase their shutting.

If your dog suddenly changes their shedding tendencies, you need to take them to the vet. They can help you come up with a treatment plan for whatever is wrong with your dog and they’ll go back to shedding very little.


Grooming is important whenever you have a dog. Cairn Terriers need grooming even though they don’t shed a lot. There are fairly low maintenance dog breeds but that doesn’t mean you should shirk routine grooming practices. Your dog should be hand stripped a few times a year so that they can look their best at all times.

The Coat

You should thoroughly brush their coat at least once a week to remove any dead hair and dander. Brushing prevents knots from developing and increases blood flow to their skin surface. It also evenly distributes oils throughout the coat and it’s a great opportunity to inspect your dog for any injuries or infections they might have.

For proper grooming, you should use a slicker brush (view on Amazon) and a comb (view on Amazon) for their legs and head. The comb can be used on the rest of the body and you can follow up with a brush to make sure that no tangles or matts developed.

Instead of trimming their coat, stripping is recommended. It involves pulling out dead hair from their roots and when it’s done properly it’s painless and it leaves their coat looking new. You can usually do this with your bare hands. Many people prefer to use tools to get the job done quicker. A stripping knife, a stripping tool, a stripping stone or rubber fingertips can do a quick job.


You should avoid drying out their skin, so bathe them only when you need to. Once every 3 months is a good rule of thumb for bathing your cairn terrier. Make sure you use PH balanced shampoo (view on Amazon) for dogs and rinse them very thoroughly.


You also need to make sure that you clip their nails. Trim their nails once a month to prevent chipping and cracking. A standard pet nail clipper will be fine with your cairn terrier. You can also use a nail grinder (view on Amazon) if your dog is not scared of the sound.


Make sure you brush your dog’s teeth because they can accumulate bacteria, tartar and plaque just like humans do. These often lead to infections and decay. Brush their teeth at least 2 to 3 times every week so that you can decrease the incidence of oral problems and diseases. Make sure you use a dog friendly toothpaste because human toothpaste is dangerous for dogs.

Now that you know more about the cairn terrier, you can decide if it’s the right dog for you. If you suffer from dog allergies, the cairn terrier would be a great addition to your home if you can keep up with all of the grooming and ensure that you have cautions in place to solve any severe allergic reactions that might occur.