Are Cavapoos hypoallergenic? Do Cavapoos, aka Cavoodles, shed at all? What does the hypoallergenic mean, anyway? Let’s find out.
If you are using the term hypoallergenic for its literal meaning, Cavapoos are hypoallergenic! This doesn’t mean they won’t cause allergic reactions, but rather they are simply less likely to.
Let’s examine this further.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
The prefix “hypo” is often associated with medical terms. For example, think of “hypoglycemia”, “hypodermic”, or “hypothyroidism”. The prefix “hypo” means something like ‘low, under, below normal, or less than’ in Latin.
Allergenic relates to the effects of an allergen.
So, if you say something is hypoallergenic, you just mean it is less likely to lead to an allergic reaction. It doesn’t mean it won’t cause allergies, just that it is less likely to.
So what do we mean if we say a Cavapoo is hypoallergenic? We just mean the little one is less likely to cause an allergic reaction when compared to many other dog breeds.
What Causes Allergic Reactions?
We should probably explain allergies before anything else! An allergic reaction, or an allergy, is the body’s immune system mistaking something normal (the allergen) for harmful and attacking it. Allergens usually aren’t harmful to most people.
Things like peanuts, shellfish, bee stings, pollen, or animal dander, in this case, are all common allergens in humans. Most people will be fine around these things. But sometimes a person’s immune system will overreact to them. When this happens, we call it an allergic reaction.
It’s the shedding of animal cells allergic people often react to. These are shed by all dogs no matter the breed. More specifically, people react to certain proteins in dog dander.
Dander: Microscopic flakes of skin, hair, or feathers that may cause allergic reactions
How Do Allergies Work?
You already know what an allergen is. As the immune system encounters specific proteins on this normally harmless allergen, it jumps into overdrive! You’ll begin to produce antibodies that attack this allergen.
Symptoms can vary. They’ll depend upon the type and amount of the allergen, in this case, animal dander, that the allergic individual encounters.
Now your immune system is encountering this allergen. Chemical signals are sent to specialized cells, called “mast cells”, telling them to release histamines.
Histamines boost blood flow and cause inflammation around the affected area. At this point, other chemicals begin to do their work, all in an effort to expel the allergens that have invaded your body.
- Your nose might begin to itch or run.
- You may begin sneezing.
- You might get a tickle in your throat, causing you to cough.
Hypoallergenic Dog Breed vs. Non-Hypoallergenic
Let’s assume an allergic individual adopts a Siberian Husky. Huskies shed like crazy! With all of that shedding, there will be more allergens attached to those hairs. The allergic owner is now in deep trouble and might have a severe reaction.
The same owner adopts a late generation (see generations below), F1BB, Cavapoo. This dog has inherited the genes coding for coat length & type from her Poodle lineage. She almost never sheds! There will always be some animal dander, but not nearly as much.
The same allergic individual barely reacts to his new canine friend. Of course, he will always be allergic to animal dander and still needs to take precautions (see tips below). But his reactions are mild to nearly unnoticeable.
Are All Cavapoos Hypoallergenic?
Not every Cavapoo will be hypoallergenic. This depends on the frequency the dog will shed and coat type, which depends on traits inherited from the parents.
Cavapoos descend from a cross between Poodles (single coat, hypoallergenic) and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (double coat, sheds more often, not hypoallergenic). The term ‘dander’ refers to skin cells shed from an animal or human. These will travel more frequently along with hair.
You’ll know exactly what this means if you’re a breeder! We are talking about the generations of designer breeds. The first generation, or F1, of a Cavapoo is the offspring of a purebred Poodle and a purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Mating two F1 Cavapoos will give you a second-generation F2 Cavapoo.
Ultimately, an F1BB Cavapoo (87.5% Poodle & 12.5% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) is most likely to offer hypoallergenic traits.
Your Cavapoo’s generation will ultimately determine how hypoallergenic he or she is. How much did your little one inherit from his Poodle lineage? What about the Cavalier lineage?
