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German Shepherd Excessive Shedding And Itching

Contact Allergies Can Cause Your Dog To Keep Itching

The 11 Best Ways To Reduce German Shepherd Shedding

Some dogs may be allergic to pollen, dust, dander from other types of pets, and other contaminants they may come into contact with. They may be exposed to these substances when they go outside in the yard, when they take walks, or even simply by living in the family household.

Some dogs allergies are mild but still cause itching, while others are severe and cause dogs to scratch almost uncontrollably. Its important to narrow down the possibilities and find the underlying cause of your dogs allergy if you think this may be what shes dealing with.

If you think your dog is suffering from contact allergies, be sure to talk to your vet about this potential. Your vet will assess your dogs history and ask you for many details. Your dog may require some tests, but it can be difficult to determine the cause of a dogs contact allergies without plenty of observation and input from the owner, so be prepared to help as much as possible.

If your dog has contact allergies, she may need an ointment to treat them, or she may need to take allergy medication, depending on the situation and your vets recommendations for her.

Bathe Your German Shepherd

Since German Shepherds have such a dense coat, they actually dont need to be bathed very frequently every six to ten weeks is plenty unless they get exceptionally dirty.

Even though most German Shepherds enjoy a splash in the water, As we mentioned, bathing your German Shepherd too often can be counterproductive since it dries out their skin and can actually cause more shedding.

However, strategic bathing can be super helpful for quickly removing the bulk of your dogs undercoat. Just be sure to use mild shampoos that wont irritate their skin. You can also opt to use a deshedding shampoo to help lubricate the hairs, which makes it easier to remove the undercoat. One of the best options is this shampoo from FURminator who are the same folks that make the awesome brush I recommended above. Brush your German Shepherd with your undercoat rake while hes still damp.

Its easiest to perform this whole bathing/brushing operation outside, unless you want to spend an hour cleaning wet wads of fur out of your bathtub or shower after the fact.

You can take the spa day one step further with a professional blow-out after bathtime . This will not only cut down the drying time, but it will also help remove the undercoat quickly.

However, keep in mind that blow-drying your shedding German Shepherd will get hair absolutelyeverywhere, so it may be worth paying a professional to handle this entire bathing, brushing, and blow-drying task. Or, again, set aside some time for cleanup.

Preventing Your German Shepherd From Getting Dry Skin

Despite there being several causes that are out of your control, there are still a range of best practices that you can follow to minimize the chances of dry skin.

Ways to prevent dry skin on your German Shepherd:

Dont over-bathe your German Shepherd Use only a natural ingredient and mild dog shampoo Keep your GSDs bed very clean and as dust-free as possible Keep your home as dust-free as possible Take him outside less if pollen is currently high Use a premium brand of kibble that avoids common allergens Avoid table scraps or any human food Regularly brush and inspect your German Shepherds coat Keep him well exercised Schedule routine check-ups two or three times per year

While you cant always prevent these kinds of health issues, as long as you are doing your part and keeping your German Shepherd healthy, you stand a good chance at avoiding them.

Also Check: Do German Shepherds Drink A Lot Of Water

Figuring Out What Is Causing Your German Shepherds Scratching

The German Shepherd Rescue of Orange County explains that it is important not to make any assumptions when your dog suddenly starts scratching.

Rather, it is important to rule out both behavioral as well as environmental causes to see what causes the itching to clear up.

Behavior reasons why your GSD might be scratching

Some German Shepherds may actually just need more enrichment, exercise, activity, or playtime.

Because the GSD is such a sensitive and intelligent dog breed, these dogs can start to self-harm by chewing at the skin if they get bored or lonely.

Boredom can lead to other destructive behaviors like digging, chewing things around the house, and barking.

Systemic reasons why your GSD might be scratching

Problems with thyroid function, endocrine disruption or immune system malfunction can also cause skin that dries out and becomes itchy.

Sometimes testing reveals a hidden metabolic or systemic disease or sensitivity that is the real cause of the itching.

Environmental reasons why your GSD might be scratching

German Shepherds can be very sensitive to environmental toxins, including exposure to herbicides or pesticides or insecticides, toxic house or lawn plants, air pollution, seasonal pollen, mold or mildew, and similar triggers for scratching.

It can be worth taking a second look at your lawn care and gardening products as well as what may be growing in and around areas where you and your dog walk regularly.

Other reasons why your GSD might be scratching

Learn About German Shepherd Scratching From A Canine Veterinarian

Magnet &  Steel Beware of The Puppy Plastic Sign

In this YouTube video, you can watch a canine veterinarian examining a German Shepherd dog patient who is struggling with ongoing itching and scratching issues.

As you will notice, the veterinarian takes a look at the dogs skin and paws and talks with the owner about possible issues with pests, fleas, saliva allergies, seasonal allergies, and also signs of other skin issues like mange.

