Are Labs Hypoallergenic? Tips for the Allergic Pet Owner

Labrador retrievers are at the top of dog breeds most preferred by Americans. The great character and cute nature of the breed helped endear them to potential pet owners. Anybody who likes doors will never not like Labradors. Perhaps one of the downsides of the breed is the fact that they do shed a lot of hair. For the allergic person, this is usually not good news.

Pet allergies are quite prevalent in the US with three people out of ten suffering from it. From these numbers, it can be inferred that there’s a good number of Americans that would probably want to own a lab or any dog for that matter but couldn’t because their allergens are preventing them to. Having to deal with constant sneezing, itching, stuffy nose and even facial pains, sometimes, isn’t a wonderful experience, after all.

So, on to the big question— are Labradors hypoallergenic? A big, resounding no. It’s also worth mentioning that the veterinary team at ParksideAHC wants the public to be aware that due to how Labradors experience seasonal shedding of their coats, they are definitely not one of the breeds that can be considered hypoallergenic.

black labrador

What Hypoallergenic Really Means

While hypoallergenic means anything that will likely not cause allergic reactions when it comes to dogs, the breeds with the hypoallergenic tag may still cause them. When the immune system reacts to certain proteins that are identified as allergens, they get an allergic reaction. People who are allergic to dogs means that their immune system is reacting to the specific allergens that the dogs are producing. These could be found in the dander, urine, saliva, and mucus among others. So, while hairless dogs have usually been touted to be hypoallergenic, they may still produce allergens that can cause a reaction.

There are people who are allergic to dogs that don’t necessarily react to every dog allergen. As a result, they may be able to tolerate certain dog breeds than others. It’s important to remember that even dogs of the same breed will not always produce the same allergens. While all dogs produce some type of allergens, some produce fewer of them than others. So, while these types of dogs may be tolerable for some people who are allergic, those whose allergies are rather extreme or those people with asthma are still likely going to have a reaction.

Hypoallergenic Dogs

labrador in basket

Several studies have been conducted to determine if dogs that are dubbed as hypoallergenic have lower allergen productions than other dog types. Unfortunately, the findings show that there aren’t really significant differences in the level of allergens between these breeds. There have been many instances when hypoallergenic dogs had higher allergen levels.

People have always associated allergic reaction to dogs with their fur or hair. There seems to be a misconception that the longer the hair of the breed, the more likely it is going to cause allergic reactions. It’s in the same premise that people believe that when dogs don’t shed their fur, they can be considered hypoallergenic. The reality may actually be the opposite with dogs shedding very little to none at all re likely to cause more allergic reactions.

What should be noted is that every dog will produce dander and saliva at certain degrees. The hairless ones aren’t exempted. Oftentimes, a dog’s size can also have an effect on how much allergens they’re going to produce with larger dogs likely causing more allergic reaction since they’re bound to produce more dander and saliva. What should be understood is that there is no such thing as a fully allergen-free dog. So, while Labradors aren’t hypoallergenic, the other breeds aren’t going to be 100% allergen-free too.