Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic?

No, Golden Retrievers aren’t hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic means low allergy, and due to their excessive shedding and having two coats, Golden Retrievers don’t fall into this category.

But even if you’re allergic to other dogs, you might still be able to have a Golden Retriever as a pet – as you might not be allergic specifically to this breed. And even then, there are ways to manage your pet’s fur to avoid allergic reactions.

Also, following tips like regular grooming, avoiding getting carpets at home, and not letting your Golden Retriever lick your face (amongst other things) will help you avoid allergic reactions. 

Read on to find out what a hypoallergenic dog is, whether you can have a Golden Retriever as a pet if you have allergies, and more!

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

If you have a hypoallergenic dog, it means that the chance that you’ll have an allergic reaction to them is small – though no dog breed is completely non-allergenic.

Usually, an allergic reaction from a dog comes from a protein that’s found in their dander (flakes of dead skin that are released when the dog sheds). In some cases, the protein from the allergy could also come from the dog’s saliva or urine. 

If a dog breed is hypoallergenic, it means that they produce hardly any dander. Without this, the chances of an allergic reaction are far lower. 

Do All Golden Retrievers Produce the Same Proteins?

No, not every Golden Retriever produces the same allergens. 

There are six different types of proteins (that are found in the dander, saliva, and urine). So if you’re allergic to one specific protein, you could find a Golden Retriever that doesn’t make that protein and therefore avoid the issue.

For example, the protein Can f 5 is only found in intact male Golden Retrievers. This causes one-third of all allergies – but if you are allergic to this protein (and only this protein) you should be fine to get a female Golden without any negative reactions.

Which Dog Breeds Are Hypoallergenic?

Some dog breeds are more hypoallergenic than others. 

Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers don’t come under the hypoallergenic banner.

In particular, short hair breeds that are known to be hypoallergenic include:

  • Poodles
  • Schnauzers
  • Bichon Frises
  • Yorkshire Terriers 

These breeds are known in the dog world to be hypoallergenic. If you struggle with allergies, these might be good choices for pets. If any of them are bred with a Golden Retriever (for example a Golden-Doodle – Golden Retriever crossed with Poodle), they might be more hypoallergenic than a purebred Golden Retriever.

More generally, if you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog breed, the best types are short-haired dogs that don’t shed very much, as well as dogs with similar hair to humans. These factors mean that the dander is kept on their body and less likely to be released near you.

Can I Have a Golden Retriever If I Have Allergies?

The good news is that you can still have a Golden Retriever if you have allergies!

If you can figure out which protein you’re allergic to, you can get a Golden that doesn’t have that protein. Otherwise, you can take preventative measures

Though it might be a little more work, there are a few things you can do to manage the biggest source of your allergies – your Golden’s dander. 

To make your environment as clean as possible and tricks to help you in your daily life if you have a Golden Retriever, try:

  • Air purifier: Getting an air filter can catch the allergens from in the air – but it’ll need to be cleaned regularly to ensure that it keeps working properly.
  • Grooming: Daily brushing and regular baths will remove excess hair and reduce shedding.
  • Avoid carpets: Carpets will hold dander and are much harder to clean compared to floors like wood or vinyl.
  • Washing your hands a lot: This is good practice anyway, but cleaning the dander off means you won’t be accidentally spreading it or touching your face.
  • Don’t allow face licks: Although your Golden Retriever might love giving kisses, their saliva could trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth after petting your Golden: Try not to touch your face after petting your Golden, as it’ll spread any dander to sensitive areas and cause a reaction.
  • Keep your Golden out of your bedroom: Letting your Golden sleep in your bed might mean dander goes on your bedding and causes your allergies to flare up.
  • Regularly clean where your Golden sleeps: By cleaning where your Golden Retriever sleeps, you’ll prevent large areas of dander-covered fur from building up.
  • Keep your Golden healthy: Anxious or unhealthy Goldens will scratch and therefore shed more. By giving them high-quality food, socialization, and exercise you can keep your Golden as happy and healthy as possible.
  • Pest control: Goldens shed more if they have ticks, fleas, or allergies. They’ll scratch a lot and more dander will be released. To combat this, make sure your pet is given monthly flea treatment and regularly check them for ticks and other problems.

How Do I Know if I’m Allergic to Golden Retrievers?

If you’re debating getting a Golden Retriever, or you have one but you aren’t sure if they’re the source of your allergies, there are some key signs that you can look out for. 

Common signs of an allergy to Golden Retrievers might look like:

  • Itching around your nose or eyes.
  • Swelling around your nose or eyes.
  • Watery eyes.
  • Red skin.
  • Rashes on your face, skin, or neck.
  • Coughing.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Wheezing.

Reactions to your Golden Retriever would usually be within 30 minutes of exposure to your Golden. This includes petting them, being near them, or sitting somewhere where they’ve recently been – which all increase the chance of their dander getting to you.

How to Treat Dog Allergies

If you suspect that you have an allergy to dogs, your doctor or physician might be able to conduct tests to determine how severe your allergies are and recommend if they think having a Golden Retriever is manageable.

Once an allergy is confirmed, it might be treatable with antihistamines, decongestants, or nasal sprays. In some places, doctors might offer allergy shots too. However, a doctor should always be consulted before taking anything for an allergy of any kind.

Related Questions

Is There Anything to Avoid Doing With My Golden Retriever if I Have Allergies?

If you’re struggling with allergies because of your Golden Retriever, there are a few things that you shouldn’t do. Be careful not to bathe your Golden Retriever too often – this will reduce the natural oils on their skin and could lead to skin infections.

Don’t make your Golden Retriever go outside all day either – this won’t prevent dander from getting in the house but it’ll stress your social, family-loving Golden Retriever out to not be allowed inside. 

Why Do Dogs Produce Dander?

Dander is dead skin that is produced by all dogs when their skin changes – this can be if it grows, heals, sweats, is scratched, and more. The quality of their fur will determine how much of the dander is spread. It’s when the dander sticks to the dog’s hair and settles on furniture and floats around the house that it causes allergies and problems.

Can I Be Allergic to My Golden Retriever’s Fur?

No, you can’t be allergic to your Golden Retriever’s fur, but you can be allergic to the dander that’s on your Golden Retriever’s fur. This mix-up is common because a lot of people (understandably) don’t realise that the problem is the dander – or even know what dander is!

Other sources that your Golden Retriever could be allergic to are their saliva and urine. These are also overlooked when people are talking about being allergic to their pet – but are extra important to not overlook when taking preventative measures.  

Can Golden Retrievers Have Allergies?

Yes, Golden Retrievers can have allergies. These can be due to environmental factors, seasonal, food, or fleas. An allergy will look like scratching, watery eyes, sneezing, licking, or a runny nose. In some cases, your pet will need treatment from a vet, or involve changing their food or giving them regular flea treatment.

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