If you have tried to identify what might be causing your dogs itching and scratching and you cant see any visible triggers, it is definitely time to call in the pros to help diagnose your dogs issues and get the right treatment.

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Feed Your Pet Properly

Reducing your dogs fur loss is also a matter of nutrition. His coat will be healthy if you give him a well-balanced diet.

You may consult your vet about the best food and supplements to offer your dog. Remember that grooming and preventing excessive fur loss will be much easier if a pet is healthy.

Give Your Dog Plenty Of Water Daily

Dehydration is just as bad for your dog as it is for us. Dry skin is a great indicator that your dogs not getting enough water.

Dry skin will lead to an increased amount of shedding and can eventually lead to sickness.

The best way to make sure your dog gets plenty of water is ensuring the bowl is always full or you can also feed water foods such as watermelon if needed.

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Heres Why Your Dog Keeps Itching

Does your dog keep itching? Do you notice her rubbing her face and body on the floor or furniture, only to stop and scratch her itchy skin with her claws instead? If you have an overly itchy dog, there are many problems that can contribute to this problem. Whatever the cause might be, its important to figure that out and help your dog get the treatment she needs to stop itching and feel better fast.

In this article, well explain some of the most common reasons why your dog keeps itching. Youll be able to look through this information and figure out which might be the most applicable to your dogs situation. Dont forget to speak to your vet about these concerns and bring up what you think the problem might be as well.

Reasons Why Your Dog Sheds Hair

Why Is My German Shepherd Scratching So Much? 9 Crazy Quick Solutions!

Dogs shedding hair is a normal and natural process how much and how often comes down to their breed, the time of year and their general health. Heres a breakdown of why your dog might be shedding hair and when there might be cause for concern.

  • Seasonal shedding. Dogs shed naturally in spring and sometimes fall when the weather is warming up or changing. Youre less likely to see an issue with shedding in winter as biologically their coat grows thicker for warmth. If your dog is shedding more than usual throughout and into winter, that could be cause for concern.
  • Breed. Certain breeds are more prone to shedding, like German Shepherds, Huskies, Retrievers, Labradors, and Saint Bernards. These breeds generally have longer, silkier hair with double coats . Its recommended these breeds are brushed regularly to stimulate the hair follicles, limiting the amount of loose hair that ends up on the floor to be vacuumed up.

    Dogs with shorter or more coarse coats tend to shed very little, like Bulldogs, Malteses, Poodles and Terriers. Even the hypoallergenic dogs like Bichons and Schnauzers can shed a little they just dont have the dander some people are allergic to. If your dog has a shorter coat and theyre shedding excessively, they may have a health issue that needs attention.

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    Underlying Health Conditions Or Skin Irritants

    There are also a whole host of health conditions, pests, and irritants that can cause abnormal shedding. These might include external factors like allergies, mites, fleas, lice, ticks, sunburn, or other topical irritants.

    Internal conditions that may cause hair loss include kidney disease, liver conditions, side effects from medication, immune conditions, hypothyroidism, adrenal issues, and follicular dysplasia. Bacterial and fungal skin infections can cause localized hair loss, especially if the infection is itchy and your dog relentlessly scratches the area.

    German Shepherds generally have pretty sensitive skin, and it can get irritated from being bathed too frequently or with harsh soaps, which strip the natural oils. This makes their skin dry out, which can cause extra shedding.

    German Shepherd Hair Loss

    As a puppy your German Shepherd had a fluffy coat but that soon falls out to become their adult coat that sheds more.

    The German Shepherd is a prolific shedder which means they shed year-round and especially twice a year when they blow their fur.

    This high rate of shedding in German Shepherds is totally natural, although it could become a nuisance if uncontrolled. You cant stop your GSDs hair fall from stopping completely, but there are German Shepherd shedding solutions thatll help you keep your home cleaner.

    German Shepherd hair loss is actually a sign of the good working of their coats, which keeps their coats from becoming tangled and dull.

    But, keeping an eye on the amount of hair your German Shepherd sheds helps you to understand their overall health and condition. If your GSD sheds too much, too often, with dandruff and dry skin, then its time to change her grooming routine up and find a German Shepherd shedding solution that works.

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    Feed A Hypoallergenic Sensitive Diet

    An itchy German Shepherd is a sight for sore eyes. If you think your dogs scratching might be from their diet, then switching to hypoallergenic, sensitive dog food is your best and least expensive option to test out first.

    Although food is rarely a cause of dry skin or allergies, in many dogs a change in diet dramatically decreases itchy skin.

    There is such a wide variety of allergies to foods its best to begin with a sensitive diet formula and to watch for improvements.

    While there are plenty of sensitive diets on the market you should try Purina Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Formula which has no soy, wheat, peas, or corn. Its the best dog food for German Shepherds with allergies.

