Are Dobermans Hypoallergenic? What You Need to Know!
By Jordyn Alger
Dogs are incredibly popular pets, and it’s difficult for people with dog allergies to stay away from them. Thankfully, some breeds are more allergy friendly. But are Dobermans on that list?
Unfortunately, the answer is no. Dobermans are not hypoallergenic; in fact, they are one of the most difficult breeds for people with allergies. If you want to learn more about why Dobermans are tough on people with allergies as well as some possible alternatives to Dobermans, keep reading below.
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
The term “hypoallergenic” refers to the likelihood of a particular substance triggering an allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic items are thought to cause no reaction in people with allergies.
However, when it comes to dogs, there is no such thing as a completely hypoallergenic dog. No matter how little a dog sheds, there will always be a chance that it may spark an allergic reaction in someone. This is because the allergens that cause reactions cannot be entirely eradicated.
The allergens that cause pet allergies are contained in a dog’s hair, dander, saliva, and urine. Although genuinely hypoallergenic dogs do not exist, it is still possible to find a breed that is less likely to induce an allergic reaction. Most often, breeds thought to be hypoallergenic are dogs that shed little fur to none and produce minimal dander. Although the dog’s saliva and urine will still carry allergens, the limited shedding and dander production can help to minimize allergic reactions.
Why Are Dobermans not Recommended for People with Dog Allergies?
While some dogs may be easier for those with allergies to handle, the Doberman is unfortunately not among them. Some might think that the Doberman should be hypoallergenic, considering that it has a short coat. However, the Doberman is not advisable for people with dog allergies.
There are a few reasons. First, while Dobermans shed about as much as the average dog (and perhaps even less than that), they shed throughout the year. So, while they do not shed excessively, they consistently spread allergens around the home.
A Doberman’s coat is also short and hard enough to pierce your skin. This can exacerbate any allergic reactions, as an allergen poking through your skin can cause a more significant response.
Another reason is that Dobermans are prone to allergies themselves. If they feel itchy, they will rub on furniture in the house to try and relieve their discomfort, which will spread more allergens. Their sneezing may also spread saliva.
Dobermans are also known to have sensitive skin, meaning it is more likely to dry out and flake off. This will increase the production of dander floating around your home, filling your house with more allergens.
So, while Dobermans shed minimally and predictably, their coarse fur and their allergies can make them more difficult for people with dog allergies to live with.
Tips for Adjusting to a Doberman with Allergies
If you already own a Doberman and want to continue living with your canine friend, a few adjustments may help you cohabitate peacefully. These adjustments are both for your dog and your home.
Managing your Dog
Regularly grooming your Doberman is a great way to minimize the allergens in your home. A consistent brushing routine can help prevent shedding and reduce the amount of fur and dander accumulating in your home. Monthly bathing will also help in this area, especially if you use a shampoo that supports your dog’s sensitive skin.
Your Doberman’s diet is also an essential part of managing allergen production. If your dog is eating something that does not sit well with them, it may show discomfort by scratching its skin and causing it to flake off. Changing your dog’s diet to something more agreeable may reduce the amount of dander it sheds. Diets that are rich in omega fatty acids are encouraged, as they are known to nourish the skin and bolster the health of the coat.
Managing your Home
Changing your dog’s grooming routine and diet will not be enough to manage the allergens; adjustments to the home will also be necessary. Carpets should be vacuumed and steam cleaned frequently, whereas hardwood and tile floors should be mopped. Rugs should be washed often with hot water.
While cleaning your home can help manage allergens, it is also important to purify the air. Changing the filters in your air conditioning and heating units will help reduce the number of allergens in the air.
You also may want to limit your dog’s access to the house. For instance, if you prohibit your Doberman from going into your bedroom, there will be significantly fewer allergens in your room. This will give you a reprieve and a place to sleep more soundly.
Alternatives to the Doberman
If you were considering bringing a Doberman into your home but haven’t yet, you may want to reconsider if you have pet allergies. First, you may want to decide whether you want to invite a dog into your home at all. As mentioned, there is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog, and regardless of the species, you will have to pay extra close attention to your dog’s grooming as well as your house’s cleanliness.
However, if you are dedicated to adopting a dog and want a guard dog like a Doberman, there are a few options.
Giant Schnauzers are large dogs that are alert and loyal, much like the Dobermans. They are vigilant watchdogs and eager to please, making them easily trainable by their owners.
Spanish Water Dog
Spanish Water Dogs are upbeat, active dogs that adore their families. Although they have long, shaggy coats, they shed very minimally.
Pulis are loyal and vigilant. Their coat is long and shaggy, almost like a mop, but they shed very little.
These dogs are friendly and courageous, always looking out for their families. They do not shed much and require little grooming maintenance.
While Dobermans are not hypoallergenic, steps can be taken to make cohabitation with allergies more manageable. If you are thinking of bringing a Doberman into your home, be sure to talk to your doctor about your allergies to ensure that it will be possible for you to adapt. Dobermans can be great family dogs once welcomed into the home.
Featured Image Credit: neverfurgetmypet, Pixabay