Are Golden Retrievers Bad for Asthma and Allergies? How to Live with Them!

One of the most important things you have to research before you adopt a dog especially when you have kids is are they bad for asthma and allergies.

Even though golden retrievers are the perfect family dogs, they are friendly, loyal, and sweet but I wasn’t sure if they are bad for asthma and allergies or not, so let’s find out.

Are golden retrievers bad for asthma? Yes, golden retrievers are bad for Asthma and allergies and they are not hypoallergenic because they shed a lot and that makes them unsuitable for those with allergies, however, if you really want a golden retriever, you can live with them if you work hard to control the shedding & your allergies.

This means that while they are not the best dogs for people with allergies, if your allergy is not severe and you are willing to put in some work, you can still get a golden retriever.

To understand why golden retrievers are not the best choice for people with allergies and what you will need to do if you still want one, keep reading…

Are Golden Retrievers Hypoallergenic? 

golden retriever smiling to illustrate how are golden retrievers bad for asthma and whether they are hypoallergenic dogs

No, golden retrievers are not hypoallergenic, even though they are the perfect family dogs in literally everything but they might be not the best option for a family that has someone that is allergic to dogs.

However, you need to know that there really are absolutely no hypoallergenic dog breeds. This is a myth that has surprisingly stood the test of time.

But if there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds, how are so many people that are allergic to dogs still able to live with dogs? Well, while it’s true that there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds, there are some dog breeds that are less problematic in that matter than other breeds and are less likely to trigger a strong allergic reaction in humans.

What even is a hypoallergenic dog? 

Let’s start with the meaning of the word and then we can move on to the dogs themselves. The word “hypo” means “less than” in greek and it wasn’t used till the 1950s. At least not in the way we’re discussing here.

When cosmetics advertisers embraced the meaning of that word, suddenly that word was in any product. Basically, it was used to stir marketing hype.

They spent so much money on advertisements that they made people quickly connect the word with their allergies. Soon after, the first thing that people who were prone to allergies would look for is that term in everything they are buying including food, makeup, shampoos, and even dogs.

This is the kind of successful marketing campaigns you read about in books but is, unfortunately, very real.

So what does it mean to dogs? It kinda refers to their dander production and as you can guess, the less dander a dog produces the less impact that dog will have on someone with an allergy.

Since the dog will leave his dander on the floor, furniture, and float in the air, it will not be easy for allergy sufferers.

If you think your golden retriever is suffering from excessive dandruff, you should take a minute to learn about dandruff in golden retrievers here.

Dog Allergy Myths 

To understand more about the dog’s allergy you need to know what is real and what is just myth, so let’s start.

Here are 8 Dog allergy myths that are more common than they should be:

  1. The source of the allergy is their hair 
  2. If you are allergic to cats you’ll be allergic to dogs
  3. Dog allergies aren’t as serious as food allergies 
  4. You can grow out of a dog allergy
  5. If you are exposed to dogs for a long time eventually you will desensitize to them
  6. Small dogs are not a problem for allergies 
  7. If you get the right breed they will not cause any allergy problems
  8. The low-quality air purifier will help with the pet allergies 

Let’s briefly talk about each of these myths.

The source of the allergy is their hair

Most people think that the source of allergy is the dog’s hair but actually, it’s the dander they leave everywhere. To be more accurate, not even the dander itself. To understand, let’s start from the top.

There are proteins that dogs secrete and these proteins can be found on their urine, saliva, in other secretions, and on their skin which can appear as dandruff they leave around your house and can be the source of your allergic reaction.

It’s just that hair can trigger an allergic reaction but will not mainly cause it.

So a dog that does not shed will not be this much better for a person who is allergic to dogs.

If you are allergic to cats, you’ll be allergic to dogs

Some people think that if you are allergic to cats then you must be allergic to dogs as well or vice versa but it’s just not true.

Dogs and cats produce different allergens, so you are not necessarily allergic to one species if you are allergic to the other.

Just don’t assume that you are allergic to one of them if you are sure that you are allergic to the other.

Dog allergies aren’t as serious as food allergies 

Most people assume that dog allergies aren’t as serious as food allergies but actually, the symptoms of pet allergies and food allergies are quite similar.

Here are some of the symptoms of both of the allergies.

  • Hives 
  • Difficulty breathing 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Sneezing 
  • Swelling 

You can grow out of a dog allergy 

Many people believe that dog allergies are mostly childhood illnesses.

I mean people can often grow out of allergies of all types so, yes, you may grow out of a dog allergy with time but the same can be said for all alergies.

Just please don’t assume that you (or your kid) will grow out of the dog energy and get a dog based on this assumption.

If you are exposed to dogs for a long time, eventually you will desensitize to them

You know that this one is just not true, increasing the exposure to dogs will only make your allergic reactions worse.

