Although there are no fully hypoallergenic dogs, the Goldendoodle is usually recognized as a hypoallergenic breed as it doesn't shed as much as other breeds and producing lesser dander.
I always wanted a dog, but whenever I visited my sister's house who has a long-haired chihuahua, I would start sneezing and my eyes would water.
I thought I was doomed to a life without a furry friend until I started doing some research and discovered that there are certain dog breeds that don't trigger my allergies as much.
One of these breeds was the goldendoodle- a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle.
I did some research and found that the goldendoodle is usually recognized as a hypoallergenic breed.
But is it really true that the goldendoodle is hypoallergenic?
I decided to consult with some experts to get the scoop on this so-called hypoallergenic breed.
Yes, although Goldendoodles are considered hypoallergenic, you can still be allergic to them.
What Causes Allergic Reactions?
Nearly 20% of the world population is affected by dog allergies, so if you're one of them, you're not alone.
But what causes these allergic reactions?
When you're allergic to dogs, your immune system overreacts to a protein found in their skin, saliva, and urine.
Because of this, your body produces histamines, which lead to allergic reaction and symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and can also trigger asthma.
This protein is called Can F1 and F2, and it's different for every dog breed.
Most often how pet allergy is triggered is by coming in contact with pet dander (dead skin cells), which is bits of skin that flake off when the animal sheds its coat.
Dander can stay airborne for long periods of time and be carried on clothing to other places, like work or school.
Researches show that early exposure to dogs may actually decrease the risk of developing dog allergies later in life.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs?
"Hypoallergenic" Dogs are dogs that don't shed a lot, so people with pet allergies can keep them.
It's important to know that there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog.
This is because all dogs produce the protein that causes dog allergies and all dogs produce dander it's just that dog breeds that are considered hypoallergenic tend to shed less or have a non-shedding coat so there's less dog dander in the environment.
The most common hypoallergenic breeds are:
- Bichon Frises
- Portuguese Water Dogs
- Yorkshire Terriers
- Shih Tzus
Are Goldendoodles Shed Free?
No, Goldendoodles are not shed free, but they are low shedders.
Many people believe that how hypoallergenic a goldendoodle will be depends on goldendoodle generations, like F1B Goldendoodles will shed less as they are closer in gens to their golden retriever parents.
This is true, but only partly.
Every goldendoodle sheds differently and how much yours will shed depends on the visible features called "furnishings".
Usually, Goldendoodles furnishings are their eyebrows, beard and leg hair. The amount of furnishings your goldendoodle has will affect how much it sheds.
If your dog has more facial furnishings like a poodle, it will shed less.
If your dog has a similar face to a golden retriever, without facial furnishings, it will shed more.
If you would like to have a Goldendoodle that doesn't shed a lot and is hypoallergenic, you should consult with a breeder that tests for the Furnishings gene.
With that said, be ready that is necessary to do regular grooming to your Doodle regardless of how much it sheds.
This is to avoid mats and tangles, as well as to keep its coat clean and healthy.
How Goldendoodles Skin Health Can Affect Your Pet Allergy
If your goldendoodle has poor skin health, it will produce more dander and will shed more. This in turn will of course lead to your allergies worsening.
When your dog's skin is healthy, it helps to keep the coat clean and free of allergens.
There are a few things you can do to help keep your goldendoodles skin healthy:
Bathe them regularly using a hypoallergenic shampoo
Make sure they're getting enough omega-3 fatty acids in their diet
Keep their environment clean and free of allergens
Avoid using harsh chemicals on their skin
If you suspect your goldendoodle has poor skin health, it's best to consult with a vet. They can help diagnose the problem and provide treatment options.
How to Minimize Allergies Caused by Goldendoodles
As said before, all dogs including goldendoodle produce dander, which is the main cause of pet allergies.
If you have severe allergies, having a goldendoodle can still be possible by taking some precautions to avoid or minimize the allergies.
In Your Home:
There are a few things allergy sufferers can do in their homes to reduce allergens:
Don't Use a Carpet
Carpets are known to trap allergens, so it's best to avoid them if you're allergic to dogs. Any surface that is soft or porous will likely hold onto allergens more than a hard surface.
Use an Air Purifier
There are a lot of air purifiers out there that not only remove odors from the air and dust, but trap bigger particles like dander as well. This is perfect for pet owners since you can place this in the room the dog spends a lot of time and it will catch most allergens.