Before purchasing a Cavapoo from your breeder because you’re looking for a hypoallergenic dog, ask what generation it is.
You can read more on Cavapoo generations in our article: Cavapoo Generations F1, F1b, F1bb, F2, F3 Explained.
Which Cavapoos are Best for Allergies?
Cavapoos that have inherited dominant traits from their Poodle parents are more likely to be hypoallergenic. These are the F1B or F1BB generation Cavapoos. In the end, it’s the Cavapoo with the most Poodle genetics that will have the greatest chance of being hypoallergenic.
Tips for Allergy Sufferers
- Wash dog bedding frequently
- Though Cavapoos won’t shed much, maintain regular brushing with a brush like this one and grooming
- Don’t allow Cavapoo to sleep in the same bed
- Use an air purifier like this one
- Invest in a vacuum designed for animal hair. Look for a HEPA filter.
Some sources will recommend you bathe your dog frequently. This makes perfect sense at first. There is a downside to frequent bathing, however.
Excessive bathing washes essential oils away from Cavapoos skin every time you bathe. This isn’t healthy for the dog’s skin or coat. Excessive bathing can cause a dog to shed more dander.
You absolutely shouldn’t bathe a Cavapoo more than once a week at most. Once a month is recommended, while some sources say you can safely bathe up to twice a month.
Are Cavapoos a Good Option for Allergy Suffers?
So are Cavapoos a good option for allergy sufferers? Are they at least better than other breeds?
The answer is- Yes, in most cases. It does depend on the allergy sufferer, along with the factors listed above.
Not all allergy sufferers are the same. If the human body reacts severely or very strongly to animal dander, causing an extreme reaction like anaphylaxis/ closing of airways, then no animal would be recommended.
All dogs produce some dander. That can’t be avoided, no matter the breed.
If you have mild allergic reactions to animal dander, a Cavapoo might be a fantastic choice for you!
Every dog will shed some degree of dander and no dog is allergy-free, so it depends on your preference. Besides this quality, Cavapoos are fantastic family dogs with amazing personalities.
Are Cavapoos Better than Other Breeds for Allergy Sufferers?
Believe it or not, Poodles are one of the most recommended options for allergy sufferers! Your Cavapoo has Poodle DNA in him. If he inherited traits coding for coat length/type from his Poodle parent, his coat will be very similar.
This means Cavapoos are one of the best overall options for allergy sufferers, just like Poodles! The dog still needs to be the correct mixture and will have had to have inherited the correct genetics.
Most breeders will breed these designer dogs because they are hypoallergenic dogs – and they make fantastic pets.
Early Hypoallergenic Dog Mixes
The first hypoallergenic ‘designer’ dog mix was probably the Labradoodle.
As legend would have it, a visually impaired woman needed a guide dog. Labrador Retrievers are extremely popular for their guide work because these highly intelligent dogs offer the perfect temperament.
The woman had a husband with allergies to animal dander. Labradors also shed like crazy, so that wouldn’t work! The woman’s guide dog breeder tried to train a Poodle (possibly even more intelligent) for the service work but simply couldn’t find the right temperament.
Finally, he decided to cross a standard Poodle and a Labrador. The Labradoodle came to be!
If he could get a hypoallergenic dog out of a Labrador parent, you can certainly get a hypoallergenic dog from a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle cross. Like the Lab, it’s the Poodle genetics that matter here.
Promote Healthy Cavapoo Pups
You don’t want to simply purchase any Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle. Both dam and sire need to have been genetically tested in order to rule out any hereditary disorders that may be passed on to puppies.
You’ll want to ensure your puppy has been de-wormed and receiving their recommended vaccinations, as well as regular veterinary care. A good breeder will make this a condition of sale and follow up with the buyer.
Conclusion: Are Cavapoos Hypoallergenic?
Most Cavapoos are hypoallergenic, but it depends on the traits inherited from the dog’s parentage. “Hypoallergenic” just means the dog is less likely to cause an allergic reaction than non- hypoallergenic breeds, or the reaction will likely be less severe.
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