Great Danes make a perfect addition to a family. They’re loyal dogs with a gentle and protective nature about them and have a loving temperament which makes them a pleasure to care for.
But there’s much more to these lovable dogs. Many seeking to acquire these dogs wonder whether or not they’re hypoallergenic.
Read on to learn all about their shedding and factors that contribute to allergic reactions.
Why Great Danes Are Not Hypoallergenic
Great Danes are not hypoallergenic dogs.
These dogs produce a lot of dander. Therefore, if someone with severe allergies stays near the dog, it’ll trigger their allergy.
Pet dander is tiny flecks of skin that animals shed. It’s found on their skin and fur and is what causes people with pet allergies to react.
Great Danes don’t shed a lot of fur as their hair is very short.
Nevertheless, dander lives in their skin and coat in large amounts. Indeed, this higher dander production makes them non-hypoallergenic.
There’s no way of lessening the amount of dander an animal produces as it’s part of their fur and skin. However, regularly bathing the dog and brushing its fur helps minimize dander.
What Makes a Dog Hypoallergenic?
Nothing definite makes a dog hypoallergenic.
A common misconception is that hypoallergenic dogs shed very little and have no dander. However, all dogs shed and have dander. Great Danes only shed a little, yet they’re not considered hypoallergenic.
Saliva is something else you need to take into account.
Personally, when my dog licks my hand, I react a little bit. It’s not severe, but I do get a rash. Also, some people are allergic to urine. Of course, all animals have saliva and urinate, so it’s beyond control.
With this in mind, what people consider hypoallergenic may not be the solution. What you should focus on is getting a dog that sheds less. Doing so will significantly improve your reactions.
Therefore, instead of investing in a dog that’s considered hypoallergenic, first assess how sensitive you and your family members are to dander, saliva, and urine.
How Much Do Great Danes Shed?
Great Danes do shed, but not that much. They have shorter coats, which is a primary reason why they don’t shed as much as other dog breeds.
All dogs are bound to lose hair while playing around, scratching, and all other things they do.
The fur grows continually, replacing the old hairs. New hair will grow, get old eventually, and more fur will grow. It’s a cycle that occurs continuously throughout a dog’s lifetime.
Occasionally, a Great Dane may shed excessively.
Should that happen, chances are there’s something wrong. It could indicate poor diet or allergies. In some cases, your dog may be facing more severe problems such as stomach ulcers or digestive tract issues.
For this reason, paying proper attention to your dog’s eating and playing habits is essential.
And in case of excessive shedding that goes on non-stop, ensure to consult a veterinarian.
Great Danes usually shed more in the spring as it starts to get warmer.
Hence, if you live in a place that’s always warm, that’s bound to make them shed more than they usually do in temperate climates.
Factors That Contribute to Pet Allergies
There are two primary things dogs produce that trigger allergy:
1. Pet Dander
Pet dander is found on a dog’s coat. And, unfortunately, it’s something you can’t control.
As the dog rubs against objects or scratches itself, it spreads the dander particles into the air. When these particles land on someone with a pet allergy, they irritate and trigger a reaction.
Great Danes generally have more dander allergens than other dog breeds.
Some people are allergic to the bacteria contained in a dog’s saliva, which can be problematic.
Although Great Danes don’t necessarily contribute saliva allergens, some people may be affected by their saliva. It’s an irritant too.
How to Control Triggering Allergies from Great Danes
Are you a little bit allergic to dogs but are ready and willing to pay the price?
The good news is, there are a few things you can do to control triggering the allergies, including:
1. Bathing the Dog
Regularly bathing your Great Dane can help contain your dog’s hair and prevent it from shedding frequently and excessively.
Bathe your dog at least once every six weeks using dog shampoo.
However, this frequency can vary depending on the dog’s level of activity. If your Great Dane spends most of the time indoors, you can go up to eight weeks without bathing them.
It’s worth noting that overbathing is not healthy. It strips a dog of its natural skin oils, leaving the skin flakey and itchy.
This, in turn, causes the dog to keep scratching itself or rub against surfaces to get some relief, spreading more hair all over.
Therefore, bathe the dog but don’t overdo it.
2. Brushing The Dog Regularly
In the spring, Great Danes will shed more than usual. Therefore, to reduce the amount of hair shed that you’ll have to collect, brush the dog regularly.
You can brush the dog’s fur daily or once every two days. It will depend on the amount of hair your dog is shedding and the extent to which it’s triggering your allergies.
A rubber brush is most suitable for this purpose.
It gently pulls out hair gathered on the dog’s topcoat. Avoid wire brushes as they tend to scratch the dog’s skin, producing more dander.
3 Vacuuming Regularly
Keeping your home clean is vital for the overall health of your family.
Vacuuming will help remove the dander stuck on all those hard-to-reach places, lowering the likelihood of an allergic person coming into contact with the same.
Invest in a powerful vacuum and try using it once a week. You’ll be surprised to see how beneficial this will be for both you and your pet.
4 Washing Your Hands
Washing your hands after each playtime with your furry friend or after petting them will improve your allergic reactions toward them.
Failure to wash your hands after petting is likely to bring irritants closer to the places they usually irritate.
You’ll most likely touch your face making the allergic problem more continuous if not severe as the irritants will get spread more quickly.
Seriously, washing your hands is the best thing to do after enjoying some precious time with your Great Dane. If you don’t, you might have to hit the shower to get rid of an itch.
5. Keep Bedrooms Off Limits
Granted, you love your pet. However, allowing the dog into your bed can contribute to severe allergic reactions.
The dog will scratch and rub themselves to reach an itch, shedding hair and dander right into your bed. This will no doubt get these irritants right into your eyes and nose.
You can prevent this by simply making the bedroom off-limits. Teach your Great Dane to keep off your bed.
Consider closing the bedroom door at all times. When you do so, your dog will catch on to the fact that they shouldn’t be there.
In return, the amount of dander and hair finding its way into your bedroom will be limited, safeguarding your health.
6 No Dogs on the Couch
Making the bedroom off-limits is a good step, but not enough.
To further minimize the amount of dander and dog hair you come into contact with, teach your pet to keep off the couch too. This way, you’ll not have to worry about how safe the couch is from animal dander.
When you stick to these rules, it helps the dog understand the boundaries set, and they’re able to distinguish what is right and what isn’t.
A little reward for adhering to keeping off both the bedroom and couches will help instill good behavior.
7. Check on the Dog’s Nutrition and Keep It Hydrated
Poor diet usually leads to shedding in dogs. If your Great Dane is shedding excessively, you may consider trying higher quality food.
Olive oil or fish and its supplements are rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.
These keep the dog’s coat healthy and great-looking. If your Dane is not allergic to such foods, consider including them in the diet, starting with smaller quantities.
Also, a dehydrated dog tends to shed more. Hence, it’s advisable always to make sure your dog’s water bowl is full. That way, your dog can have a drink anytime they feel thirsty.
Great Danes are lovable dogs who thrive with people and enjoy the company of children.
As we’ve learned, they’re not a hypoallergenic breed. Therefore, If you suffer from severe allergies, it’s best not to have this dog as a pet.
Nevertheless, if your allergy is mild, you can go ahead and acquire one but ensure to follow the guidelines mentioned above.
This loving dog is worth it. You and your family can enjoy quality time with your furry family member with very little to no allergic reactions instigated.
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