Updated: June 1st, 2022
If you are a pet lover, nothing can be as frustrating as having a furry friend that causes allergies. You can’t enjoy interacting with them when you have symptoms of an allergy. This is why many owners want to know whether their golden retrievers are hypoallergenic.
Golden retrievers are among the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Their calm nature makes them great family pets, but there is still the question, “are golden retrievers hypoallergenic dogs?” Is it possible to have a golden retriever if dogs trigger your allergies? Let’s find out!
Definition Of A Hypoallergenic Dog
The term hypoallergenic is borrowed from the Greek word “hypo,” which means low. That means that a hypoallergenic dog usually releases a low amount of allergens.
People who are allergic to dogs are usually allergic to a protein found in the dog’s saliva, urine, and dander. Pet dander refers to a skin flake released when your dog sheds. Hypoallergenic dogs, therefore, are dogs that don’t shed a lot and so do not trigger an allergic reaction as easily.
It’s important to note that it’s not actually the fur that causes allergies in dogs, but the proteins in the body fluids such as urine and saliva. The coat and dander are only carriers of these proteins. In most cases, then, if your dog’s breed sheds more it’s more likely to cause allergies since there will be more proteins in the air.
Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic Dogs?
Before we find out if golden retriever puppies are hypoallergenic, it’s essential to understand that no dog breed is completely non-allergenic. What differs is the amount of dander produced by a given dog species. All mammals, including humans, have the dead flakes of skin known as dander when they sweat, grow, or heal from wounds.
Even dogs considered to be hypoallergenic still produce a considerable amount of dander. The only reason they don’t cause a lot of allergies is that their fur quality doesn’t allow the proteins to escape from the skin. An excellent example of such fur is that displayed by breeds such as the bichon frise and poodle.
Given that information, is a golden retriever hypoallergenic? The answer is no. While golden retrievers are great pets, they are among the many dog breeds that shed excessively during certain times of the year. As we get close to summer and winter, these dogs shed their existing coat and prepare for the growth of a new jacket. As golden retrievers shed, more dander accumulates in the air.
Golden retrievers also have what is called a double coat. The inner coat is usually soft and thick, and its role is to regulate the dog’s body temperature while protecting its skin from harsh UV rays. The inner coat sheds more than the outer coat as it responds to the temperature and other factors in the environment.
During winter, this inner coat turns dense to protect the dog from the cold, which traps a lot of air and dead skin cells around the dog’s skin. When it sheds, the dander that causes allergies also falls off.
The outer coat is typically long and smooth. It’s waterproof, coarse, and doesn’t shed as excessively as the inner coat.
Do Golden Retrievers Produce The Same Allergens?
Not all golden retrievers produce the same allergens. Dogs produce six different types of allergens, so if you are only allergic to one allergen you can still find a golden retriever to keep.
For instance, only male golden retrievers produce the type of protein (Can f 5) that causes a third of all allergies. If you are allergic to this protein, you can get a female golden retriever without fear.
Can I Keep A Golden Retriever If I Suffer From Dog Allergies?
Does that mean you shouldn’t buy golden retriever puppies because they’re not hypoallergenic? No! This doesn’t mean you can’t keep a golden retriever. All you need to do is take the necessary precautions to keep the dander in your home to a minimum.
Suppose you have already decided to acquire a golden retriever, and you or your family members suffer from dog allergies. In that case, there are some steps that you can take to make your environment more allergy-friendly. These include:
Using a gentle dog shampoo to wash your dog can reduce the amount of dander produced by your golden retriever. You can also reduce the shedding by taking your canine friend to a professional groomer. Removing the long hair and the shed undercoat will prevent unnecessary tugging on the healthy hair follicles.
This way, you can keep the shedding to the minimum. To keep the allergens level low, you should wash your dog at least twice a week. Washing can minimize one of the main allergen proteins (Can f 1) by up to 84%.
Ensure that you use a sensitive skin shampoo to reduce the drying your dog is likely to experience from these frequent baths. This is important, as too much bathing can strip the coat of its beneficial oils. After bathing your golden retriever, you should brush them to remove excess fur, using a good quality dog brush.
You will need to keep your environment clean. Ensure that you regularly clean the furniture that your golden retriever comes into contact with to get rid of dander.
Remember that it’s easier to clean the smooth-fabric furniture, rugs, and furniture covers than the fluffy ones. You will need to put a good house cleaning regimen in place that includes carpet steam cleaning every month.
You should avoid having carpets in the best-case scenario, as these are likely to hold dander. Ensure that you can stick to your cleaning plan long-term.
You may also need to have a room in your home that is off limits to your golden retrievers. This will provide you with a relaxation spot without having to be wary of whether or not you will react to your dog.
Installing a HEPA air filtration system can help to preserve indoor air quality. The filter will capture most of the allergens before triggering an allergic reaction; however, you must remember to clean the filter, too. Consider dander as dust and apply the same cleaning regimen you use to get rid of that.
Golden retrievers have long hair, making them the perfect breeding ground for ticks and fleas. Their long coat provides pests with the right places to hide, breed, and reproduce. When they bite your dog, the scratching causes more dander to fly off the skin into your home.
It is best to work with your vet to put a good pest control regimen in place to stop the cycle. This could be medication or topical treatments and accessories, such as a flea collar once a month.
You should be careful about how you interact with your golden retriever. You should not allow the golden retriever to kiss you, as the dog’s saliva can also trigger an allergic reaction.
If you suffer from dog allergies, you also shouldn’t allow your golden retriever to sleep on your bed. The dander will accumulate on the sheets causing an allergic reaction.
Instead, it would be best to get them a comfortable dog bed. By creating an allergen-free zone, you can reduce the number of allergens you encounter.
There are certain drugs such as antihistamines that can help to reduce an allergic reaction. It’s advisable to work with a doctor who understands your desire to keep your golden retriever; they can advise on things you can do to reduce the effects of your allergy.
It’s also helpful to promote the overall health of your golden retriever through good nutrition.If you feed your furry friend a high-quality diet made of natural ingredients and consisting of formulas backed by science, it can help to eliminate food-related sensitivities, coat issues, and excessive shedding.
Here are frequently asked questions on whether golden retrievers are hypoallergenic:
Can I Keep A Golden Retriever If I Have Asthma?
Most people with asthma are allergic to dogs, so it’s not recommended to keep a golden retriever if you have asthma.
How Do I Know If I’m Allergic To Golden Retrievers?
The signs of allergic reactions to a golden retriever often take the form of:
- Itching or swelling around the nose membranes or around the eyes
- Skin redness
- Coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing within 30 minutes of exposure to the golden retriever
- Rashes on the face, neck or chest
Are Goldendoodles Hypoallergenic?
Most goldendoodles are hypoallergenic, as they do not shed. This makes them a good choice for people with allergies.
So is the golden retriever hypoallergenic? No, but this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep one, especially if your allergies are mild. According to the American Kennel Club, no dog is entirely hypoallergenic so even choosing a different breed might not eliminate your allergy suffering completely.
If you are allergic to dogs and you still want a golden retriever, we advise that you talk to your doctor. Your physician may conduct tests to determine how severe your allergies are and therefore how well you will manage with a golden retriever.
It’s also essential for you to know how to interact with your dog and measures to take to reduce dog allergies. You can use the above steps to ensure that you can keep the cases of allergies caused by your golden retrievers low.