However, early childhood exposure to dogs or other animals can actually lower the risk of developing allergic reactions later in their life.

Small dogs are not a problem for allergies 

Small dogs will still cause a problem for people who are suffering from an allergy but they will just cause fewer problems than bigger dogs such as german shepherds and labrador retrievers because they typically shed less hair (since they have less of it in the first place).

 If you get the right breed they will not cause any allergy problems 

No dog is really hypoallergenic, even if you get one of these ”hypoallergenic” breeds you can still experience some problems with them but you may suffer little to no irritation.

These dogs typically irritate you less because they shed much less than heavy shedders like German Shepherds, Labs, and Goldens.

The low-quality air purifier will help with the pet allergies 

The low-quality air purifier will make a little or no difference at all.

Only really high-performance air purifiers can help, however, some people who are suffering from allergy reported that IQAir air purifiers in combination with improved cleaning methods reduced or completely eliminated their allergic reactions to dogs in their homes.

You can check the IQAir Air Purifiers on Amazon here or by clicking on the image below.

How to know that you’re allergic to dogs? 

You can know that you are allergic to dogs if you have some of these symptoms when you’re near dogs;

  • Facial pain 
  • Skin rash 
  • Sneezing 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Coughing 
  • Hives 
  • Itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Red eyes
  • Chest tightness 
  • Wheezing 

Determining how allergic you are to dogs

Here are some things to help you know if your allergy is mild or severe 

Mild AllergySevere Allergy
Sneezing Rash on the face, chest, or neck
Watery eyes Red eyes 
Coughing Shortness of breath 
Itching A severe asthma attack (in someone with asthma)
Runny nose Swelling around the eyes 

Depending on how severe your symptoms are, you can determine whether you lean to a mild allergy or a severe allergy, but at the end, of course, the best one to tell you how bad your allergy is will be your doctor, so definitely check with them before deciding to get a dog.

How to live with a golden retriever if you have allergies 

There are some things you can do so you can live with a golden retriever if you have allergies.

  • Vacuum. Vacuum often and Vacuum everywhere. Can’t stress this enough.
  • Keep them out of your bedroom or anywhere you spend a lot of time in 
  • Bathe them at least once a week to ensure that their coat contains a low level of dander
  • One of the things you can try is to have no carpets because carpets can accumulate dander and other allergenic particles such as dust and it will exacerbate your allergy symptoms.
  • Open the windows and doors as much as possible and let the fresh air and sunlight fill your house as much as possible.
  • You can also install high-efficiency particulate vent filters and air purifiers (it will reduce the concentration of airborne allergens)
  • One of the most effective solutions is to keep your golden retriever out of the house for a few hours every day to reduce the amount of dander that can accumulate in your home.

You can learn about all 17 ways to manage golden retriever shedding here.

Owning a dog while having allergies will only work if you have a mild dog allergy but if you are strongly allergic to dogs, then you probably should get a hypoallergenic dog. It can still cause some problems but it will definitely be less and smaller than the problems that golden retrievers are going to cause.

Want even more info? The AKC made this excellent video that you can watch below:

What makes a dog hypoallergenic?

Like I said before, there isn’t truly a “hypoallergenic” dog breed but the term is used for dogs who are less problematic in that matter. 

So there a couple of things that can make a dog a hypoallergenic;  

  • Dogs that produce less dander than other dogs
  • Dogs that do not shed frequently (they do not shed fur or shed very little)
  • You can also go for hairless dogs such as the American hairless terrier

10 Hypoallergenic Dogs for people with allergies 

  1. Bedlington terrier 
  2. Bichon Frise 
  3. Chinese crested 
  4. Irish water spaniels 
  5. Maltese 
  6. Poodles 
  7. Portuguese water dog 
  8. Schnauzers 
  9. Soft-coated wheaten terrier 
  10. Xoloitzcuintli 

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Related Questions 

Can you have a golden retriever with allergies? 

Yes, you can get a golden retriever if you are allergic to dogs but you have to keep a consistent grooming routine that includes brushing them daily as well as vacuuming your house to clear as much hair as possible from your house to reduce the chances of allergic reactions to a minimum.

Are Labradors bad for allergies? 

Yes, Labradors are bad for allergies. Labrador, golden retrievers, and german shepherds are not hypoallergenic so that makes them bad for allergies but the good news is that you can still get these dogs even if you are allergic if you keep consistent grooming and vacuuming routines.

Everyone deserves to get the dog of their dreams even if they are allergic to them, so if this article was a helpful source or gave you some hope you can share it with your family and friends and spread the hope to other people.

Helpful Resources 

Can I Have A Dog If I Have Allergies?


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting and being part of our vibrant community.

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