German shepherds are one of the most loyal yet hard-working dogs that you may come across. But the fact is, this breed is not at all hypoallergenic.
It can shed for quite some time, maybe twice a year, and the coating they blow is heavy. This is certainly not a healthy sign for people who have allergies to pets.
If you have been a victim of such allergies, then there are a few ways it can be brought under control because dander and dog fur can irritate you a lot, and the best way is to lessen the shedding.
Understanding the relation between German Shepherd and allergies
This super intelligent breed is quite lovable. They can be a perfect family dog simultaneously; even if trained well, they can give the best protection. It is obvious why this breed is so much in demand amongst the family. But people often get allergic to fur and dander problems, which is why it is important to take precautionary actions on time.
Such a breed is not hypoallergenic, but ideally, no such dog can be completely hypoallergenic. Focusing on the German shepherd can shed the whole year, and its fur has maple of dander. On the contrary to what people think, it is not the fur but dander that works as the root problem which creates an allergic reaction.
What Causes Dog Allergies in Humans
There may not be just one or two reasons but could be a lot of reasons that could cause the pet allergies, and this does not mean there has to be a pet in the house causing such allergy.
As per the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, it has been found that a home without a pet is also not allergic free.
Besides, there are so many prospective parents of the furry baby who must have good knowledge about the root problem of dog allergies. This way, they can have the best possible tools and precautionary measures to handle the situation once the furry baby is at home.
It is not just the shedding that would cause allergies in humans. As said, dander could be the root cause too. It is small flecks more like microscopic flecks of the dead skin of dogs, cats, and even birds sometimes when they shed.
Such small bits of the skin could probably be the root of what could cause allergies, especially amongst the very much susceptible people. People having allergies to dander are quite sensitive to the immunity system, which may react to the dander.
Those people who have low immunity or have certain allergies are also more susceptible to dander problems. It would be just like a virus or bacteria issue. The watery eyes and sneezing could often be more like an allergy attack through which the body would flush away all those allergens.
Symptoms Of GSD Allergies
Talking further about the GSD allergy symptom, it can, of course, vary in terms of acuteness degrees. Some people usually show the signs of the allergy as same as that of the nasal allergy. This includes:
- Itchy eyes
- Runny or stuffy nose
Some people may face some serious signs and can experience skin reactions such as hives. Usually, people who don’t have a much better immune system or have serious health issues such as asthma could create serious signs. However, they need to pay extra attention to looking out for the dog allergies sign.
At such a time, the very first thing to do is get the allergy under control, and for this, the root cause of the German shepherd and its fur shedding needs to be known first. This way, the dander gets controlled.
Changing season that affects fur German Shepherds
You may come across breeds to which the people may not be allergic. However, often for German shepherd lovers, it is not the same case.
This breed is popular as the herding dog and, of course, would require thick fur so that they can withstand the chilling breeze and cold winter and mountain heights. That is why you may notice this breed will have a double coating while their fur is quite thick, especially in the winter season.
Just as protective their fur would be in the winter season, the case in summer is different. They would shed quite a lot in the summer season the most. That is a different part than usual; they tend to shed the whole year. Just as people usually would lose many hairs on the head each day, the dog has such a routine course.
Having a shedding is equally important, even if it might be quite aggravating to even those who don’t have any allergies, as it can spread all over the house. But a person who has to deal with dog allergies can have some challenges to deal with.
Shaving might prove to be an effective option, but it is not necessary that it would work for all the breeds, and in the case of German shepherds, it is not advised at all. This breed should not be shaved, especially in the winter season, as it requires maximum fur to keep self-warm.
Fur can equally be helpful to keep this breed cool in summer. There is no doubt that dogs cannot sweat, and that is the main reason they rely so much on the fur, no matter whether to warm themselves up or keep cool.
If a German shepherd is shaved in summer, the insulation which the fur helps keep the dog cool would also get lost. This would result in sunburn, and that certainly is not advised for the furry baby.
Living a healthy life With a German Shepherd while dealing with Allergies
Before even having a German shepherd, it is important to be clear whether you and all the other family members are tolerant of allergies. The lifestyle should be well evaluated so that future actions can be taken.
