Are Goldendoodles hypoallergenic? Or, is the term “hypoallergenic” marketing hype? If you’ve been researching Goldendoodles you may have come across headlines like, “Got allergies? Get a Doodle!” and other sweeping statements that imply Goldendoodles are ideal for anyone who suffers from pet allergies.
With so much swirling around hypoallergenic dogs, it can leave even the calmest Goldendoodle doing zoomies trying to sort out the facts from the hype. But no fear! As a Goldendoodle mom and avid research hound, I’ve got you covered.
By the end of this article, you’ll have facts about the term “hypoallergenic Goldendoodles” so you can determine what’s best for you and your family, and be ready to talk with your veterinarian or your allergy doctor.
So without further a-doodle, 😉 let’s discover whether Goldendoodles are hypoallergenic, what hypoallergenic means, and the facts about dog dander.
Are Goldendoodles hypoallergenic?
No, in the strictest sense, Goldendoodles are not hypoallergenic. Here’s the science that supports this answer:
The Mayo Clinic recently released an article stating, “There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog, although some individual dogs can cause fewer symptoms than others.”
Since no dogs are hypoallergenic, obviously Goldendoodles are not hypoallergenic either. (For more details from the Mayo Clinic’s article, please check out: Pet Allergies: Are There Hypoallergenic Dogs.)
Next, a research article from the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy (Dog Allergen Levels in Homes with Hypoallergenic Vs Non-Hypoallergenic Dogs) states, “Clinicians should advise patients that they cannot rely on dogs deemed “hypoallergenic” to in fact disperse less allergens in the environment.”
In brief, the study compared dogs denoted as “hypoallergenic” with dogs that were denoted as “non-hypoallergenic” specifically in web searches. The study determined there was no difference in the amount of allergens dispersed in the home of “hypoallergenic dogs” and “non-hypoallergenic” dogs. In other words “hypoallergenic” is marketing hype or an advertising claim.
Third, the American Kennel Club’s article on hypoallergenic dogs states, “The truth is, there are no 100% hypoallergenic dogs, dog breeds, or mixed breeds, but there are many dog breeds that are less allergenic for people with dog allergies.”
By the way, mini Goldendoodles (pint-sized versions of the standard and medium Goldendoodle) are not hypoallergenic either.
So, while Goldendoodles (like all dogs) aren’t hypoallergenic, you probably want to know more, right? Next, let’s determine what causes pet allergy symptoms in pet parents, why some dogs are less likely to cause a reaction, and whether some Goldendoodles are more allergy-friendly than others.
What causes allergens to dogs?
Most people assume that dog hair is the culprit when it comes to dog allergies for pet parents. However, it’s not your dog’s hair that’s causing the problem. It’s actually the protein found in your dog’s saliva, skin (i.e. dander, which are dead flakes of skin), and even urine.
So, even if a dog is completely hairless, he or she still produces dander, urine, and saliva, which equals the possibility for allergens.
The dirt on dog dander (and saliva and pee)
All that protein found in dander, saliva, and pee looks like this:
- Dander (dead skin) is a particularly bad actor because it can float around in the air. In fact, you can even find allergens floating around in homes of people who don’t even have dogs.
- Your dog’s saliva dries onto carpet, couches, and surfaces.
- When your dog pees, proteins dry onto the dog’s hair, skin, or other surfaces.
All those proteins found in your dog’s saliva, skin cells (dander), and urine scatter around your house when your dog moves, scampers about, sleeps on the floor, and lies on the couch. Since it becomes airborne, we humans breathe this in. For most people, this isn’t a problem.
But, for the 10% of the population who have allergies to dogs and cats, all the proteins floating around induces symptoms such as classic sneezing and watery eyes.
That’s the bad news. But is there a furry silver lining for the 10% of the population who suffers from pet allergies? Turns out yes!
The Asthma and Allergy foundation of America’s article says, “People with dog allergies may be more sensitive to some breeds of dogs than others.”
So, what about Goldendoodles? Can they be one of the breeds you’re less sensitive to? That depends.
Can you be allergic to Goldendoodles?
If you have allergies to dogs, one way to see how you’ll react to a Goldendoodle is to spend time with one. Since Goldendoodles, like all dogs produce dander, saliva, and urine (all containing the protein that causes allergies), there is a chance you could be allergic.
Another option is to get tested for allergies and get specific details about which exact proteins you’re allergic to.
The good news is that I’ve met many, many Goldendoodle parents who either have pet allergies or have family members with pet allergies, and they have not been allergic to their Goldendoodles!
Are Goldendoodles shed free?
