Hypoallergenic or Not? Navigating Allergies with Your Golden Retriever

Here in the United States, we love our pets! Dogs and cats are the most popular pets and data shows that a sizable chunk of households keep dogs. Golden retrievers are among the more popular breeds, as they are great, sweet, family-friendly dogs. 

Unfortunately, many Americans suffer from dog allergies. This leads to people who are allergic to dogs searching for so-called hypoallergenic dog breeds. Hypoallergenic dog breeds are advertised as not causing allergic reactions or greatly reducing allergic reactions in dogs.

Are golden retrievers one of these hypoallergenic breeds? In this guide, we’ll cover what hypoallergenic means, if golden retrievers are hypoallergenic, and how to reduce your allergic responses to dogs. Read on to learn more! 

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

Hypoallergenic means that something is unlikely to cause an allergic response. Often, when a dog breed is referred to as hypoallergenic, it means that a dog is less likely to cause a person with pet allergies to have a reaction. 

Is Hypoallergenic Really Even a Thing?

Several popular dog breeds are called hypoallergenic, including poodles, bichon frises, Yorkshire terriers, and schnauzers. Do these popular dogs actually reduce allergic reactions? Unfortunately, no dog breed causes zero allergic responses. 

According to one study, there is a lack of data showing that so-called hypoallergenic dog breeds actually reduce allergic reactions. Every dog produces proteins in saliva and dead skin cells that cause allergies, so even hairless breeds can cause allergies. 

What Can Trigger Dog Allergies in Humans?

are golden retrievers hypoallergenic

People with allergies to dogs are actually allergic to proteins made by the dog. There are several different dog proteins. Sometimes a person can be allergic to one kind of protein, but not others. 

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One example is the dog protein Can f 5. There is research showing that this protein is only made by male dogs. If you are allergic to this protein, you can avoid it by adopting female dogs only. However, it isn’t always that simple.

Sometimes it is difficult to know what proteins you are allergic to. There are a few things dog allergy sufferers should try to avoid. Saliva and urine, fur, dead skin flakes, and carpets and furniture covered with dog hair should all be avoided if possible. A large amount of dander and fur in your home is a common trigger.

Top Tips for Dog Owners With Allergies

What can you do if you are allergic to your beloved dog? There are several things you can do so that you can keep your canine companion even though you have allergies. Try some of the following things to reduce your allergic responses:

air filter
  • Conduct regular house cleaning sessions
  • Vacuum regularly to get rid of pet hair
  • Keep over-the-counter allergy medication on hand for allergic reactions
  • Consider choosing a dog breed that sheds less
  • Ask your doctor about getting allergy shots to reduce attacks
  • Wash your dog frequently. Not sure how often, here’s a quick quiz you can take to determine how often you should wash your dog.

Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic Dogs?

A golden retriever

So, are golden retrievers hypoallergenic? Unfortunately, no. Breeds considered hypoallergenic typically don’t shed much, and golden retrievers shed quite a bit. In fact, golden retrievers have a double coat and typically shed twice yearly. More shedding means more fur and dander in your home, which means more allergy attacks for you if you have this breed. 

How can I Reduce my Allergy Triggers to a Golden Retriever?

Just because you have dog allergies, doesn’t mean you can’t have a golden retriever. There are a few ways you can help reduce your allergies and still have one as a pet. Follow this advice if you are allergic to golden retrievers:

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1. Make sure you bath the dog regularly

golden retriever getting bath

Bathing helps get rid of dead skin cells 

2. Keep him groomed and brushed regularly

golden retriever getting brushed

3. Do your grooming outside, and use gloves if needed

golden retriever grooming

4. Stay on top of pests; more scratching means more dander flying everywhere

golden retriever scratches himself

5. Vacuum your carpet and furniture often


What Dog Breeds are the Most Hypoallergenic?

These dog breeds are considered to be the most hypoallergenic, according to the AKC.

  • Chinese crested
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Giant schnauzer
  • Irish water spaniel
  • American hairless terrier
  • Barbado da Terceira
  • Barbet
  • Bedlington terrier
  • Affenpinscher
  • Afghan hound

What Dog Breeds are the Least Hypoallergenic?

are golden retrievers hypoallergenic

Some dog breeds are not recommended for allergy sufferers. Most of these breeds shed or drool a lot. Breeds to avoid if you have dog allergies include:

  • Basset hound
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bulldog
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • Saint Bernard
  • Siberian Husky


What are the Signs of Dog Allergies?

Do you have dog allergies? The symptoms of dog allergies are no fun and can make you miserable. The following is a list of signs that you may suffer from dog allergies:

-Runny or stuffy nose
-Short of breath
-Red, itchy eyes
-Watery eyes 
-Skin rash or hives

Talking to your doctor is always a good idea if you suspect that you have dog allergies. They may be able to recommend medication strategies for reducing allergy attacks. 

Are Mini Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic?

Mini golden retrievers are sometimes thought of as hypoallergenic. This breed is known to shed seasonally, so they still produce fur and dander. The mini golden is crossed with the poodle, which is often considered hypoallergenic. This may help the mini golden shed less than regular golden retrievers, which may help with allergies. 

Are Golden Retriever Mixes Hypoallergenic?

Some golden retriever mixes may shed less, like the Goldendoodle for example. Sometimes these breeds are considered hypoallergenic since they shed less. 

Can You be Allergic to Golden Retrievers and Not Other Breeds?

Humans can be allergic to different dog breeds for different reasons. Mainly, it depends on the particular dog proteins you are allergic to. So yes, it is possible to be allergic to one breed but not another. 

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