Many Great Danes are prone to allergies, both environmental/inhalant and food allergies alike. Armed with this knowledge, you should pay attention to and quickly address any behaviors, or changes in your dog’s normal bodily function, that may signal your Dane may be suffering from allergies.
Skin problems are the most common symptoms of dog allergies. Any new or intense scratching, biting, or gnawing at his own skin; red, irritated, or raw areas on your dog; or bald spots, should alert you to potentially harmful allergens. While these are typical indicators of allergies in your Dane, you should also be on the lookout for digestive issues such as vomiting and/or diarrhea. When a dog’s immune system is attacked by allergens, the resulting inflammation will most likely result in either digestive or skin issues.
Common environmental/inhalant allergens affecting dogs are found in such things as shampoos and detergents, scented perfumes or sprays, grass, pollen, fleas and flea saliva, cigarette smoke, mold, and dust, to name just a few. For the most part, nearly any thing that would cause an allergic reaction in You or your fellow human beings could very well also cause such a reaction in your Dane.
Flea and inhalant/environmental allergies are diagnosed via skin testing by your vet and once the allergen is confirmed, you can do your best to remove or reduce these allergens from your pet’s world.
Another potential, though less common, culprit of allergies in your Dane is his food. Food allergies in dogs tend to be overlooked but can cause the same type of skin issues, which could lead to infection if not heeded. The most common food allergens are corn, milk, meat, and soy.
Food allergies will be diagnosed by food trials, and treated by initially putting your Dane on a hypoallergenic diet for a few weeks to a couple months generally, whereby only pure, hypoallergenic ingredients will be fed to him. Slowly, other ingredients will be added to his food until your dog begins to have problems – digestive or skin – again. Once you have found the foods that cause your Dane to have such allergic reactions, you can eliminate these from his diet, and ultimately have a much happier and healthier dog.