If the allergies are not that severe, it could be manageable for people to live with such a breed. But if there are some allergies discovered, then listed are few things that can be done to manage the issue while enjoying the company of this loving breed.
- Grooming can be helpful.
Since German shepherds tend to shed a lot but it can be controlled if the breed is well-groomed. If the allergies are not severe, then it is a blessing. But still, it is better to keep your dog well-groomed.
Talking about grooming, it is good to brush the dog on a regular basis. A thorough brushing at least once a week can also be helpful.
Bathing the dog is further needed. This doesn’t have to be daily, but at least once a week every summer and twice a month in winter can keep the dander and old skin cells in control while falling out. A good shampoo is important to keep the coat healthy. Besides, it can even lessen down the shedding to a great extent.
If it is dry fur the most, then you need to expect more shedding to keep the dog well-groomed and clean all the time. Taking a German shepherd to a professional groomer can also be helpful to reduce overall shedding. Also, some grooming tools work best for the German shepherd; this includes:
- For pup’s slicker brush is advised
- Grooming scissors to ensure the coat stays tidy
- Mat comb to remove the occasional mat that happens behind the ears
- Dog toothbrush
- If it is a long coat, then a medium-size pin brush
- Grooming rake to get rid of shedding hair
- Dog dryer for quick drying after bath
- Dog Nail clippers
- Avoid using a carpet.
The problem of having a dog and a carpet is the dander; once they fall on the carpet, it can be stuck forever. Getting good hardwood flooring can help to a great extent. It is easy to sweep the wooden floor rather than get rid of the dander that often falls off the carpet. In case you have to use a carpet, then it is advised to vacuum it daily. While cleaning, having a mask is important so that dander doesn’t enter the nose or affect the face when it flies around.
Also, note that dander often gets caught in the blankets or rugs, which can smell quite a lot. It is better to clean them often so that it does not further affect you or any other family members.
- Clothes that are pet-specific
While playing around with your furry baby, it is always better to have certain clothes when they are inside the house. Maybe choosing old/used clothes or the grungy ones can be better as they will not get dirty any further. This way, at least clothes would be dander-free. For the people who have allergies, this would at least have their itching and sneezing problem reduced to a great extent. It is always better to keep these clothes separately in the wardrobe. Also, when washing them, it is important to wash them off separately.
Firstly, they should be taken to the dry cleaning and should be vacuumed well. If it is shaken up vigorously, then at least some control can be brought.
Since German shepherds are such loving animals, it would be irresistible not to get them on yourself while playing around. But if this very basic tip of hygiene is followed, at least the frequent signs of allergies that are noted can be reduced to a great extent.
- Wash Your Hands often.
Of all other things, talking further about hygienic contribution, it is always better to wash the hands with warm water and soap. To protect people against any allergic reaction happening, it is good to advise them to wash their hands first and then eat or even touch the face. This is one precautionary measure that can have much of a positive effect for a long time.
Other precautionary measures to control allergy:
- Using only fur control dog hair shampoo for GSD.
- Allergy shots may help at a moderate level to control severe allergies.
- Installation of air filters for home.
Many people even often suffer from pet allergies and consider keeping their pet outside the home. But this is one kind of cruelty, especially when your furry baby needs a family around all the time.
If we talk about German shepherds, well, it is one of the highly energetic dogs that love to spend time out but also, it’s also a family breed, and if you want to use its stimulation, then taking to a park or playing outside with them can be helpful.
This pet needs socialization, so they don’t turn aggressive, and for this, it is good to take the dog out for a walk or in the park. Overall, the more the dog is kept out, the more it can be good for you; but you must make sure to spend time with your furry baby too, so it doesn’t feel left out at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are German shepherds bad for allergies?
It is one of the popular enduring breeds and marks as well. But there is a possibility that this dog could be a trigger for some allergic reactions for the human.
2. What could be the possible reason that German shepherds are not hypoallergenic?
Since this breed tends to shed the whole year, there is a possibility that its fur could have some dander that could cause allergic reactions.
3. What is the best hypoallergenic guard dog?
The best hypoallergenic guard dog is Komondor, Standard Schnauzer, Puli, Airedale Terrier, Irish Terrier, and Portuguese Water Dog to name some.