Common Allergies in German Shepherd dog - GSD Colony

German Shepherd Most Common Allergies

German Shepherds are one of the most healthy dogs breeds out there for decades, but unfortunately, they also can get sick, and today, we will talk about the 15 most common allergies in German Shepherd dogs.

Allergies had been slipped into two main categories: food and environmental allergies. In this article, we will cover both categories, and try to explain everything.

You will learn how to notice the symptoms of allergic, how to help your German Shepherd with allergic, and how to know what on what is your German Shepherd is most commonly allergic to.

Usually, we are responsible for the most allergic reactions, and in this article, what should you stop doing to prevent allergic reactions in the future.

Let’s now dive right in!

Cleaning product.

When you have a big dog in your house, which has big and long hair, you will clean much more often than everyone, but did you know that cleaning products can be bad for your German Shepherd?

German Shepherd allergic reaction to cleaning products - GSD Colony

Because of their chemical composition, cleaning products can be really bad for every living being, especially for our dogs, which spend most of their time on the floor.

If you are using strong cleaning products, then it’s time for a change. To reduce the chance of allergic reactions, we suggest you start using “natural” cleaners. 

Even if you are using the “natural” cleaners, there is a also chance that your German Shepherd can get an allergic reaction to some of the products.

We need to clean our house, and we can’t just like that say no to the cleaning products. Try to lower the use of cleaning products as much as possible, keep them in a safe place, far away from your German Shepherd, and use only proven products.

The most common symptoms of allergic reaction in German Shepherd to cleaning products are:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Diarrhea
  • Watery eyes
  • Irritated red skin
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Redness of skin and tissue damage
  • Lethargy
  • Shock
  • Abdominal pain
  • Thirst


Would you like your German Shepherd to smell like the latest perfume from Gucci? Experts advise that half a bottle is enough to make a German Shepherd smell like a… Just kidding! Don’t ever put perfume on your dog just to smell nice! They hate perfumes!

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to perfumes - GSD Colony

According to the Washington Post for their scientist research, the dog has something between 10,000 to 100,000 times better sense of smell than a human, and this is because of the number of their olfactory receptors. While we have “only” 6 million, they have over 300 million olfactory receptors!

Dogs don’t love perfume because “it’s smell bad”, they don’t like perfumes because their smell is too strong for them.

Don’t ever use perfumes on your German Shepherd, and if you’re getting ready for the night out, don’t put too much perfume near your dog. Otherwise, he can get a serious allergic reaction.

The most common symptoms of allergic reaction in German Shepherd to perfumes are:

  • Itchiness
  • Hives
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Diarrhea
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy ears
  • Itchy, runny eyes
  • Constant licking

Cigarette smoke.

Some German Shepherds can be sensitive to the smoke of cigarettes. If you are a smoker or your dog is in a family where are a lot of smokers, don’t keep your GSD too much in the rooms where cigarettes are lit.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to cigarette smoke - GSD Colony

Some German Shepherd can by time become allergic to the smoke of cigarettes, and this is harder to diagnose because usually don’t even think that cigarette smoke can cause serious allergic reactions.

You can significantly reduce the chance of your dog can an allergic reaction to the smoke of cigarettes by letting the fresh air into that room.

Don't blow smoke of cigarettes into the face of your German Shepherd, because the last thing that we want is that our dog gets sick.

Dust mites.

No one likes the dust, and like the pollen, dust can cause Atopic Dermatitis in German Shepherds when inhaled. If there is a lot of dust in your environment and you have an allergic reaction, this is probably due to the little creatures named Dust Mites.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to dust mites - GSD Colony

Your German Shepherd can get an allergic reaction if he gets in contact with these creatures, but besides him, you can also get an allergic reaction or any other pet.

But don’t worry too much about that. We know how hard is to keep every single corner of the house super-clean. Your German Shepherd can’t get an allergic reaction to dust mites just like that, he would have to be in contact with them for a long period of time. 

If notice that your German Shepherd has an allergic reaction, and you think that is from dust times, as soon as possible visit your local vet, and make sure to clean your house from any dust.


Chicken is one of the most common allergies in German Shepherd dogs, and the reason for that is because chicken has a lot of proteins.

German Shepherd allergic on chicken - GSD Colony

Most of the dogs are allergic to proteins, and almost all dog food companies are putting the chicken in their food.

Your dog may have an allergic reaction to chicken if you notice these symptoms: diarrhea, ear infections, obsessive licking, foot infections, and other skin issues.

To learn more about this potential allergic reaction, we suggest you read a short post from Think Jinks.


