German Shepherd Allergies | Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
All dogs, just as humans, are disposed to suffer from allergies at some point in their lives. Canines however, do not have the capability to drive to the local pharmacy to pick up an allergy medication. The only reaction they can have is licking, chewing or scratching. Allergies manifest primarily in the skin for our four legged friends but in humans it will appear in the form of a runny nose, coughing, and itchy eyes. The best way to combat allergies in your dog is to consult a veterinarian and have them perform an allergy test. This test will determine exactly what is causing the allergic reaction with in the dog. There are ways, however, to avoid allergies in the skin all together.
What Breed is Susceptible to Skin Allergies?
There is no one breed that is immune to skin allergies, therefore, any dog can contract a skin allergy. In cases where puppies are switched to a dry food to early in life is often more allergy prone later in life. Short haired Germans Shepherds typically suffer from allergies triggered by the bites of fleas. On the other hand if your German Shepherd dog has been bred from a family line that is intended for hunting or water sports they will be less likely to be allergic to fleas. However, any German could still undergo allergic responses to wetness and flea bites.
What should you look for in German Shepherd Allergies?
Skin allergies that can disturb your German Shepherd typically consist of three leading causes. It could be from 1) bites of fleas, 2) food, and 3) environmental reaction from pollen, dust, chemicals etc. In all circumstances the membrane will become irritated and turn a bright red shade. In most casing swelling of the inflamed area will ensue. The swelling usually arrives as a byproduct of your pet biting, licking, and scratching himself in an attempt to relieve the symptoms. A lot of times when hair loss occurs this is signaling a longstanding response to a food allergy from processed foods. This is a very common response from dogs that are fed mass produced industrialized dog food full of preservatives. In addition, recurrent coughing, sneezing, or rubbing of the eyes are all also signs of an allergic reaction within the body.
So How Should You Avoid These Allergies?
The very first step of defense for your German should be an effective method of flea and tick prevention. Now there are several schools of thought on this particular subject and I follow the All Natural school of thought. It makes so much more sense to care for your pet, inside and out, with what Mother Nature has already provided. With little research you will find many companies that distribute all natural skin care and flea prevention for dogs.
Now that you have your German Shepherd dog protected on a basic level we want to ensure that we not only care for their outside but the inside as well. With that being said, it is always in your German’s best interest if we avoid exposing them to industrial food with grain fillers. A good rule of thumb is to avoid any dog food that you could ever buy in a grocery store or gas station. The food you buy should be from a pet store strictly and one that has an all-natural pet food section. By doing this you are giving your dog a “leg up” on allergies. Out of all of the grains, rice is by far the safest but take note to avoid corn, soy and wheat as those are what are allergenic to your German. Lastly, in order to circumvent as much of the environmental ailments as possible it would be wise to immediately remove all air fresheners in your home as they are the most common cause of allergies for humans and canines alike. The effects of chemical air fresheners may even take years to surface. If you want refreshed air then open a window. Anything that your German Shepherd dog has access to may cause an allergic reaction so you should switch your laundry cleaner to that of all natural product. Avoiding dyes, perfumes, and preservatives are the best route. Use all natural cleaning products as well as this will cover the surfaces of your home. Clearly, the resounding message here is ALL NATURAL.
So How Should I Treat Any Reactions for German Shepherd Allergies?
Once again, you should always have your German examined by a veterinarian and request a blood test to try and determine the cause of the allergies with in your pet. Very often all that is needed is a switch of diet to a natural food. The symptoms of inhalant allergies can be often eliminated by shifting as many household products as possible to a natural approach. Invest in a floor steamer and completely eliminate the need for unnatural floor products. Throw out those air fresheners and opt for open windows and some eucalyptus in each room.
Now in the rare case that your German Shepherd continues to suffer from allergies despite all the above attempts you will need to have a vet prescribe a medication. Your pet will thank you for taking the all-natural route as this gives him the best chance at a happy, healthy, allergy free life.
About the Author
My name is Amy and I have been an animal lover my whole life! I currently have 2 dogs and a fish who I love very much. I do a lot of pet sitting and dog walking along with other animal services for a living. I have always been interested in the differences of dog breeds and medical conditions including the German Shepherd health problems.