Common German Shepherd Allergies

german shepherd allergies

German Shepherds are a popular dog breed. They are smart, loyal, and courageous. However, like humans, they can develop allergies.

German Shepherds are at risk to common allergens, and if left untreated, they can suffer immensely.

Below are some of the most common German Shepherd allergies.

Flea Allergies 

All dogs are at risk of a flea attack at one point or the other. German Shepherds are no exception.

However, German Shepherds can also develop a nasty allergic reaction from the flea’s saliva in addition to flea bites.

Flea allergies are one of the most common allergies among German Shepherds.

When a flea bites your German Shepherd’s skin, their immune system reacts immediately, trying to fight off the newly found threat.

This may lead to large red spots on the skin, which are inflamed and highly noticeable. In some cases, the dog may even lose its fur in the areas where it was bitten.

The spot of the flea bite also itches, which may lead to additional discomfort and irritation.

The best way to prevent flea allergies for your German Shepherd is by keeping your yard and home free from fleas.

You may also ask your vet to recommend a prescription deterrent to prevent stray fleas from biting your dog.

Alternatively, you can opt for over-the-counter sprays and topical solutions.

Environmental Allergies 

The German Shepherd dog breed is very prone to environmental allergies. Pollen-related allergies are among the most common types.

When exposed to pollen, a dog’s immune system may react to it as a threat, therefore fighting back through an allergic reaction. This type of allergy usually occurs in the fall or summer.

Although pollen allergies are pretty rare in the dog world, German Shepherds are affected by pollen more than the other breeds.

Pollen allergies are genetic, and they may be passed down from one dog generation to the next.

Pollen allergies can worsen over time, and they usually start to manifest when the dog is about six months old. They appear seasonally when pollen levels in the air are high, but as your dog gets older, it may begin to display symptoms all year round.

Repeated pollen allergies could also lead to Atopic Dermatitis, a genetic condition brought about by trees, dust, or pollen.

Environmental allergies usually manifest around the German Shepherd’s stomach, mouth, ear, eyes, and armpits.

The allergies may also manifest as ear infections if left untreated for long periods. Your vet can prescribe medications and supplements to help alleviate the symptoms of a pollen allergy and provide some relief.

Grain Allergies 

Grain allergies are common in many dog breeds. That is why many kibble companies in the market today are making their products grain-free.

Soy, wheat, and corn are the worst offenders when causing grain allergies in dogs. Some companies still use these ingredients as fillers to keep the costs low, but buyers beware. They have little to no dietary benefit to your dog.

Such grains offer empty calories to your dog’s diet, and many dogs have trouble digesting them.

In German Shepherds, grain allergies manifest in terms of itchy and red skin. These physical symptoms may also be accompanied by chronic diarrhea.

Fortunately, there are plenty of commercial grain-free dog foods for you to choose from.

Protein-Based Food Ingredients

In addition to grains, food allergies in German Shepherds may extend to specific proteins.

Beef and chicken are among the most common allergy-inducing proteins. Unfortunately, beef and chicken are used as the foundation of dog food by many manufacturers. Therefore it can be hard to find recipes that do not have these ingredients.

If your German Shepherd suffers from protein allergies, you can find limited-ingredient dog foods formulated specifically for this purpose.

They use simple, wholesome ingredients to avoid allergic reactions. You may also opt for formulas that use unique protein sources such as bison, fish, or lamb.

A protein allergic reaction may manifest itself in terms of irritated skin or chronic diarrhea.

Contact Allergies

Although contact allergies are the least common type of allergy in German Shepherds, they are equally unpleasant.

They occur when the dog’s skin comes into contact with specific materials or substances, which may cause an adverse reaction in terms of rashes or itching.

Contact allergic reactions occur to the part of the dog that comes into contact with the allergen, such as the neck, paws, tail, neck, chin, anal area, groin, or tummy.

Short-haired German Shepherds are more likely to suffer from contact allergies than the longer-haired ones because the allergens can get into contact with their skin quicker and more easily.

Although contact allergies can occur at any age, they are more likely to be visible in German Shepherds with weakened immune systems.

The allergens may range from shampoos, plants, lawn pesticides, household cleaners, and more.

If you suspect that a specific material or substance is causing an allergic reaction to your German Shepherd, consider removing it entirely from your household.


Mold can be hazardous to any living creature, and your German Shepherd is no exception. Mold causes various types of illness, and some mold spores cause serious health complications or even death.

Mold allergies in German Shepherds are similar to dust or pollen allergies.

The dog’s immune system fights to fend off the mold when inhaled, leading to an allergic reaction. The allergy manifests in decreased appetite, excessive scratching, and inflamed skin spots.

Mold tends to grow in dark and damp spaces, and it can be identified easily. Sources of humidity and leaks also encourage the growth of mold. Therefore, it is essential to inspect your HVAC system regularly for your safety and that of your beloved German Shepherd Dog.

The allergy-causing factors listed above are just a small collection of the things that could affect your German Shepherd.

All dogs are different, and some of them may react to the least expected substances. If you suspect that your dog is allergic to something, book an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.


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