Unfortunately, German Shepherds can also can an allergic reaction to beef. After research, experts from PMC have come up with stunning results.

“The most frequently reported food allergens involved in CAFRs in dogs were beef (102 dogs, 34%)”.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to beef - GSD Colony

We all know how beef is popular in our and dog’s diets, and if your dog gets an allergic reaction to the beef, you need to eliminate beef from your dog’s diet.

These symptoms are signs that your German Shepherd is allergic to beef:

  • Bald patches
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Coughing 
  • Paw biting
  • Obsessive licking
  • Diarrhea
  • Skin infections
  • Shaking of the head

Of course, there can be other symptoms, these are just the most common symptoms, and if you notice any of them, visit our local vet as soon as possible.

The most common question when dogs owners find out that their German Shepherd is allergic to beef is “what’s the best alternative to the beef and proteins?”, and here is the shortlist of the best alternatives for protein:

  • Turkey
  • Fish
  • Rabbit
  • Lamb
  • Emu
  • Eggs
  • Duck
  • Broccoli


Just like humans, German Shepherds can also be allergic to the pollen, and in fact, unfortunately, GSDs are one of those breeds pollen tends to affect more than others.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to pollen - GSD Colony

Some of the signs of an allergic reaction to the pollens are:

  • Scratching
  • Hives
  • Excessive licking
  • Puppy eyes
  • Eye discharge
  • Face rubbing
  • Hair loss
  • Red, stinky ears
  • Head shaking
  • Red, irritated skin
  • Hot spots
  • Sneezing
  • Sensitive skin

If you notice any of these signs, the best option is to contact your veterinary dermatologist, to help you with the exact cause of your German Shepherds’ allergies.

Pollen is a mass of microspores in a seed plant appearing usually as fine dust, and these allergies most commonly appear during the spring, when grasses and trees bloom. So if your German Shepherd gets an allergic reaction to pollen, you maybe want to avoid park walks during the spring.


Unfortunately, the German Shepherd is prone to allergic reactions to mold. Mold isn’t that much harmless for our dogs, but it can cause serious problems if you don’t treat that allergic reaction on the time.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to the mold - GSD Colony

These symptoms are most common the body of your German Shepherd reacts to the mold:

  • Hair loss
  • Shaking of the head and ears
  • Hot spots
  • Secondary skin infection
  • Redness and scaliness of the skin
  • Thickened and odorous skin

It’s not something your dog was born with. If your German Shepherd had an allergic reaction to the mold, then we think it's the right time to explore your house and find that place from where mold comes from.


Allergic reaction on feathers is one of the most difficult allergic reactions to control. If your German Shepherd is allergic to feathers, he can easily get in contact with feathers without your knowledge.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to feathers - GSD Colony

We all know how our dogs love to sniff everything, explore, and be leash-free, but if your GSD is allergic to feathers, you may want to take extra care.

Maybe this sounds ridiculous, but you must watch basically all the time what your dog doing when he is outside with you. Try not to take your eyes off his nose!

These are usually the symptoms of an allergic reaction on feathers:

  • Itchy skin
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Licking
  • Small red bumps on the skin

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, we suggest you as soon as possible your vet and visit them.


At the first, this may be sound weird, but yes, German Shepherds can be allergic to the medications. But how then we will treat the allergic reaction if your dog can’t take any medications?

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to medications - GSD Colony

If you have shown some symptoms of an allergic reaction after taking medications, that’s doesn’t mean that he is allergic to all medications. Usually, dogs get allergic reactions to specific medications.

If you notice any of these symptoms after a couple of minutes or hours after giving the medications to your German Shepherd, then he probably has an allergic reaction to medications:

  • Anaphylactic shock
  • Diarrhea
  • Hives
  • Intense scratching
  • Red rash anywhere on the body
  • Sneezing
  • Shaking head
  • Runny nose
  • Watery eyes

Some dogs are more susceptible than others, and unfortunately, the German Shepherd is one of these dogs who more often get allergic reactions from the medications.

If you notice any of these symptoms, please do not give any medications on your own to your German Shepherd, instead visit your local vet for a detailed veterinary check.


Did you know that about 17% of dogs with food allergies were allergic to dairy? This isn’t a big number like for chicken or beef, but still, it’s a bigger piece of the pie.

