Often confused with the Labrador Retriever, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever might not require much grooming but is still NOT a hypoallergenic dog. In fact, this intelligent and affectionate breed is known for being an above-average shedder!
Although known as a moderate shedder, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever does not have to be off-limits to allergy sufferers, though. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to limit your allergy symptoms.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever Coat
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever has a double, medium-length coat. The thick undercoat is exceptionally wooly and designed to keep this swimming pup warm in frigid waters. The topcoat is wavy and short and produces natural oil that repels water and keeps the skin healthy.
As a double-coated breed, it is not surprising that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a moderate shedder that also blows its coat twice a year in Spring and Fall. In Spring, as temperatures slowly warm up, the “Chessie” loses the thick insulating undercoat of Winter in favor of a thinner coat in time for Summer. In fall, this process happens again, but in reverse.
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever does not require too much grooming, but brushing once a week keeps the coat healthy and stimulates oil glands in the skin. These natural oils nourish the skin and coat and create a water-repellent surface on the topcoat.
Since the Chessie has a double-layered coat, you must never use grooming tools like the “Furminator” which can damage and even destroy the undercoat.
What Are Hypoallergenic Dogs
We have already established that the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is not hypoallergenic. But what exactly makes a dog hypoallergenic, and what does hypoallergenic mean?
Hypoallergenic is a term used to describe a dog that is less likely to cause an allergic response in someone that is allergic to dogs.
What is it that makes a dog “hypoallergenic”?
It all comes down to the proteins that dogs produce. These proteins trigger the allergic response, and they are present in a dog’s urine, saliva, and skin cells. Some breeds create more of these proteins, and some dog breeds produce less.
Are Chesapeake Bay Retrievers Hypoallergenic?
No. The Chessie is not hypoallergenic.
What Influences How Hypoallergenic the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is?
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever sheds more than the average dog, shedding hair daily as well as seasonally. With so much shedding, Chessie owners frequently find hairballs rolling across the floor. Unfortunately, the more dog hair that a dog sheds, the more dander releases into the environment. The increased dispersal of dander means the presence of more allergens in your home.
The level of allergy-inducing proteins that a dog produces is another factor that influences how hypoallergenic a breed is. As we mentioned previously, some dog breeds produce more of these proteins than others. Unfortunately for Chessie owners, the Chessie generates more than the average amount of proteins, which means that allergy-sufferers are unlikely to be comfortable with a Chessie in the house.
Limiting Allergy Symptoms When You Own a Chesapeake Bay Retriever
If you are a diehard Chessie fan but suffer from allergies, you do not have to write off this pup entirely – there are things you can do to reduce allergens in your home.
As we mentioned above, regular brushing is beneficial for keeping your Chessie’s coat healthy. Regular brushing is also helpful in removing dead hair from Chessie’s coat and brushing out dry and dead skin cells. In doing this, it mitigates your allergic response, and fewer allergens escape into the environment.
Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s diet also plays a significant role in their overall health. For example, a diet that does not incorporate all the necessary nutrients can cause your Chessie to develop dry and itchy skin.
The drier your dog’s skin, the more skin cells they shed and the worse your allergy symptoms become. With a proper diet, however, every aspect of your Chessie’s health is nourished, and that means fewer allergy symptoms for you.
Vet care is the third major factor in maintaining a healthy Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Every dog requires regular vet care for preventative medicine and unexpected incidents. Without regular care, parasites and infection can cause dry and itchy skin and worsen your allergy symptoms!
Conclusion / Summary
The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is not a hypoallergenic dog, and for most allergy sufferers, this is a poor breed choice. Even by taking additional practices under advisement, the Chessie is best suited to a home that can tolerate their heavy shedding and allow this active breed to pursue an active lifestyle.