Feeding Sensitive Or Hypoallergenic Diet:
No dog owner likes their German Shepherd itching all the time. Food allergy may be one of the causes, your German Shepherd may be itching due to some type of reaction. If you notice such type of behavior changes due to food allergy then changing their diet will be the best option.
Switching to sensitive and hypoallergenic dog food will be the cheapest and easiest way to avoid food allergies among them. Though it is very rare to be seen food allergies among dogs. if seen then changing their food habits decreases the chances of allergy and itchy skin.
How Do You Moisturize A Dogs Skin
Dietary supplements and humidifiers can help mitigate medical conditions and environmental factors. Several natural moisturizers can be used on your dogs dry skin and especially on exposed skin on the nose and paw pads, including coconut oil and olive oil. There is no need for your dog to suffer from dry skin.
What Are The Symptoms Of Canine Atopic Dermititis
Symptoms normally present themselves between six months and three years of age.
The glands that produce wax in the ear tend to produce more than necessary in an attempt to counter the allergy. This can cause bacterial and yeast infections inside the dogs ear flaps which may turn red and get hot.
Similar to eczema in humans, it will usually appear in the form of dark brown or red areas that itch. The symptoms can progress if the dog chews, licks or scratches the afflicted area. You may catch your dog rubbing up against furniture in the house to relieve the itchiness or pain. Also keep an eye out for any places on their fur that look matted down or wet.
This is the most common and obvious sign of CAD. It normally happens in areas such as the head, legs and stomach. It can present itself in various ways, including biting, licking or scratching. The most frequent sign is the dog licking its paws. While this is common in felines, dogs do not practice this to stay clean. They may also rub their face on the carpet to scratch the irritated area.
Loss of hair or patches of hair missing is a good indicator of CAD. Extreme itching can lead to excessive scratching. This can lead to abrasions or wounds on the dogs skin.
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Why Does Mygerman Shepherd Itch So Much
German Shepherds are prone to a variety of skin problems because of flea or insect allergies, food allergies, inhalant allergies, and skin contact allergies.
Some GSDs are also itchy because of medicine allergies .
These allergies may not go away over time, so its vital for you to make sure that your dog receives the right treatment.
Allergy symptoms can become severe depending on the exposure level and your dogs reaction. This leads to a lower quality of life and possible serious medical and health complications. If youve ever wondered why your German Shepherd itch so much, consider the multiple causes of allergies in GSDs.
Interested In Training Your German Shepherd The Right Way
If you havent trained your German Shepherd properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether its barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs youll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog wont listen, youll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, thats given proven results. Not to mention the fact, youll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether theyre going to be well-behaved or not, youll only have to worry about how much fun youll have with them!
And in most cases its still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your German Shepherd completely and never worry whether theyll be naughty or not. Instead, youll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them, will always be there, EVEN IF YOURE NOT.
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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
Keep Them Clean Especially During Allergy Season And Winter
You can keep some allergies to grasses or other plants at bay by wiping your dogs paws when they return home.
You may also find wiping their bellies and legs with hypoallergenic wipes to help ease itching and scratching if theyre allergic to grass or pollen.
My German Shepherd itches and licks her paws a lot in spring because of grass and pollen allergies. So, Ive begun wiping her paws and stomach to help soothe her discomfort.
Use a brand that has ingredients to help with scratching and itching. You need a wipe with soothing ingredients found in them, such as Tropiclean Oxy Med Allergy Relief Wipes that give your dog clean skin to lessen irritations.
Wiping and washing help reduce allergens on your dogs body. You dont need a full bath to get rid of allergy-causing deposits, but you need to pay attention to their paws, belly, legs, and muzzle.
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German Shepherds With Skin Allergies
The versatile German Shepherd is one of the most popular and recognizable dog breeds. Eye-catching and impressive, this breed is smart and capable with an unmatched penchant for courage and loyalty. The German Shepherd has a wide range of capabilities, including military and police service, guide and therapy work, search and rescue, herding, drug detection, and competitive show and obedience. Despite the German Shepherds incredible aptitude and quality companionship, the breed is prone to allergies that often manifest in uncomfortable and painful skin conditions. Genetic, environmental, and food-related allergies can put a damper on your German Shepherds quality of life.
Learn About German Shepherd Scratching From A Canine Veterinarian
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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Do German Shepherds Have Allergies
An allergy in dogs is an over-response or hypersensitivity from the immune system to a usually harmless substance, known as an allergen. Anything can be an allergen if it causes your dogs immune system to react adversely.
This results in inflammation, signs of which include reddening of the skin, swelling, and itching, known as canine atopic dermatitis.
German Shepherds do have allergies. They have an exceptionally high predisposition to immunological disorders, including skin problems. They are particularly susceptible to skin allergies caused by genetic and environmental factors.
Usually, the genetic predisposition is due to one or more gene mutations transferred through the dogs parents. Having one or more parents that have developed allergies increases the chances that your German Shepherd will also have an allergy.
This study even found a novel gene, PKP2, to be involved in the development of canine atopic dermatitis in German Shepherds.
Dogs may experience an allergy at any time. However, they usually develop between 2 and 5 years of age.
The immune system gradually builds up a sensitivity to the allergen before overreacting. This process is called sensitization and can take just months to years.
So, lets now take a closer look at some examples of the different types of allergies that German Shepherds are prone to:
What Causes Canine Atopic Dermititis
CAD can have multiple causes and numerous factors can play a role in the onset of the disease and how serious it is. Allergies are the main culprit but according to a study performed in 2017 by PLOS ONE, environmental and genetic factors can contribute to the disease as well.
- A single dog in the home increases their chances of getting CAD. Conversely, multiple dogs in the household decreases the risk.