There are also air purifiers that can filter the air in your whole apartment. For example, I use a Xiaomi Air Purifier, and it is capable of clean my whole home in about 40 minutes.
Wash Bedding Regularly
If you have a goldendoodle, it's important to wash their bedding regularly. This will help remove any allergens that may be trapped in the fabric.
If your dog sleeps with you in your bed, you may want to consider washing your own bedding more often as well.
Mop the Floor Regularly
Your floor is likely where most of the allergens will be, so it's important to keep it clean. Consider using a damp mop to trap any remaining allergens as frequently as you can.
There are also cleaning products specifically designed to remove pet allergens from surfaces and remove odour as well. Mix that with water and mop away.
Use a Vacuum (With a HEPA Filter)
Vacuuming is another great way to remove allergens from your home. Make sure that the vacuum that you use has a HEPA filter, that filters the air that passes through the machine.
This filter traps dander, dust and tiny particles so they get back into the air.
I don't recommend using a regular vacuum, as it will just recirculate the allergens back into the air.
Also, when you remove the bag from a regular vacuum, you just release a lot of the allergens and dust back into the air.
Create a Dog Free Room
If you are severely allergic to dogs, it may be best to create a room in your home that is dog free.
This can be difficult if your dog sleeps with you, but try to keep them out of this room as much as possible.
This way, you will have a room that your Goldendoodle doesn't have access to and the allergens won't be as bad.
Make Washing Your Hand a Habit
If washing your hands after you pet your dog is not a habit in your life yet, you will have to make it into one.
Dog saliva contains the proteins that trigger your allergies and every time you pet your dog, you are exposing yourself to these proteins.
So every time, after your pet your Goldendoodle or your Goldendoodle licked you, wash your hands with soap and water.
When I pet Bailey, my Goldendoodle I also make sure I don't touch my face or rub my eyes until I have washed my hands.
With Your Dog:
There are also a few things you can do with your dog to reduce allergens:
Brush Them Regularly
Goldendoodles don't shed a lot, but it is still recommended to brush them regularly to remove any lose hair or dander that is stuck to their fur.
I usually use a simple regular brush or a slicket brush, but you don't need anything fancy. If you don't have time to do this regularly, you can simply take them to a dog groomer to do it for you.
Just make sure you collect your dog's hair after you are done.
Give Them a Bath Regularly
The usual advice you get as a dog owner is that you shouldn't bathe your dog very often as it will dry its skin and remove the natural oils.
However, if you are allergic to your dog, bathing them more often may be necessary to remove any allergens that are stuck to their fur.
When to Consult an Allergist?
If you know you have severe allergies and it has been triggered before by dogs, you should definitely consult an allergist.
An Allergist will usually start with a prick test. What they will do is prick your forearm with a needle, which contains a small amount of dog dander. If you have a reaction, such as redness, swelling, or hives, then you're likely allergic to dogs.
If the test is positive, the allergist will then work with you on a plan to manage your allergies. This may involve immunotherapy, which is where you are exposed to increasing levels of the allergen over time to build up your tolerance.
You may also be prescribed medication to help manage your allergies and relieve any symptoms you may have.
Consider Getting a Female
In a recent study, Dr. Lekia Wright mentions that 30% of the people with pet allergies are only allergic to specific protein which is made in the male prostate.
So, if you are only allergic to that one specific protein, getting a female or a neutered dog might not bother your allergies as much as a male would.
Although this is not a guarantee, it may help reduce your allergies if you get a female goldendoodle.
Get Yourself Allergy Tested Before Getting a Goldendoodle
Every day, a ton of dogs end up in shelters, because of pet issues like the owner or a family member being allergic to the dog.
Don't let yourself be one of those people. Be responsible! Get tested for pet allergies, before you commit to getting a Goldendoodle.
That way, you'll know for sure if you're allergic and if you can handle living with a dog or not.
There are a lot of ways to proactively reduce your allergies or manage them. Be sure to consult with an allergist to see what will work best for you.
What worked for me was regular cleaning, grooming and using an air purifier!
But, if you have severe reactions to dogs, getting a Goldendoodle puppy might not be the best choice to make. There are a lot of other animals that you can consider that won't trigger your allergies as much as a dog would.
I hope this article helped clear things up a bit.
óIf you have any questions or want to share your experiences, please comment below!