While most Goldendoodles shed less than other dogs, it’s a myth that they are shed-free. Because Goldendoodles are a mixed breed, there is more variation among the breed. That means there is more variation in the amount of shedding too. Some Goldendoodles shed almost as much as their high-shedding parent breed the Golden Retriever. Some Goldendoodles shed minimally more like their Poodle parent breed. For more on this subject, check out my article, Do Goldendoodles Shed?
Strategies to keep allergy symptoms at bay
You know just how amazing it is to have a dog in your life. If you have allergies, are there things you can do? If you don’t want allergies to stop you from bringing a dog into your life, I highly recommend visiting a doctor or an allergist.
In our own family, what we assumed was a dog allergy was actually an allergy to things that dogs bring into the home—tree pollen, grass pollens! By visiting an allergist, you can learn whether you’re allergic to dogs and your doctor can share strategies on managing the symptoms.
Here’s another scenario: You adopted a Goldendoodle and now you’re sneezing. You visited an allergist and pet allergies have been confirmed. You can’t bear the thought of rehoming your puppy. Your dear Doodle dog is a family member.
Let me assure you, you are not alone. According to an article in Psychology Today, People With Pet Allergies Refuse to Give Up Their Pets, over 75% of people disregard their doctor’s suggestion to give up their pet. Or, on the flip side, only only 21.4% of dog parents give up their pet.
And, over 75% of allergy sufferers in the study go on to get another dog even after their dog has lived a long life and passes away.
These numbers just reiterate how important dogs are in our lives, how dogs are family members, and how much pet parents are willing to put emotional connection in front of the physical symptoms of allergies.
Helpful tips for controlling pet allergens
If you’re in this camp, there are some strategies you can put in place to keep allergy symptoms at bay and keep your furry family member happily in your home. Until you can consult your own doctor, allergist, or veterinarian, here’s a short list for controlling allergies and reducing the number of allergens floating around your home:
- Bathe your Goldendoodle frequently or take your Goldendoodle to a professional groomer. As fun as DIY Goldendoodle grooming is at home, I can assure you that the hair (and dander) will be flying.
- Train your Goldendoodle puppy not to lie on the couch, a place where you’ll be sitting.
- Vacuum, vacuum, vacuum. Also, vacuuming and wet mopping are better than using a dry broom, which gets all those dust particles flying.
- Replace carpets and rugs with hardwood floors, which are easier to care for. Carpets are a great place for all the dander to snuggle in and get comfortable.
- Delegate the tasks! If you’re the one who has allergies, it’s best to ask someone else to clean the floors and do the housecleaning that will cause the dander to fly.
- Teach your Goldendoodle puppy not to lick your face or skin. Again, dog saliva is a substance that can produce an allergic response in people.
Beyond hypoallergenic: 2 other surprising considerations
There are still other options to consider! Here are some hidden gems you may not have thought about…
1. Research suggests female or neutered male dogs are more allergy friendly
Consider adopting a female dog or a neutered male dog. As I was researching information on the topic of hypoallergenic Goldendoodles, I ran across an interesting report on dogs and allergies.
According to Dr. Lakeia Wright, an allergist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, “Up to 30% of people who are allergic to dogs are actually allergic to one specific protein that’s made in the prostate of a dog.” Wright went on to explain, “If you’re allergic to only that specific protein in the male dog, you may be able to tolerate a female or neutered dog.” Even better news, there is a reliable blood test for this specific allergen that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. To learn more, read CNN’s article, Allergic to Dogs? It May Only Be the Males.”
2. A dog allergy vaccine for pet parents
Interestingly, if you do have severe allergies to dogs, there may be another solution in the future. According to an Science Daily’s article, Researchers Lay Groundwork for Potential Dog Allergy Vaccine, “…researches have now for the first time identified candidates for those parts of the molecules that make up dog allergens that could give us precisely that: a ‘dog allergy vaccine.'”
So, if you’re swooning over Goldendoodles, but don’t want to be sneezing due to pet allergies, I hope I’ve helped you gather the information you need to start making an informed decision. Weighing the pros and cons can help you plan for a new furry family member. Or perhaps avoid the devastation of rehoming a beloved new furry friend.
Ultimately, only you know your situation best. Only you can understand the severity of your allergies and how much you’re willing to do on a daily basis to help minimize the amount of pet dander in your home.
I hope the facts that I’ve shared have helped you wrap your arms around the question, “Are Goldendoodle hypoallergenic.” And, hopefully, you’ll soon be able to wrap your arms around a sweet Goldendoodle puppy or any dog that fits your lifestyle the best.
Do you have a Goldendoodle and suffer from pet allergies?
Share your story. We can all learn from each other.