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Are Labrador Retrievers Hypoallergenic?

By Kerry
Updated on

Labradors are known for their friendly personalities and playful nature, so it only makes sense that they’re one of the most popular breeds of dog to own across the world! 

Labradors are often considered family dogs because of their gentle temperament and loyal personality. They are also highly intelligent and trainable. But, despite these attributes – are they hypoallergenic?

Black labrador retriever puppy resting

This is what we’re here to answer.

In this article, we’re going to be talking you through whether, or not, Labrador retrievers are hypoallergenic, how often you can expect them to shed, as well as ways you can help to prevent your allergies from flaring up if you own one. 

Let’s begin!

What is a Labrador Retriever?

A Labrador Retriever is a breed of medium-sized dog that originated in England. The name “Retriever” comes from the fact that these dogs were originally used to retrieve game birds such as pheasants.

Labrador retrievers are generally between 25 and 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 55 to 100 pounds. Their coat consists of long hair with a soft undercoat.

The Labrador Retriever has an average lifespan of 12 to 14 years, which makes it one of the longest living breeds of dog.

As we’re sure you’re already well aware, Labs are known for their friendly personality and playfulness, which is why they are considered to be one of the best dogs for a family home.

What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?

Before we jump any further into this article, we’re first going to be breaking down what hypoallergenic means. To simplify, hypoallergenic means that the skin will not cause allergic reactions when exposed to certain allergens.

Allergies are caused by your immune system reacting to substances called antigens. Your body produces antibodies against these antigens, causing inflammation and swelling.

Allergic rhinitis, hives, eczema, dermatitis, urticaria, and other conditions like asthma may occur if the person suffers from allergies.

Hypoallergenic dogs do not produce these antibodies and therefore don’t trigger an allergic reaction. Due to this, many people prefer to buy hypoallergenic puppies instead of non-hypoallergenic breeds. 

Are Labrador Retrievers Hypoallergenic?

Labrador Retrievers are not considered to be hypoallergenic, and this is down to a few different reasons that we are going to be taking a closer look at in this section.

Before we jump any further, it’s important to keep in mind that even though there are a variety of dog breeds that are considered to be hypoallergenic, there is no dog out there that’s ever going to be completely hypoallergenic. 

The main reason for this is that, besides the coat, allergens can also be released via dandruff and saliva – which means that even breeds of dogs that have been classed as hypoallergenic might still cause a reaction to those who are sensitive.

When it comes to Labrador Retrievers, they are not considered to be suitable for those prone to allergies because they shed more frequently than other types of dogs.

Due to this, it means that the allergens that could trigger your allergies will be released from the fur that your Labrador retriever will shed around the home. 

Plus, it is also worth keeping in mind that the size of a dog also impacts how hypoallergenic they are. As a general rule of thumb, the smaller the dog, the more hypoallergenic they are going to be. 

With that being said, as Labrador retrievers are large breed dogs, it means that they are more likely to cause an allergic reaction than other breeds of dogs that are smaller in size.

Can I Own a Labrador Retriever if Prone to Allergies?

Adult brown labrador retriever

This will ultimately depend on you and your personal circumstances.

Just like we have already mentioned above, there are no dogs that are totally hypoallergenic, which means that you will always be at risk of an allergic reaction – regardless of whether you buy a Labrador retriever or a Shih Tzu.

That being said, when deciding whether, or not, you should own a Labrador retriever, you should be sure to consider the following factors:

Lifestyle Changes

One of the most important commitments that you will need to make if you would like to purchase a Labrador retriever is a variety of lifestyle changes to help keep the chances of an allergic reaction to a minimum.

For example, you might need to take regular medication.

Regular Grooming

In order to keep your Labrador retriever’s shedding to a minimum and lower your exposure to the allergens in your dog’s coat – you will need to make sure that you are grooming your dog daily. 

Home Changes

Last but not least, another factor that you will need to take into account is whether, or not, you are willing to make changes around your home in order to keep allergies at bay.

For example, if you happen to have carpets throughout your home, you might need to consider replacing them with wooden flooring so that your dog’s fur won’t get stuck in the carpet fibers. 

How Do You Know if Your Puppy Is Hypoallergenic or Not?

There are several ways to determine whether, or not, your puppy is hypoallergenic. One way is to ask your veterinarian about it.

He or she should be able to tell you if your puppy is hypoallergenic based on his or her experience. Another option is to check out the American Kennel Club (AKC) website.

On the AKC site, there is a list of hypoallergenic breeds.

The Bottom Line

All in all, Labrador retrievers are not considered to be hypoallergenic for a variety of factors, but the main factor is simply down to the fact that they regularly shed their coats. 

While this doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to have a Labrador retriever, we do recommend that you consider whether, or not, it is worth it if you suffer from allergies.

Labrador retrievers can trigger a variety of allergies, so you will need to make a variety of changes in order to accommodate one into your home and keep allergens at bay. 

Thank you for reading! 

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.