If you have allergies and you want to buy or adopt a German shepherd, you must want to know if they are hypoallergenic.
German shepherds are not hypoallergenic. This means that they shed a lot throughout the year. These hairs carry dander which bothers people with allergies. The good thing is that you can still own a German shepherd even if you have allergic reactions.
Read on to understand how you can reduce dander in your dog and house, and the possible factors that can lead to excessive shedding.
What Makes German shepherds not Hypoallergenic?
Double layered coat
German shepherds have a double coat that sheds all through the year. In the hot seasons, they shed a lot to help them stay cool. The shed fur contains pet dander which reacts with people with allergies.
Pet dander sticks into a dog’s fur. Whenever you pet your GSD, it will stick on your hands. If you do not wash your hands after petting your dog, the dander will spread to everything else that you touch.
Factors That Contribute To Excessive Shedding in GSDs
If your dog is suffering from diseases like kidney or liver disease, he can shed excessively. Take your GSD to a vet for checkups regularly.
Stress and Depression
If your dog had gone through a traumatic experience, lost a spouse, changed the environment, or anything that can lead to stress, he will be more likely to shed excessively. It’s advisable to take your dog to a behaviorist who will help him to cope with the stress in the shortest time possible.
Parasites and pests
Parasites like ringworm, lukewarm, or roundworms can result in skin problems. De-worm your dog regularly. Wash and spray your dogs’ bedding to prevent fleas, bedbugs, and any other pest.
Skin problems are treatable, take him to a vet for assistance.
Low-quality food which contains a lot of grains that are hard for your dog to digest can lead to excessive shedding.
Are You Allergic to GSDs?
People who are allergic to dogs may experience the following symptoms anytime they get close to their pooch:
- Watery or itchy eyes
- Running or stuffy nose
If these symptoms end once you move away from your dog, its means you are allergic to him.
This does not mean you cannot live with a German shepherd; there are ways you can use to reduce pet dander in your dog and house.
Ways of Reducing Pet Dander in Your Dog and House
Brushing your dog often will decrease the amount of loose fur which would have fallen in the house
Brush your German shepherd twice per week if he is short-haired and daily if he is long-haired. Brushing should be done outdoor to prevent hairs from falling in the house.
Use the right Brush
For better results, use a brush that can penetrate the undercoat. It will help to remove dander and excess fur.
Vacuum your house and carpet regularly. During the shedding season, vacuum daily to remove the excess hairs. Invest in a quality vacuum for pet hair.
Restrain your dog to certain places
The fact that you love your GSD so much should not make him access every corner of your house. Have some rooms which are a no-go zone for him. These rooms will provide refuge whenever you want an allergy-free zone.
Bathing your German shepherd can help reduce the number of hairs in your house. It should be done not more than five times a year. Bathing your GSD regularly will strip natural fats from his coat.
Use a de-shedding Shampoo, but first read all the ingredients to be sure that your dog is not allergic to either of them.
A balanced diet will ensure that your dog sheds normally. Poor quality food can make him shed prematurely and increase the no of loose hairs in his coat.
Ask for assistance from your vet on the best food for your dog.
Air Filters and Purifiers
They help to trap dander and pollen making the air you breathe clean.
Have Pet-specific Attires
You should have specific clothes that you only wear when interacting with your dog. The clothes should be washed separately to prevent the spreading of dander to other clothes.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
After interacting with your dog or visiting his room, make sure you wash your hands with soap and a lot of water. Hand sanitizers might not remove hairs and dander effectively
Though no dog breed can be termed as fully hypoallergenic, dander (which every dog has) is what causes allergic reaction but not the hair. German shepherds cause more allergic reactions because they shed a lot. Their hairs transport the dander which causes allergic reactions.
If you are allergic to German shepherds, you can live happily with them if you follow the above guidelines.