- Living in a detached house.
- Living in large urban cities, where the dog is more prone to be indoors, increases the risk for CAD. Conversely, living in rural areas decreases the risk.
Genetics also play a significant role in dogs developing Canine Atopic Dermatitis. A recent study found that fifty percent of the risk associated with the onset of CAD was a result of the dogs genes. The risk is low if neither parent has the disease and subsequently increases if one or both parents have the condition.
The main contributors to German Shepherd skin issues and specifically Canine Atopic Dermatitis are allergies found in dogs. These are the most common skin allergies that may be causing your dog to itch.
The German Shepherd was number eight on the PLOS ONE studys list of dogs most likely to contract Canine Atopic Dermatitis with 31.3% of owners reporting the symptoms of CAD.
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Other Allergies In German Shepherds
Your dog can have other allergies besides those to foods they eat.
One or more different things can cause an allergy in your German Shepherd.
Allergens are categorized into three main groups. Within each group, your GSD might have an allergy to something very specific but, generally, the groups overlap. This means your dog might have an allergy to things from one or all of the three main groups.
The main groups are:
- and atopic dermatitis
What I Can Give My German Shepherd For Allergies
With the development of technology, medicine is getting better and better every year, and we can treat and cure our dogs easier than ever before.
We had prepared for you a table with one of the most effective medications for treating allergic reactions, but before you give your dog any medicine, always can your vet for his opinion.
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German Shepherd Skin Allergies Prevention Tips
German shepherds commonly get exposed to skin allergies but there are some preventive measures you can follow to reduce their risk of exposure to allergens.
- You should get a flea preventive treatment for your German shepherd every three months.
- Make sure to provide them with a clean environment to minimize allergic reactions. Cleaning your house properly, vacuuming carpets and getting rid of dust mites will help your German shepherd stay safe.
- Regular washing of your dogâs bedding, toys and food bowls is always a good idea to help reduce infections, including skin allergies.
- You should not give your German shepherd a diet containing dyes or preservatives.
- Use an air purifier to cleanse the air. It protects your German shepherd from different infectious agents and allergens.
- Feeding high-quality nutritious food also helps them stay away from allergies. Diet having omega 3 and 6 fatty acids is best for their coat health.
- Avoid taking your German shepherd to places where pollens can be easily found and clean their paws after returning from a walk.
- Regular grooming like bathing and combing their hair twice a week is important to get rid of many allergens.
Give the complete medication dosage prescribed by your vet to heal the allergy completely.
The best thing is to hospitalize your German shepherd if he is showing severe symptoms of skin allergies. Sometimes your vet may recommend visiting a veterinary dermatologist for treatment of severe German shepherd skin allergies.
Avoid Using Room Or Fragrance Sprays
Some German Shepherd allergies are brought on or worsened by unnatural, chemical-laden room and fragrance or perfume sprays.
Avoid using these items, including the plug-in room fragrance models, if you suspect your German Shepherd has allergies or is itching constantly.
Remove any fragrance plug-ins and dont burn any candles or incense.
Your dogs nose is much more sensitive than your own and they can smell even the lightest of fragrance which can trigger allergies. Try forgoing your perfume and fragranced body sprays and deodorants to see if this makes a difference in your GSDs allergies and scratching.
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What Are The Most Common Dog Food Allergies For German Shepherds
Food allergies are most common to proteins not grains.
In German Shepherds, the most commonly reported food allergies are beef, dairy, wheat, chicken, and egg. All of these ingredients have been very prevalent ingredients in commercial diets over the past three decades, and pets tend to be allergic to proteins that have been in their diet for months to years.
Many people dont suspect food allergies as the cause of their German Shepherds itching because their dog has been fed the same food all its life and has just recently started showing symptoms. However, German Shepherds can develop allergies to a substance over time, so this fact does not rule out food allergies.
German Shepherd Dogs carry a higher rate of genetic predisposition to skin allergies. While food allergies can develop at almost any age, allergies tend to develop in middle-aged dogs .
It is important to note, however, that not all commercial foods have been adequately tested in dogs with known food allergies.
The quickest way to determine your dogs cause of allergic reactions is a visit to your veterinarian.
Keep in mind that in order to see benefits from a diet to help with skin allergies the effects can take up to 8 to 12 weeks.
How To Treat German Shepherd Dry Itchy Skin
It is best for you to bring your GSD puppy or dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible if you notice that there are changes on its skin, particularly reddening of the skin. Skin allergies are not always caused by food intolerance so you better have your GSD checked.
If it is an allergy, your veterinarian will prescribe corticosteroids, antihistamines, and even antibiotics if necessary. These medications will address your GSDs immediate problem with its red itchy skin.
There are also other options in treating the skin problems of your GSD. You can use herbal remedies or homeopathic remedies to help your pet get rid of its health problem.
If the cause is due to old age, you should also take note that it may be time for your German Shepherd to retire from being a working dog.
Lastly, if there are no other underlying causes of your GSDs dry itchy skin, you may bath them regularly. Use dog shampoo that is free from any chemicals or perfumes. Make sure to check the ingredient so there are no allergens included.
Research and modern medicine have helped us to discover proper treatments for different kinds of skin issues our GSDs are currently suffering. There are different approaches to healing certain skin irritations. Some may be resolved quickly, though some may need long-term observation and oral medications.
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Are Skin Allergies Common In German Shepherds
We call this skin allergy atopy, and Shepherds often have it. Commonly, the feet, belly, folds of the skin, and ears are most affected. Symptoms typically start between the ages of one and three and can get worse every year. Licking the paws, rubbing the face, and frequent ear infections are the most common signs.