Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic?

Us Golden Retrievers are one of the best breeds out there. I know I’m biased, but it’s true: we’re docile, loyal, loving, and super friendly.

Basically, we make the perfect family pet and companion.

If you’re unfortunate enough to suffer from a pet allergy, you’ll know how frustrating it is when all you want to do is pet us, but your eyes are streaming, your nose is running, and your throat is itching.

For this reason, you might be wondering whether us Goldens are hypoallergenic? 

Sadly, we’re not. However, hypoallergenic dogs are actually more of a subjective matter, and this is why: 

Research has indicated that humans aren’t necessarily allergic to our dander or hair itself, but the protein in our bodily fluids – such as our saliva and urine.

These act like a catalyst for the allergy, and when we shed hair and dander it can carry some of the above fluids, which is why dogs who shed can make an allergy sufferer more prone to an attack.  

As well as this, some experts have noted that allergies differ from person to person, and allergies can even change over a person’s lifetime.

Whereas some allergy sufferers may cope well with one breed as opposed to another, even a so-called “hypoallergenic” breed can trigger attacks for some individuals, which is why it’s more dependent on individual experience and requires trial and error in most cases.

Can I have a Golden Retriever with allergies? 

As we said, it depends. Some people with allergies can still have a Golden Retriever if they take medication to keep their allergies from flaring up, and there are also other ways in which you can minimize the chances of an allergic reaction: 

  • At-home grooming: this is really important for minimizing our dander, and the best way to do this is to wash as much of it away as possible with a gentle dog shampoo every couple of weeks. We also recommend that you invest in a quality grooming brush and undercoat/shed remover, as well as keeping our topcoat in good condition. 
  • Professional grooming: You can also take us to a professional groomer which will help keep shedding to a minimum; if long hair and shed undercoat are removed frequently, you reduce the chance of them “tugging” on existing healthy follicles which reduces the amount we need to shed. 
  • Pest control: Because of our long, luscious locks, we’re more prone to fleas and ticks, as these nasty critters love to burrow, hide, and reproduce in our thick, long coat. Because they nip at us, we end up scratching more often, and each time we do this we’re shedding dander. There are plenty of solutions to keep pests at bay, though. Ask our vet to help you work out a good routine for us – either a once-a-month pill, topical treatments, or accessories like a flea collar. I can’t believe I’m suggesting these, as they’re not the most pleasant, however it’s worth doing to keep my human happy! 
  • Environment: Even the choices you make in your home can influence your allergies. Opt for smooth-fabric rugs, furniture, and/or furniture covers, as these are far easier to clean our hair off than “fluffy” ones! Make sure you have all the appropriate cleaning equipment to give your carpet a monthly steam-cleaning, and a HEPA-filtered vacuum can also be useful. 
  • Don’t let us sleep in your bed: This one makes me sad, but it’s true – if you’re an allergy sufferer, it’s not a good idea to let us sleep in your bed! Instead, a comfy canine bed will keep us snug and will help minimize the risk of your allergies flaring up. 
  • Personal health and hygiene: This seems like a bit of an obvious one, but if you have a pet allergy, you need to keep on top of personal care – wash your hands, face, and even your hair regularly (especially if you have long hair). This will help keep our dander away from the nose and mouth.
  • Anti-allergy medications: You could also discuss allergy-fighting options with your doctor, such as allergy shots or daily allergy medication.

Do Golden Retrievers shed a lot? 

Okay, I’ll admit it – yes, we do shed a lot! 

We’re not too bad in the winter and summer, as we only shed moderately during these periods, but we shed heavily in the spring and fall.

Therefore, if you’re thinking about introducing a Golden into your family, you’ll need to get used to the idea of quite a bit of dog hair in your home and on your clothes. But I promise it’s worth it for our sweet, calm nature! 

Our thick coat requires lots of grooming, so daily brushing is recommended to prevent tangling, and you should be grooming us once a week at the bare minimum.

We also need a bath every month, or more frequently if we go on long walks and get mucky, as this will keep us looking and smelling as fresh as a daisy.  

Can you build up immunity to dog allergies? 

I’m no doctor, but I have heard of individuals with allergies developing immunity to their dog after a couple of years, while some can also grow out of the allergy.

As I said, this is a case-by-case thing, and everyone’s allergies are different. Some experience worse reactions the more they are exposed to the source of the allergy, and others simply keep their allergy at bay by taking antihistamines and cleaning their home regularly.

It all depends on the severity of your allergy and how you react to us being in your home. 

What are the worst dogs for allergies?

Like we said previously, our fur and dander isn’t necessarily the issue, it’s our bodily fluids that are the culprits!

Due to this, the worst dogs for allergies are those who slobber a lot, such as my friends the Saint Bernard and the Bulldog, who are known for their excessive drooling!