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Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic? Vet-Verified Facts

Written by: Chelsea Mortensen

Last Updated on May 10, 2024 by Dogster Team

woman having an allergy to a Cocker Spaniel dog

Are Cocker Spaniels Hypoallergenic? Vet-Verified Facts

VET APPROVED

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca Photo

REVIEWED & FACT-CHECKED BY

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

Veterinarian, BVSC GPCERT (OPHTHAL) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Do dogs make your heart happy but clog your sinuses? If you pet a pup, does your skin break out in a rash? Dog allergies are the bane of many pet lovers’ lives, and the hunt for a hypoallergenic dog is never-ending. If you want a dog that you can hug without worry, you might wonder if a Cocker Spaniel is the dog for you.

Some people say that Cocker Spaniels don’t set off their allergies, but unfortunately, there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog. Let’s explore why this breed may still be the right choice for you.

What Is an Allergen?

How do allergies work, anyway? People with dog allergies are sensitive to certain proteins that canines produce. Allergens themselves are harmless; it is our body’s reaction to them that causes the problems! Allergens are named following a standard structure. In dogs, the most studied ones are Can f1 and Can f2, but there are more. They are found in saliva, dander, and urine and carried on hair and dander. That means that some people will have an allergic reaction when a dog licks them, but most of the time, canine allergies are triggered by shed fur and dead skin cells. These can float in the air or settle on a sofa, causing an allergic reaction before you even touch a dog.

Every breed produces allergens, which is why there are no hypoallergenic dogs.

allergy
Image Credit: jmexclusives, Pixabay

A Different Dander?

So, when it comes to dealing with allergies, you want to be exposed to as few canine allergens as possible. There are two potential ways to do that. First, you can get a dog that sheds less. Some breeds, like Poodles, have low-shedding coats. However, no study has proven that lower shedding will reduce the amount of allergens shed, so all breeds, regardless of their coat length or shedding levels, can trigger an allergic reaction.

Second, you may want to look for a dog that makes fewer allergens overall. Different dogs make different numbers of allergens, but unfortunately, this is not associated with a specific breed or sex. So, if you have minor allergies, one dog might cause a giant breakout, but another dog might be totally fine.

Why Cocker Spaniels Might Not Be Hypoallergenic

There are also reasons to think that a Cocker Spaniel isn’t the best canine choice if you have allergies. These dogs have long fur and shed a medium amount. Additionally, their drooling level is moderate, which may spread saliva over furniture. If you are thinking about adopting a Cocker Spaniel and you have allergies, first try visiting an adult Cocker Spaniel that you can interact with so you can see how your allergies react.

english cocker spaniel on green grass
Image Credit: andriano.cz, Shutterstock

Tips for Allergic Owners

Picking the right dog is only one way that you can reduce allergic reactions. It is important to understand what your allergic threshold is, since you may be suffering from other types of allergies at the same time. Minimizing your exposure to allergens other than your dog’s can help you stay below your symptom threshold, which means you won’t experience the uncomfortable allergy manifestations like runny nose, itchy eyes, and sneezing, among others.

Here are a few ideas:
  • Keep your dog groomed. Dander gets cleaned out of your dog’s coat when you wash and brush it. The more dander you can clean out by grooming, the less gets into the air.
  • Scrub your hands. After you play with your dog or pet them, wash your hands immediately with soap and water. That will help remove any allergens that have transferred to your hands before they trigger your allergies.
  • Dust and vacuum. Canine dander settles on carpets, beds, couches, and other surfaces. Getting a small pet hair vacuum and cleaning regularly will help reduce build-up. Use a disposable face mask if you can’t leave this task to a non-allergic person.
  • Wash bedding, clothing, and sofa covers regularly using a high temperature and detergents.
  • Use HEPA air filters. You can buy an air filter that will scrub the air and reduce dander and dust.
  • Make a dog-free zone. We all love doggy snuggles, but if you’re allergic, you might want to keep them away from your bedroom. Banning dogs from certain parts of your house can help you manage your allergies better.

Our Favorite Products

Selecting the right shampoo and conditioner makes the world of a difference when grooming your pup. Our favorite products are the duo by Hepper. The Oatmeal Pet Shampoo is formulated with aloe and oatmeal to soothe skin and hydrate the coat. The Pet Conditioner works at eliminating tangles and taming frizz and static. Both products are pH-balanced and formulated with pet-friendly ingredients, free of harsh soaps, chemicals, and dyes. Give this duo a try to heal and nourish your dog's coat, and leave them with an irresistible just-left-the-spa cucumber and aloe scent. 

Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
Hepper Oatmeal Shampoo for Dogs, Cats and Other...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
Hepper Pet Conditioner and Moisturiser - Scented...
pH balanced
Gently cleanses
Cucumber & aloe scent
Free of harmful additives
Combats tangles & static
Soothes & hydrates

At Dogster, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool pet company!

 

divider-dog

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to find the right dog that won’t trigger your allergies. Although Cocker Spaniels might not be the magic allergen-free breed, it is worth trying to see if this pup is right for you and your home. That way, you can experience the joy of owning a dog without sacrificing your health and happiness along the way.


Featured Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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