If you’re thinking about bringing home a brand new puppy and have allergies you’re probably asking yourself the same question about a variety of different breeds: “are they hypoallergenic?”
The short answer is no: no dog is actually technically hypoallergenic. But there’s a lot more to the story.
While no dog is hypoallergenic, the reactions people have to dogs can be complicated, and some dogs can be “more” or “less” hypoallergenic.
For that reason, we asked our veterinary advisor Dr. Jamie Whittenburg to offer advice on pet care and how think about allergic reactions to your dog which she shares later on the post.
Additionally, in this post we’ll go into great detail in this post on:
- Whether people have allergic reactions to Goldendoodles
- What you need to know if you’re thinking about bringing home a Goldendoodles
- What to do if you think you or a loved one may be allergic
Let’s get started!
In This Article
Are Goldendoodles Hypoallergenic?
The short answer is no, Goldendoodles are not technically hypoallergenic. While the Goldendoodle cannot truly be called hypoallergenic, it is far less likely to trigger an allergic response in a human than a dog with a thicker coat. Let’s break this down.
Bringing a dog home can be a delight and an irreplaceable experience, but it can also be a nightmare for people with pet allergies. One of the questions you might be asking yourself is what kind of dog you can bring into a house with someone allergic to dogs.
Can You Be Allergic to the Goldendoodle?
The bad news is that there are no dogs that can be considered truly hypoallergenic. Most people are not allergic to dog hair but to dog dander- the skin of a dog that naturally sheds along with the coat. There are things, however, that you can do to reduce the occurrence of allergic reactions. What Goldendoodles are, however, is less allergenic than other dogs.
Do Goldendoodles Shed?
Yes, but not as much as other dogs! Shedding increases the likelihood of canine dander ending up on the carpet and triggering an allergic reaction in humans. A golden retriever has a double coat and is very likely to shed, while a poodle sheds far less. As such, the breed is regarded as ‘hypoallergenic’ in dog communities.
Since the Goldendoodle does share the single-layer coat of a poodle, they are less likely to shed. Therefore, they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction to those around them.
Is a Goldendoodle Safe for Someone With Allergies?
It depends on how severe that person’s allergies are! It also depends on how aggressively you groom your Goldendoodle. Brushing and washing regularly help get the dander off the dog before it can fall onto the furniture and carpet. There are particular shampoos that you can use to help keep your dog dander free.
Someone with severe allergies is always going to have a problem no matter what kind of dog they find themselves paired with, but if the allergies are on the milder side and you are vigilant about keeping the dog clean, it’s possible to have someone with dog allergies cohabitate with the Goldendoodle with no issue.
Remember to be honest with yourself about how often you are going to wash your dog. The reality of the situation is rarely the same as the idea you have of it in your mind.
Grooming Tips for Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles are a relatively high-maintenance dog when it comes to grooming. Staying on top of your Goldendoodle’s grooming needs is a good way to help prevent allergic reactions in your house (as much as you can). Here are some grooming tips for Goldendoodles:
- Brush your Goldendoodle’s fur regularly. This will help prevent mats and tangles from forming. You want to brush them at least once a day, but twice a day is even better.
- Bathe your Goldendoodle as needed, using a mild shampoo. Goldendoodles are typically bathed every four to six weeks. However, some may need to be bathed more frequently if they have a lot of allergies or skin problems. Speak with your veterinarian about how often you should bathe your Goldendoodle.
- Clip your Goldendoodle’s nails regularly. Long nails can be uncomfortable for the dog and may cause health problems. Goldendoodles typically need their nails trimmed every 4-6 weeks. However, some may need it more often depending on how active they are and what type of surface they walk on. If you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, then they definitely need a trim!
- Check your Goldendoodle’s ears regularly and clean them if necessary. Ear infections are common in this breed of dog. Our veterinarian advisor Dr. Jennifer Coates created a great list of the best ear cleaning solutions for dogs.
- Regularly brush your Goldendoodle’s teeth to prevent dental problems. You should brush your Goldendoodle’s teeth at least once a week, and preferably every day if possible. Brushing your dog’s teeth regularly will help to prevent gum disease and tooth decay, and will keep their breath smelling fresh. If you’re not sure how to brush your dog’s teeth, talk to your veterinarian or groomer for tips.
This is a great overview on grooming your Goldendoodle at home:
As he mentions in the video be sure to pick up a brush, comb, dematting comb, and dematting spray if you do bring home a Goldendoodle (or any doodle, really).
Goldendoodle Fur, Coat, & Hair
Understanding the coat and hair of a dog can help you think through whether you’re likely to have an allergic reaction to the dog if you bring that breed home.
Here are some important things to note about the coat, hair and fur of Goldendoodles:
- Goldendoodles have a thick, wavy, and usually curly coat.
- The Goldendoodle’s coat is made up of two types of hair: guard hairs and undercoat.
- The guard hairs are the longer, coarser hairs that make up the outer layer of the coat.
- The undercoat is made up of softer, finer hairs that provide insulation and protect the dog from extreme weather conditions.
- Goldendoodles generally have low to non-shedding coats, which makes them ideal for people with allergies.
- Although they don’t shed much, Goldendoodles still need to be brushed regularly to prevent mats and tangles from forming in their coat.
