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Looking to add a Great Dane to your home? They make great family dogs, but they’re a big commitment — literally. The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds out there, with males weighing between 140 and 175 pounds and females only a bit less.

But size isn’t the only consideration to make when it comes to finding your next canine family member. If you or a member of your family has allergies to pets, you’re probably looking for a hypoallergenic dog to add to your ranks. Otherwise, you may have to deal with the persistent itchy eyes and sneezing that most allergy sufferers detest.

Are Great Danes hypoallergenic? No, these gentle giants are not considered hypoallergenic dogs, and they’ll likely cause allergic reactions for people with pet allergies. 

Keep reading to learn more about why Great Danes cause allergies, what might contribute to excess shedding, and how you can keep allergies at bay.

Why Do Great Danes Cause Allergic Reactions?

Are Great Danes hypoallergenic: close up shot of a Great Dane lying on a foam

Are Great Danes hypoallergenic? No. That’s because they shed their fur — and dander, or microscopic dead skin cells, attaches itself to pet fur and is the root cause of pet allergies.

To be fair, no dog is truly 100% hypoallergenic. That’s because the offending allergen is dander, not hair itself. Even hairless breeds have dander. Dogs that are considered hypoallergenic are really just low shedders, so less of their dander will be released in the home. 

The mighty Great Dane has a single coat of fur, not a double coat like heavy shedding dogs. Still, their sheer size makes for a lot of loose hair. Other large breeds like the German shepherd, Labrador retriever, and golden retriever tend to shed more dog hair than the Great Dane. However, the Great Dane still sheds a significant amount, especially considering their large size.

Another thing to note is that pet hair is not the only reason allergy sufferers react to dogs. The same protein found in dander is also present in dog saliva. So, dogs that drool a lot — like the Great Dane — could cause additional reactions for those with dog allergies.

What Could Make a Great Dane Shed More Than Usual?

Are Great Danes hypoallergenic: portrait of a black Great Dane

Great Danes are not hypoallergenic and will likely cause reactions in those sensitive to pet dander. But these giant dogs could shed even more than usual under certain circumstances and cause even more allergic reactions as a result. 

A Great Dane might shed more than usual because of:

Poor Nutrition

When a dog doesn’t get the proper nutrients through their dog food, one of the first things to suffer is the coat. In fact, dry skin and a dull, coarse coat of fur are key indicators of a nutritional deficiency. 

Make sure you’re feeding your pooch the best dog food for their needs — your Great Dane needs a kibble made specifically for a giant breed. Ask your vet for a recommendation if you’re unsure what to choose.

Adding supplements to your dog’s diet is a great way to ensure good nutrition. Try giving your dog Native Pet’s Probiotic Powder to help them promote good gut bacteria and create a thriving environment for healthy flora. Our Omega Oil can boost skin and coat health while improving joint movement at the same time.

Stress

Stress can affect a large dog just as easily as it affects a small one. Your Great Dane could be stressed by changes in the home, loud noises, a difficult veterinary visit, and plenty of other things. And just like we might get a stomachache in response to stress, dogs tend to shed more fur.

Try to keep stress to a minimum around your home. Don’t make big changes in the house, and try to avoid yelling or making loud noises. You can also try Native Pet’s Calm Chicken Chews, which can help to reduce general anxiety, relax muscles, and even improve sleep.

Parasites

A relatively common health problem that can quickly harm a dog’s coat is a parasitic infestation. If left untreated, creepy crawlies like fleas, ticks, lice, and mites can cause hair loss, bald patches, irritated skin, and more. Keep your Great Dane on proper preventative medications to keep these pests at bay, and visit your vet at the first sign of a parasitic infestation.

Hormone Disorders

While not the most likely cause of increased shedding, a hormonal disorder like Cushing’s disease could affect how much your dog sheds. If you can’t determine an obvious cause of your dog’s shedding and you see other symptoms like lethargy or changes in eating and drinking habits, take your dog to the vet’s office for an examination.

How Can You Keep Dander Allergies to a Minimum?

Great Dane lying beside a jar of Native Pet Allergy

Are Great Danes hypoallergenic? No — but they don’t shed as much as other dogs. Some allergy sufferers may be able to manage their allergies and care for one of these gentle giants in spite of allergies to pet dander

In addition to having your dog visit the vet’s office regularly to screen for the above health issues, keep allergies at bay through:

  • Regular brushing: Brushing your Great Dane once a day with a standard bristle brush can dramatically cut down on the amount of hair you find around your home.
  • Occasional bathing: Regularly bathe your dog — perhaps with a deshedding shampoo — to wash away loose hair. 
  • Proper diet: As  poor nutrition is a leading cause of excessive shedding, feed your canine best friend a high-quality pet food. This will help them keep a moisturized coat and minimal shedding.
  • Regular cleaning: Vacuuming and dusting is a regular part of life when you own a large dog that sheds. Invest in a vacuum designed specifically for pet hair. Or, if you can afford it, a robot vacuum cleaner will regularly pick up dog’s fur from the floor without as much effort on your part.
  • Air purifiers: HEPA air filters are designed to purify the air of microscopic particles, including pet dander flakes. Put these in rooms where your dog spends the most time.
  • Lifestyle adjustments: Train your Great Dane not to get on the furniture or to sleep in bed with you. Simple changes like this go a long way toward keeping allergens away.

Are Great Danes Hypoallergenic or Not?

Portrait of a white Great Dane

Are Great Danes hypoallergenic dogs? No. Even though this giant dog breed only has a single-layered short coat, they still release a lot of hair — in part because of their large size. If you or someone in your family has severe allergies to pet dander, you might want to consider an allergy-friendly breed.

With that being said, even allergy sufferers can live in harmony with moderate- to heavy-shedding breeds of dogs like the Great Dane. First, watch out for possible causes of excessive shedding like poor nutrition, stress, parasites, and hormonal disorders. From there, take steps to keep shedding — and the allergic reactions that come from it — at bay.

Brush your dog daily and bathe them occasionally; feed them well; clean your home regularly and use air purifiers; and keep your dog off your furniture and bed to lessen the hair found there. These simple steps can allow your whole family to live comfortably with a Great Dane, even in spite of allergies.

For more insights into your dog’s health and wellness needs, visit the Native Pet blog.

Further Reading on Great Danes:


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