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Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic? Vet Reviewed Facts & Tips

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Sable Border Collie

Vet approved

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Marta Vidal-Abarca

BVSc GPCert (Ophthal) MRCVS (Veterinarian)

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

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If you are an allergy sufferer, one of the first things you consider when choosing a dog is if they are hypoallergenic. Owning a Border Collie will bring you years of happiness and companionship, but if you have allergies, they can make that relationship tricky. Unfortunately, Border Collies are not hypoallergenic, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that an allergy sufferer cannot own a Border Collie. With proper research and precautions, you can have a close relationship with this remarkable dog.

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A Border Collie’s Coat

The Border Collie’s name refers to the border of Scotland and England, with a cold and very often damp climate. They were bred as working dogs to herd sheep, which meant they needed a coat that would stand up to various weather conditions such as rain, wind, and cold.

The dog’s long-haired double coat includes a coarse outer coat and a softer undercoat that work together to retain warmth and shrug off rain. A Border Collie can have a rough coat or a smooth coat, both of which are dense and weather-resistant. A rough coat is more voluminous, while a smooth coat is sleeker. The rough coat typically sheds more, but both types of coats can be an issue for allergy sufferers.

border collie at the beach
Image Credit: Pauline Loroy, Unsplash

Are Border Collies Hypoallergenic?

All dogs produce proteins, mainly from their sebaceous glands, that can trigger allergies. These proteins (allergens) cling to the dog’s dander and fur, which then sticks to the carpets, furniture, linen, and clothing. No dog is entirely hypoallergenic, regardless of the breed, although some dogs may cause fewer allergies than others.

Border Collies are not hypoallergenic, and in fact, no dog breed is. Many people focus on shedding, but it is actually the dander, not necessarily the fur, that causes allergic reactions in people. Border Collies shed a lot, and unfortunately, dander and fur can spread very quickly. Even if your Border Collie is in another room, the amount of dander scattered around the house can still trigger allergies.
The double coat of a Border Collie means that shedding is unavoidable, especially due to weather-changing conditions. Border Collies generally shed most in the Spring and Autumn seasons. This helps regulate their temperature as the seasons change.

Sable Border Collie
Image Credit: Annabell Gsoedl, Shutterstock

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How to Manage Your Allergies if You Own a Border Collie

If you are an allergy sufferer and love Border Collies, you can still enjoy companionship by managing your allergies and keeping them to a minimum. The allergy symptoms you experience will largely depend on whether you have other allergies, as well as your symptom threshold (the level of exposure to the different allergens that you can cope with before developing uncomfortable symptoms). If you are highly sensitive or have additional allergies, there are higher chances that your Border Collie will trigger more allergy symptoms. Here is what you can do:

  • Use air filters and purifiers fitted with a HEPA system to reduce the quantity of inhalant allergens from your dog.
  • Remove allergen reservoirs (carpets, window curtains, etc) as much as possible.
  • Regularly comb or brush your Border Collie to combat shedding. Wear gloves to protect your skin.
  • Cover sofas and areas your dog enjoys sitting, so they can easily be removed and washed often.
  • Choose beds and cushions that are easy to wash.
  • Wash your dog’s bed and linen at least once a week.
  • Don’t let your Border Collie share your bed, as tempting as it is. You need to keep an allergy-free environment.
  • Spend more time outdoors with your pet. The more time they spend outside, the more dander and fur they shed outdoors.
  • Regular grooming and cleaning can help manage your allergies, but sometimes you need extra help. You can talk to your doctor about medications that can assist and keep allergies under control, especially during the worst seasons.
a woman playing with border collie outdoor
Image Credit: Julia Zavalishina, Shutterstock

Tips to Keep Your Border Collie Happy & Healthy

As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your Border Collie happy and healthy so that they can live their best life. Here are some tips to keep your Border Collie in optimal health:

  • Feed your Border Collie a high-quality, well-balanced, and age-appropriate diet. This also assists in a healthy coat.
  • It is essential that your Border Collie gets enough exercise as they are a very active breed. This will also help manage and maintain its weight, which is vital to its health.
  • Border collies are working dogs that require adequate mental stimulation.
  • Ensure your Border Collie gets regular vet check-ups.
  • Your Border Collie will need regular grooming to prevent matting and reduce shedding.
  • Dental hygiene should never be overlooked.
  • Your pet’s health starts with its breeder. If you have decided to adopt a Border collie, find a reputable breeder.
  • If you notice any changes in your Border Collie’s behavior, activity levels, or eating habits, take it to the vet immediately.
  • Taking out pet insurance is sensible and responsible.

Keeping your pet's skin and coat clean and healthy is very important, but finding a great shampoo can be harder than the actual grooming! We love our Hepper Pet Shampoos because they makes grooming so much easier. These pH-balanced formulas are made with natural ingredients like oatmeal, cucumber, and aloe. They are free of phthalates, sulfates, and soaps and very gentle on your pet's skin. Now you just need to decide which formula is best for your fur baby! Here’s a quick guide to help you choose the right option for your pet’s next bath!

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Lathers easily
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Border Collies are not hypoallergenic but may still be suitable companions for allergy sufferers. It all depends on how severe your allergies are and how well you manage your pets’ coats, your home, and your other allergies.

Ultimately, you will need to look at the severity of your allergies, how well you can manage them, and if you can groom your Border Collie without experiencing an allergic reaction.

Featured Image Credit: Annabell Gsoedl, Shutterstock

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