Goldendoodle Fast Facts
If you’re researching whether a Goldendoodle is hypoallergenic, you may be considering bringing one home. If that’s the case, here are some fast facts about Goldendoodles that may help you make the right decision for you and your family:
- Goldendoodles are a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle.
- They were first bred in the United States in the 1990s.
- Goldendoodles can come in three size varieties: Standard, Medium, and Mini.
- The average lifespan of a Goldendoodle is 10-12 years.
- Standard Goldendoodles can weigh anywhere from 50 to 100 pounds.
- Medium Goldendoodles typically weigh 30 to 50 pounds.
- Mini Goldendoodles usually weigh 15 to 30 pounds.
- Goldendoodles can come in a variety of coat colors, including black, brown, cream, white, apricot, red, and silver.
- They can also have a mix of two or more colors.
- Goldendoodles typically have hypoallergenic fur due to the Poodle in their lineage.
- However, not all Goldendoodles are completely hypoallergenic.
- Goldendoodles are known for being intelligent, friendly, and energetic.
- They make great family pets and are often used as service dogs.
- Goldendoodles require regular grooming, including brushing and professional haircuts every few months.
- They also need plenty of exercise, including daily walks or runs.
Dealing with Pet Allergies
If you’re dealing with pet allergies, Dr. Stephen Dreskin MD, PHD from UC Health has a great overview on the topic:
There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog (or cat). Hypoallergenic implies that the dog will not cause a human to have an allergic reaction. Many mistakenly believe that humans’ allergies to cats and dogs are caused by hair shedding.
Though hairs that fall off of the dogs and cats may increase the risk of allergies, humans are allergic to proteins that dogs and cats shed in their saliva, urine, and dander.
Allergic reactions in humans to dogs and cats vary widely from human to human, and some dogs will trigger allergies in a human while others will not.
In my experience as a veterinarian, dogs and cats that children grow up with when they are young, and dogs that are brought into the household as puppies tend to cause the fewest allergy issues. It is likely that constant exposure to your personal dog desensitizes your immune system to that dog’s specific proteins.
If you have a dog or cat allergy and a dog or cat, there are some things you can do to help decrease your allergic reaction.
Keep in mind that it is the proteins the dog produces that cause the allergy. However specific actions like controlling loose hair, or obtaining a non-shedding breed, can decrease the protein-containing dander that causes your allergies in your home.
Dog Breeds with Hair & Not Fur
A number of breeds have hair, as opposed to fur, and therefore do not shed. These include:
- Shih Tzus
- Scottish, Yorkshire, and Bedlington terriers
Cat Breeds with Hair & Not Fur
Similarly there are a number of cat breeds with hair and no fur:
- Devon Rex
- Cornish Rex
- Russian Blue
Strategies to Reduce Pet Allergies
- Non-Shedding Breed – As mentioned above, some humans with allergies find that they tolerate non-shedding breeds better than those with fur, as this reduces the amount of dander in the air.
- Brushing, Bathing, and Grooming – Regardless of hair coat, frequent brushing, bathing, and grooming will decrease the dander present in your environment. For home brushing, the procedure should be done outside to avoid aerosolizing the dander into your home. Baths should be administered no more often than every other week to decrease the likelihood of drying out the dog or cat’s skin. Professional grooming frequency will depend on the cat or dog’s coat, but to reduce allergies will likely need to be done at least monthly.
- Clean Home – If you or a family member suffers from dog or cat allergies, it is essential to clean your home often. Frequent vacuuming, dusting, as well as cleaning fabric furniture, will keep the cat or dog dander in your home under control.
- Vacuuming – You should vacuum with a high-quality vacuum that has a HEPA filter installed.
- Moist Cleaning – Sweeping with a dry broom is not recommended. This method tends to stir up the dust and dander into the air. Swiffers and wet mopping are preferred for floors. Moist cloths are preferred to feather dusters for dusting.
- Air filters – Replace the filters in your furnace and air conditioning units. Always buy high-quality, preferably HEPA rated, filters. It may also be helpful to purchase individual room air purifiers/filters.
- Flooring – Carpeting will hold on to dander and other allergens. If you or a family member suffers from dog allergies, it may help to replace carpeting with hardwood, linoleum, or tile flooring. These types of flooring are easier to clean and will reduce the allergen load in your home.
- Accessories – Your dog or cat will deposit allergenic proteins where they sleep and also on toys and other objects that they get saliva on. Ensure you regularly wash all beds, pillows, and toys frequently.
Final Thoughts: Is a Goldendoodle Hypoallergenic?
No, a Goldendoodle isn’t hypoallergenic. However, a Goldendoodle is also less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than most breeds.
- No dog can truly be considered hypoallergenic (causing no allergic reactions at all).
- Allergic reactions are caused by pet dander, not by fur.
- Dander can be kept under control by a strict grooming regiment.
- Some people have allergies that are so severe that even a strict grooming regimen won’t help, and those people should not cohabitate with a dog.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sources & Additional Resources
- http://www.goldendoodleassociation.com/Breed_Information/FAQs/Is_a_Goldendoodle_ hypoallergenic_.html
If you’re looking for even more information about pets being hypoallergenic this is just one in a series of guides: