If your German Shepherd is excessively biting, chewing, and scratching, these are signs of allergies. You and your dog are not suffering alone because allergy concerns are one of the most booked appointments with veterinarians.
German Shepherds are among the most popular breeds, but their prestige doesn’t exclude them from developing allergic reactions to food and things in their environment.
Unlike humans, who sometimes outgrow allergies, dogs develop allergies as they age, rarely improving without intervention or treatment.
6 Common German Shepherd Allergies and How to Treat Them
1. Flea Allergies
Flea allergies are one of the most common allergies among German Shepherds.
However, German Shepherds can also develop a nasty allergic reaction from the flea’s saliva in addition to the flea bites.
When a flea bites your German Shepherd, 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, a dog may lose its fur in the areas where they were bitten.
The spot of the flea bite also itches, which may tempt your dog to chew or scratch, leading 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 targeting your dog.
Alternatively, you can opt for over-the-counter sprays or homeopathic solutions such as essential oils.
2. Environmental Allergies
The German Shepherd dog breed is 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.
Pollen allergies in dogs aren’t rare, but German Shepherds are more affected by pollen than 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 a 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.
3. Grain Allergies
Grain allergies are common in many dog breeds. That is why many dog food companies in the market today have grain-free options in their product line.
Soy, wheat, and corn are the worst offenders when causing grain allergies in dogs. Some companies still use these ingredients as fillers to keep costs low, but buyers beware. They have little to no dietary benefit to your dog.
Soy, wheat, and corn 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.
4. 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, look for limited-ingredient dog foods formulated specifically for this purpose.
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.
5. Contact Allergies
Although contact allergies are the least common type of German Shepherd allergies, 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 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 a specific material or substance is causing an allergic reaction to your German Shepherd, consider removing it entirely from your household.
6. Mold Allergies
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.
A 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 items listed above are the sources of the most common German Shepherd Allergies.
All dogs are different, and some of them may react to the least expected substances.
If you have changed foods or eliminated potential external factors and are still struggling with your German Shepherd’s health, take out the guesswork with pet allergy testing.
Allergy Test My Pet will test your dog’s salvia for 100 food and environmental items. The process is simple:
- Place your order
- Receive a test kit in the mail
- Collect your dog’s saliva
- Send the saliva sample back in the pre-paid envelope
- Wait for detailed results
Check Out Allergy Test My Pet Here
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