The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction are itchy skin and rashes. Your German Shepherd can get an allergic reaction because of the lactose in the milk.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to dairy - GSD Colony

These signs are good indicators that your German Shepherd is allergic to lactose:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of Appetite
  • Bloating
  • Flatulence
  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of the face

If you suspect that your German Shepherd is allergic to dairy, you can find out that by removing dog food in which have dairy and waiting for a couple of days. Of course, visiting your vet for advice is also a great idea, yet they are the ones who are professional in this area.


There is nothing good about fleas. They are boring, they look disgusting, and they are bad not only for the health of our German Shepherd but also for our health. Allergic reactions on the fleas are also known as flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) or fleabite hypersensitivity.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to the fleas - GSD Colony

This allergic reaction is one of the most common in dogs and is one of the fastest you can spot. If you have noticed that your German Shepherd is scratching much more than usual, that’s the first sign of an allergic reaction to fleas.

Other symptoms of flea allergic are:

  • Flea dirt
  • Ear and skin infections
  • Rash on your GSD’s skin
  • Hair loss, especially in areas where the bites happened
  • Small red bumps which will look like pimples
  • Constant itching, biting, clawing, and grooming

Usually, this allergic can treat with Benadryl, but as we always mention, it’s always better to first call your vet.


If you ever wonder why are so many grain-free kibble products out there, it’s because grain allergies are relatively common in German Shepherds.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to the grains - GSD Colony

Symptoms of this allergic in German Shepherd can be different, but we will highlight the most common once: 

  • Itchy skin
  • Dry, flaky skin
  • Bumps/rash
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Obsessive licking
  • Inflamed, red paw pads
  • Gastrointestinal upset

Most grains are empty calories, like corn, wheat, and soy. Those ingredients don’t do anything to help your dog from a dietary standpoint, and many dogs have trouble digesting them.

Essential oils.

The smell of essential oils can be really beautiful and can relax us after a long and boring day, but as we mentioned before, our German Shepherds dogs have over 300 million olfactory receptors.

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to the essential oils

This means that essential oils with a strong smell can be bad for them, and some essential oils can be toxic for our furry friends, like a:

  • Pennyroyal oil
  • Pine oil
  • Tea tree oil
  • Wintergreen oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Citrus oil
  • Peppermint oil
  • Sweet birch oil
  • Ylang Ylang

And these are common symptoms when your German Shepherd gets an allergic reaction to essential oils:

  • Fatigue
  • Low heart rate
  • Watery nose or eyes
  • Redness of the lips, gums, or skin
  • Vomiting and drooling
  • Pawing at the face/mouth
  • Rash that develops on his skin
  • Low body temperature

You also want to keep your essential oils in a safe place, because your German Shepherd can also be poisoned with that oils.


In this blog post, we had already mentioned that you should be careful outside l if your German Shepherd is allergic to pollen. But what if your German Shepherd is allergic to the pollen and you have plants inside your house, plants which you have in the yard?

German Shepherd dog allergic reaction to the plants - GSD Colony

Having plants inside a house, or in the yard, it’s really amazing. It helps our physical and mental health, but if your dog has an allergic reaction to pollen or any plant, unfortunately, we must remove those plants inside your house.

If you have a sensitive German Shepherd, you probably want to avoid having these plants:

  • Male juniper shrubs
  • Acacia shrubs
  • Daylilies
  • Oleander
  • Sago palm
  • Tulips
  • Philodendrons
  • Dieffenbachia (Dumb cane)
  • Bermuda grass

The symptoms of an allergic reaction on the plants in German Shepherds are:

  • Wheezing
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Reverse sneezing
  • Skin infections

We know how hard can be when you find out that your GSD has an allergic reaction to the plants and you must remove these plants, but the health of your furry friend is more important.

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.

Best medications for German Shepherd dog allergic - GSD Colony

Can I be allergic to my German Shepherd?

If you’re allergic to dogs, you will be allergic to the German Shepherd. No matter how badly you want to get a GSD, we suggest you don’t do that.

If you often have allergies, then we believe that the German Shepherd isn’t the right dog breed for you. They are really wonderful dog breed, but you should risk your own health in order to get one.

No matter if you get a long hair or short hair German Shepherd, you will still have trouble with dog hair, especially because they are dropping their coat twice a year.


You should never ignore any symptoms if you notice them. If you don’t treat the diseases on the time, you only can get in serious trouble later.

Before you decide to give any medicine to your German Shepherd, always, we repeat, ALWAYS contact first your dog veterinarian.

We hope that this blog post would help you to better understand why you should always ask professionals (dog veterinarians) for help and that you should never ignore the symptoms of any diseases.

We wish you all the best to you, your lovely German Shepherd, and your whole family. Stay healthy and safe!

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