Are Labradoodles hypoallergenic?

Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic? (Everything You Need to Know)

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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 Labradoodles
  • What you need to know if you’re thinking about bringing home a Labradoodles
  • What to do if you think you or a loved one may be allergic

Let’s get started!

Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?

There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. What there are, are dogs that are less allergenic than others. A labrador cannot be considered one of these dogs, but a poodle can. Which leads to the question, is a labradoodle hypoallergenic?

While not actually hypoallergenic, they are low to no shedding dogs, which makes them as close to hypoallergenic as you’re likely to get. They get this from their poodle side. Let’s break it down.

Can You Be Allergic to Labradoodles?

Yes, you can be allergic to a Labradoodle. When someone is allergic to dogs, it’s a common misconception that they’re allergic to fur, when in reality, they are allergic to the dander. The allergic reaction is caused by flecks of skin underneath the coat that is more likely to end up on the carpet and furniture if a dog sheds a lot.

Theoretically, even a hairless dog can trigger an allergic reaction because hairless dogs still have dander. But short haired dogs tend to be less likely to trigger allergies than long haired ones, and dogs that shed less are even less likely to trigger allergies than dogs that shed more.

Do Labradoodles Shed?

Yes, Labradoodles shed. The poodle is often considered a hypoallergenic dog because of their lack of shedding and coat texture; they have a single-layer coat which means less hair getting on the carpet and furniture. 

Poodles are less likely to cause an allergic reaction in someone with mild allergies than a dog that sheds because there will be less dander to have an allergic reaction from. Labradors, however, shed a lot. 

How to Mitigate Labradoodle Allergies

The first step is to choose the right breed. If you’re here, you may have already settled on the labradoodle, which is less allergenic than most dog breeds. Another way you can keep the symptoms of someone with mild canine allergies under control is by carefully and regularly grooming your dog.

Someone who is not allergic to dander should brush the dog every day. Additionally, regular washing can help keep the dander from spreading throughout the house. It can also help to wash bedding regularly and vacuum any carpets often.

Even all of that might not be enough to prevent someone with severe allergies from being symptomatic. Someone with mild allergies can likely have them kept in check if you are vigilant, but it depends on the severity of the allergies as much as it does the presence of the pet dander.

Labradoodle Grooming Tips

Labradoodles are a relatively new hybrid dog breed, created by crossing a Labrador Retriever with a Standard or Miniature Poodle. Though they inherit many of the best qualities of both parent breeds – including intelligence, loyalty, and trainability – they also come with their own set of challenges when it comes to grooming, which is obviously going to be a key component of preventing allergic reactions (as much as you can, anyway).

The Labradoodle’s coat can range from straight and silky to curly and wooly, making grooming needs vary depending on the individual dog. However, all Labradoodles will require regular brushing and combing to prevent mats and tangles from forming. They will also need to be trimmed or clipped periodically to keep their coats looking neat and tidy.

Here are some tips for successfully grooming your Labradoodle:

  • Start grooming when your dog is young. Getting your Labradoodle used to being brushed and combed from an early age will make the process much easier for both of you.
  • Be gentle. Dogs have sensitive skin, so be sure to use a soft brush or comb and take care not to pull on any tangles.
  • Use the right products. There are many different types of shampoos and conditioners available specifically for dogs, so ask your veterinarian or groomer for recommendations on what would work best for your Labradoodle’s coat type.
  • Don’t forget the ears and nails. In addition to regular brushing, you’ll also need to clean your Labradoodle’s ears and trim their nails on a regular basis. Ask your vet or groomer to show you how to do this properly.
  • Schedule regular grooming appointments. Even if you’re comfortable doing the grooming yourself, it’s a good idea to take your Labradoodle to a professional groomer every few months for a bath, haircut, and nail trim. This will help keep them looking their best and can be a relaxing experience for both of you.

Labradoodle Fur, Hair, & Coat

Similarly, understanding more about a Labradoodle’s fur, hair, and coat can help give you a better sense of how to groom them and how to keep allergies at bay (or as at bay as possible). Here are some things to know about a Labradoodle’s coat, hair and fur:

  • The coat of a Labradoodle can vary depending on the parents’ coat types.
  • A Labradoodle’s coat may be wavy or curly, and is often low- to non-shedding.
  • The hair on a Labradoodle’s face is often trimmed to give them a more ‘humanlike’ appearance.
  • Labradoodles often have a ‘double coat’, which means they have a soft, downy undercoat and a coarser outercoat.
  • The amount of grooming a Labradoodle needs depends on their coat type. Wavy and curly coats may need to be brushed several times per week, while straight coats may only need to be brushed once or twice per week.
  • Labradoodles should be groomed by a professional every few months to prevent matting and keep their coat healthy.

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:

Tips from Our Vets

The idea of a hypoallergenic dog or cat is a myth.

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:

  • Poodles
  • Shih Tzus
  • Schnauzers
  • Scottish, Yorkshire, and Bedlington terriers
  • Maltese

Cat Breeds with Hair & Not Fur

Similarly there are a number of cat breeds with hair and no fur:

  • Sphynx
  • Devon Rex
  • Cornish Rex
  • Peterbald
  • Siamese
  • Manx
  • Birman
  • Burmese
  • Himalayan
  • Persian
  • Russian Blue

Strategies to Reduce Pet Allergies

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
    1. Vacuuming – You should vacuum with a high-quality vacuum that has a HEPA filter installed.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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: Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?

While no dog is truly hypoallergenic, there are some dogs that are less allergenic than others and the labradoodle is one of them.

  • It’s dog dander that causes allergic reactions, not the fur.
  • Dander can be kept under control with regular grooming and bathing.
  • Even a hairless dog can cause an allergic reaction in someone whose allergies are severe enough.
  • The Labradoodle is a low shed, low allergy dog.
  • However, no dog is truly entirely hypoallergenic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sources & Additional Resources

If you’re looking for even more information about pets being hypoallergenic this is just one in a series of guides:

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.