No, Australian Shepherds aren’t hypoallergenic, but it’s not all bad news. Here is how you can still make it work if you have an aussie pup or are moving in with someone who does.
Are Australian Shepherds Bad for Allergies?
As Australian Shepherds aren’t hypoallergenic, they can be bad to have around people with allergies. However, this is not for the reason that you might think.
Many people assume that humans are allergic to the long, double-coated fur on this breed but this isn’t the case at all. In fact, what causes allergy is the dander on dogs, not the fur. As such, it doesn’t matter if you have a short-haired dog around the house, you will still suffer from allergy symptoms.
It should also be noted that many individuals are allergic to dog drool and the urine. As a result, being exposed to this in any capacity may trigger the symptoms and make you feel sick.
The Confusing Science Behind Dog Allergies
Unfortunately, there is some confusion and contrary evidence when it comes to allergies triggered by dogs. This is because the severity of the allergies as well as what a person is allergic to can vary from one individual to another.
For instance, some people are only allergic to specific breeds of dogs. Due to this, there is a chance that you may be allergic to a breed like beagles but not Australian Shepherds. Of course, the reverse could be true as well – you could be allergic to Australian Shepherds but not other breeds.
To make things even trickier, each dog produces different proteins. As a result, it is possible for you to be allergic to just one dog and be fine around other dogs.
In such instances, how can you tell whether or not you are allergic to Australian Shepherds or an individual dog?
Well, only trial and error can eliminate or reinforce the possibility of you being allergic to a certain breed or dog. Before you decide to test this theory out, however, you should think about the severity of your allergies.
If you have previously experienced a severe allergic reaction, it is best not to risk it. In case your allergies are milder, it is possible to try this out. It is best to always get the advice and guidance of your doctor, nevertheless.
Do Australian Shepherds Shed a Lot?
One of the reasons that people associate fur with allergies is because the symptoms always seem to be triggered when there is more dog fur. Well, this is because dander is shed along with fur. Therefore, the more fur there is, the greater the amount of dander.
To top this off, Australian Shepherds are considered to be moderate shedders. There are some that can shed a lot, leaving clumps of hair and fur each day. Also, these pups will go through two shedding seasons a year.
As you can imagine, this amounts to quite a bit of dander.
Are Australian Shepherd Mixes Hypoallergenic?
OK, so full-bred Australian Shepherds aren’t hypoallergenic, but what about a mixed breed?
The first thing you should realize is that no dog is fully hypoallergenic. Some dogs may be less likely to trigger allergies or the symptoms may not be as strong. In many cases, these are dogs that don’t shed all that much.
Poodles belong to this category – they are known for minimal shedding and are the best breed for people with allergies. Due to this, an Australian Shepherd mixed with a poodle may be a better option for you.
Of course, there is no guarantee. If you are allergic to Australian Shepherds or other dogs, you will need to test out this theory before you adopt a dog.
How to Live with an Australian Shepherd with Allergies?
Maybe you want to find a way to live with an Australian Shepherd despite your allergies. While you can expect some level of discomfort, there are a lot of things you can do to make life with your pooch easier.
Here are a few things you can try:
Consult an Allergist
You can take antihistamines for an extended period without worrying about side effects. However, it is important to get the right kind of medication for this issue.
Namely, you need something non-sedating as this medication should be taken every day. To figure out what will work for you best, make sure to speak with an allergist. They will be able to guide your treatment so that your symptoms are virtually non-existent.
Train Your Aussie
If you are allergic, it is a good idea to train your dog to stay away from certain areas like the bedroom. This way, you can keep some spaces in your home completely free of dander, guaranteeing your relief in these spaces.
In case you have a full-grown dog, make it a point to close off any areas that you don’t want them entering. Gates can also be a good way to ensure that your dog doesn’t go anywhere where they shouldn’t.
It is also a good idea to train your dog to stay off of the furniture, particularly couches or chairs that may catch a lot of fur. Instead, create a special corner for your dog complete with their own bedding and toys. Encourage them to settle down there.
Needless to say, you will need to steer clear of this area.
Get Rid of Carpeting
Carpets are notorious for trapping fur. Even with regular cleaning, it can be difficult to get all the fluff out of the fabric. It isn’t just fur you have to worry about – carpets trap a lot of dirt and dust as well.
Due to this, it is a good idea to get rid of carpeting and simply have bare floors. This will be much easier to keep clean and to ensure that you aren’t triggering your allergies more than necessary.
In general, keep carpets and rugs to a minimum as these can attract dander as well. If you are worried about cold floors, get into the habit of wearing fuzzy socks or slippers to stay toasty.
Invest in High Quality Air Purifier
Home air purifiers are more sophisticated than they have ever been. As such, you can easily find purifiers that have been designed to remove pet dander from the surrounding areas. Make sure that it is a medical grade device and that it is equipped with a HEPA filter for the best results.
Check that the air purifier is suitable for the room size it’s placed in. This will allow it to be more efficient and help get rid of any pet dander that may be lying around.
You won’t need one for every room, just those that your pet frequents the most. Keep it running while your pet is indoors and you are sure to feel a lot more comfortable.
Get a Good Vacuum Cleaner
Believe it or not, your vacuum cleaner can make all the difference to your allergies. Get a high-quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter. This guarantees that the dander won’t be circulating around your home but will be trapped inside the vacuum.
Have someone clean out the bag on a regular basis so that the vacuum cleaner can be as effective as possible.
With allergies, vacuuming your home as often as possible can help to keep symptoms at bay. This is why you should try this once a day. You don’t have to clean your entire house, just the room that your pooch has spent most of their time in.
You should also vacuum your pet’s bedding and blankets on a daily basis.
Brush Your Australian Shepherd Every Day
Most owners will only brush their Australian Shepherds once a week, but this won’t be enough. Someone should brush your dog once a day. While they need to use a slicker brush every day, using an undercoat every other day or on a weekly basis can help to cut down on the shedding further.
Always brush the dog outside. Don’t let the fur fly around, either. Instead, gather the clumps of fur on the brush and seal it tightly inside of a bag. Throw this in the garbage.
As mentioned, Australian Shepherds do have shedding seasons. During this period, you will have to take the brushing to another level. If you are handling this task by yourself, add a de-shedding brush to your brushing routine as well.
If you are having trouble staying on top of all the shedding, take your pooch to a groomer’s during this period. They usually have various tools and implements to get rid of the excess fur. What’s more, you will not have to be exposed to the dander during this process.
Australian Shepherds may not be hypoallergenic, but this doesn’t mean you have to live without your best bud. With a few tricks and strategies, you can enjoy life side by side with your dog. So, make sure to give these solutions a try. You won’t regret it.