Are Cavapoos Hypoallergenic?

Cavapoos are some of the sweetest mixes available. They are a cross between a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a standard or mini poodle, and the sweetness and intelligence of both breeds make them an ideal pet to own. However, does the poodle mix make a Cavapoo hypoallergenic or not? 

are cavapoos hypoallergenic
Are Cavapoos hypoallergenic?

Are Cavapoos Hypoallergenic? 

Cavapoos are not guaranteed to be hypoallergenic because they are a spaniel mix. Spaniels shed, and there’s a chance that the genetics of your puppy might take after the Cavalier. Therefore, Cavapoos aren’t always hypoallergenic, even if advertised as such. 

However, Cavapoos are mostly allergy friendly because of their poodle heritage. Pet owners with allergies rarely complain of issues with their Cavapoos. If you suffer from pet allergies, there isn’t a guarantee to get a hypoallergenic Cavapoo, but you’ve got a pretty good chance of finding a puppy you can keep. 

Breeders often advertise Cavapoos as hypoallergenic because of this factor–most of them don’t cause issues with allergies. However, on the off chance that a recessive genetic factor is prevalent in a puppy, Cavapoos are not officially recognized as hypoallergenic dogs. 

What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic? 

non shedding cavapoo coats
Different wavy non-shedding Cavapoo coats.

As you probably know, some dogs have coats of fur, which shed, and some have hair. Dogs with fur don’t need regular grooming or haircuts, but they will shed their fur as new coats grow in. Dogs who have hair need regular grooming to keep it at a manageable length. Both types release dander

Dander is simply the dry skin related to a dog growing new hair. Just like humans, all dogs release dander at different levels. Dogs that shed leave a lot more dander than dogs that grow hair. If a dog sheds at all, they are non- hypoallergenic because some dander is still released. 

However, a completely non-shedding or hairless dog is considered hypoallergenic because of the minuscule amount of dander they release. The only way a dog is truly hypoallergenic is if they don’t shed at all (or has no hair to shed). 

Poodles are considered hypoallergenic, but Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are not. The genetic mix of the two can vary depending on the litter. Your Cavapoo might shed some or not at all. As a whole, the breed is considered allergen-friendly but not hypoallergenic. 

Are All Poodle Mixes Hypoallergenic? 

Poodles crossed with other breeds, creating many fancy mutt breeds that tend to be allergy-free. This is because poodles are intelligent and healthy dogs who don’t shed. Many of the most popular poodle mixes, such as Labradoodles and Goldendoodles, are marketed as hypoallergenic, even though mixed with shedding dogs. 

The same rules apply to these breeds as to Cavapoos. Although Labradoodles and Goldendoodles have been around for longer than the Cavapoo, they are not technically hypoallergenic. Thanks to their poodle heritage, the probability of shedding is much less, and it’s a safe bet for pet lovers with allergies. 

The only kinds of truly hypoallergenic dogs are those that don’t shed at all. This can be because they have hair or are hairless like Chinese Crested dogs. Either way, a mixed breed dog is rarely considered hypoallergenic. 

Should I Avoid Cavapoos if I Have Allergies?

fluffy cavapoo puppy with white chest looks at owner
Bicolor and Tricolour Cavapoo puppies have splashes of white and other shades. Cute!

If you have severe dog allergies, you should be as careful as possible. Even hypoallergenic dogs such as poodles or bichons can set off severe allergies because all dogs release some dander. However, even with mild allergies, you are probably safe getting a Cavapoo as a pet. 

It might be helpful to get a second or third-generation Cavapoo–the farther down the line from the shedding parent, the less likely your puppy is to shed. Although there’s always a chance of getting a dog that sheds a bit, you won’t end up with dog fur all over your house. 

You can also try fostering a Cavapoo pup before committing to an adoption. This way, you can ensure that you and your family are compatible with the puppy and grooming needs before paying full price. Most shelters and breeders will allow a foster to adoption trial period. 

If you or one of your children has dog allergies, consult their doctor before getting a dog of any kind. Pets are delightful additions to a family, but you should first take care of your health. A Cavapoo should be a safe bet for mild allergies, but you should ensure that a new dog is in everyone’s best interest. 

Are Cavapoos Designer Dogs? 

f1b cavapoo wavy coat sits on the grass
F1b wavy coat Cavapoo dogs are the most likely to be hypoallergenic

Cavapoos are designer dogs intentionally bred from Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles. However, a designer dog doesn’t necessarily mean that the Cavapoos were mistreated or unethically raised. Often, bred dogs get a bad reputation when they need a loving home as well. 

Designer Dog Health Issues

Designer dogs are known for having health issues because of their breeding. However, this is only true when the breeder is unethical. Unethical breeders breed as many puppies as possible without considering the overall health of the puppies or parents. 

For the most part, designer dogs such as Cavapoos have similar health issues to other breeds of dogs in their size range. Cavapoos often have some of the typical health problems of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Poodles. Here are some of the common health issues of Cavapoos: 

  • Epilepsy
  • Cataracts
  • Entropion 
  • Patellar Luxation
  • Syringomyelia
  • Mitral Valve Disease

These issues aren’t a guarantee with any dog–they are only a risk. Cavapoos are at a medium risk of each of these issues, but a good breeder will give you a complete history of your dog’s parents’ health and risk factors. Knowing this and keeping regular vet visits will improve your dog’s overall health and lessen the risk of serious diseases. First-generation or F1 pups gain the robust health benefits of mutts. F2 (second generation) and on are pairings of two cavapoos. F2 and up are more likely for health issues, just like any purebred breed.

The Importance of a Good Breeder

cavapoo in the sun
A Cavapoo shines in the sun. So cute!

I can’t stress enough how crucial a good breeder is when buying a Cavapoo puppy. Unethical breeders aren’t always easy to spot, but they actively hurt dogs and puppies to get money for a new litter. 

Often, unethical breeders offer a discounted price on a designer dog (usually more expensive than other breeds). This lower price reflects an inbreeding or quick breeding process, which overbreeds and wears out the moms and leads to congenital defects. 

If you visit a breeder and they tell you that their dogs don’t have any health issues or are being kept apart from the other dogs for health reasons, it’s a good sign they aren’t a good breeder. A decent breeder will be open with a Cavapoo’s natural risk for disease and the specific history of the dogs. 

The most important sign of a good breeder is a health guarantee and multiple tests. Before the breeder weans the dog and lets you take home your puppy, they will test it for various genetic disorders and give you a full report. You will get the history of the pup’s parents and a health guarantee from the breeder. 

Final Thoughts

Cavapoos are not technically hypoallergenic, but they are bred to be allergen-friendly and don’t usually cause issues with allergic owners. It depends on the specific puppy and how many generations the pup is from the initial Poodle/ Cavalier pairing. However, most Cavapoos are safe for families with allergies and make fantastic pets.