    German Shepherd itchy skin might also happen if your current feeding routine lacks proper nutrition. Deficiency of vitamins and an imbalance of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats can cause disturbances in the skins protective layers.

    Choosing a sensitive or hypoallergic dog food is a quick way to help your German Shepherd from itching like crazy. If your dog has special medical conditions, check with your vet first to make sure a change in diet will help with their scratchy and itchy skin issues.

    German Shepherd Hair Loss Thats Not Normal

    How to Reduce Excessive Shedding in Dogs

    Does your GSD show any of these signs?

    Its important to remember that shedding is a normal and necessary function of your dogs life. Regular hair loss is designed to maintain your German Shepherds coat and skin in healthy condition.

    But how and when this hair loss takes place depends on your German Shepherds overall health, genetics, and lifestyle. German Shepherds are heavy shedders and their coat requires regular maintenance to show optimum health.

    Watch out for hair loss and skin disease that needs to be addressed and treated by your vet.

    Ger your dog evaluated by a veterinarian when you see any unusual hair or skin problems.

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    How Are Allergies Normally Treated

    Allergies will be treated in a number of different ways. Sometimes your vet will recommend changing the food your dogs eating for therapeutic benefits.

    On top of changing their food, injections can raise their tolerance towards certain allergies. And if they dont get injections, medication can reduce the symptoms as well!

    Lastly, you may be told of preventative measures such as grooming to help you treat allergies.

    Allergy Locations On The German Shepherd

    Allergies that manifest externally can occur anywhere on a German Shepherds body. Frequent locations for allergic inflammations in this breed are the face, ears, paws, sides, hind end, legs, and stomach. Dandruff, flaky skin, dry skin, hot spots, hair loss in patches, and sores are symptoms of skin allergies that can be found in any of the previously mentioned areas of the dogs body.

    Allergies that affect the eyes and ears must be monitored and addressed with care. These are common allergy locations, so look out for irritated, red, teary eyes and ears that are itchy, smelly, and red. The ears, in particular, can lead to painful secondary infections if the allergies are not resolved.

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    Why Do German Shepherds Shed So Much

    German Shepherds shed because they need to renew their coats continuously and protect their skin against temperature and weather conditions changes, environmental factors, and parasites. The upper layer sheds more because it plays the main role in ensuring the animals skin health, while the undercoat sheds excessively only in spring and autumn.

    What Are The Best Ways To Minimize Shedding

    Crazy wild German Shepherd bites everything!

    For those wanting German Shepherds that don’t shed, you’ll need to redirect your sights to another breed if you don’t think you can handle the shedding!

    If you want to know how to stop German shepherd shedding, you once again may want to consider a different breed, however, there are certain things you can do to decrease shedding.

    Here are the best things you can do to try to reduce shedding in German shepherds:

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    Taking Care Of Your German Shepherd Dog At Home

    Much of what you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy is common sense, just like it is for people. Watch her diet, make sure she gets plenty of exercise, regularly brush her teeth and coat, and call us or a pet emergency hospital when something seems unusual . Be sure to adhere to the schedule of examinations and vaccinations that we recommend for her. This is when well give her the necessary check-ups and test for diseases and conditions that are common in Shepherds. Another very important step in caring for your pet is signing up for pet health insurance. There will certainly be medical tests and procedures she will need throughout her life and pet health insurance will help you cover those costs.

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    Canine Pyoderma: A Severe Skin Infection In German Shepherd Dogs

    As Veterinary Practice describes, canine pyoderma is one such severe skin itching issue that wont resolve without veterinary intervention and treatment.

    Pyoderma is caused by bacteria. Veterinary researchers do not fully understand how it gets started and why some dogs are more affected than others.

    Dog breeds with underlying sensitivities to food, environment, allergens such as pollen, and pests are more likely to get pyoderma, which includes the German Shepherd dog.

    Canine researchers believe there may be an underlying immune system issue that causes GSDs to be more prone to pyoderma and it may also be inherited.

    Pyoderma is hard to treat and may recur many times. Usually, a combination treatment approach is required.

    Once your German Shepherd is diagnosed with pyoderma, you may need to administer antibiotics, apply special medicated shampoos, change your dogs food, apply topical treatments and have your dog tested for underlying thyroid or immune issues.

    The warning signs of pyoderma often begin with intense sessions of scratching and itching.

    Over time, this leads to skin lesions and this is when opportunistic fungi, bacteria, pests, or parasites move in and colonize the skin.

    Pyoderma may be re-triggered by one or all of these issues, all of which can be present in a single dog at one time with more severe cases.

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    Symptoms Of Dry Skin On Dogs

    Dry skin does not present in the same way for every dog. Symptoms associated with dry skin include:

    • increased oiliness

    Some dogs experience only one of these symptoms while others present with several. Keeping an eye on your dogs symptoms can help your veterinarian diagnose the cause of your dogs dry skin.


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