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Is a Great Dane Hypoallergenic? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ

Written by: Ed Malaker

Last Updated on July 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

a great dane dog lying outdoor

Is a Great Dane Hypoallergenic? Vet-Approved Facts & FAQ


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Great Danes are one of the most popular dog breeds in America, but many people wonder if they are hypoallergenic. Unfortunately, the Great Dane is not hypoallergenic, but they often don’t cause as many allergic reactions as other breeds do. Keep reading as we look into this breed to learn the reason for this and what causes allergic reactions to dogs.

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What Causes Pet Allergies?

Experts tell us that a specific protein causes an allergic reaction in people that are sensitive to it. It occurs naturally in most dogs’ and cats’ urine, saliva, and dead skin cells. These proteins are carried in dander or shed skin cells. Dander will stick to clothing and other surfaces, so they are easy to transport. Dander can also become airborne.

Up to 30% of people who suffer from allergies will also suffer allergic reactions to pet dander that can range from mild to severe. Some people can experience coughing and sneezing, along with swollen or watery eyes and even shortness of breath. People who have a sinus infection, asthma, or another problem might suffer stronger symptoms.

woman sneezing on a tissue paper
Image Credit: aslysun, Shutterstock
Allergy Symptoms
  • Stuffy nose
  • Itchy nasal membrane
  • Runny nose
  • Persistent coughing
  • Inflamed eyes
  • Swollen bags under the eyes

Do Great Danes Cause Allergic Reactions?

The Great Dane will likely cause an allergic reaction in people that are sensitive to the proteins normally carried in dander. However, their short coat doesn’t shed nearly as much as that of many other breeds, so many suffer fewer reactions, and people more tolerant of dander may not suffer at all.

How Can I Help Reduce Pet Allergies?

Use Allergy Medication

Many people can reduce their reactions to dander and other triggers by taking an over-the-counter allergy medication. While you wouldn’t want to take it continuously, it can help to take it before arriving at a pet-owning relative or friend’s home to help make the visit more comfortable.

Bathe Your Pet

great dane having a bath outside
Image Credit: Roger costa morera, Shutterstock

Bathing your pet can help wash away the dander that builds up on the body. It will also help you remove loose fur that might otherwise wind up on the floor or furniture. However, bathing can dry out the skin, so purchase a soap that uses pet-friendly ingredients and limit baths to one every 6 weeks.

Brush Your Pet

While a Great Dane doesn’t shed as much as many other breeds, it is considered a moderate-shedding breed. Brushing your dog daily or at least several times per week can help eliminate the hair and dander that might otherwise wind up on the floor or furniture, where it can cause an allergic reaction.

Keep Your Home Uncluttered

The tiny dander particles that cause an allergic reaction can stick to any surface, so if there are many play toys and other objects around your home, they might contribute to an allergic reaction.

Vacuum Frequently

By frequently vacuuming your home, you remove dander that would otherwise accumulate in the environment.

a woman vacuuming furniture in a house with a hand-held portable vacuum cleaner
Image Credit: Den Rozhnovsky, Shutterstock

Have Good Ventilation

Make sure that there is good ventilation by opening the windows in your home. This will allow fresh, and dander-free air to run through.

Keep a Pet-Free Zone

If you have a family member sensitive to dander, you can create a dog-free zone to help keep out the dander. If you train your Great Dane at an early age, it will respect the stated boundaries and stay out of the rooms they aren’t supposed to go to.

Wash Your Hands

Hand wash
Image Credit: Clay Banks, Unsplash

You might love to pet your dog every chance you get, but their dander can get onto your hands, and you might then trigger a reaction in someone else. Washing your hands after touching your pet can help remove the dander. If you are allergic, you will also want to wash your hands after touching a dog.

Use a HEPA Filter

A HEPA air filter can help remove airborne dander particles before they have a chance to cause a reaction.

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What Dog Breeds Are Hypoallergenic?

Unfortunately, there are no hypoallergenic dog breeds, but several produce less dander, which can minimize allergies. Breeds that many people consider hypoallergenic include:

  • Affenpinscher
  • Afghan Hound
  • American Hairless
  • Barbet
  • Bedlington Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Maltese
  • Poodle
  • Xoloitzcuintli
  • Yorkshire Terrier

What Dog Breeds Are Not Hypoallergenic?

close up of westclose up of western german shepherdern german shepherd
Image Credit: dendoktoor, Pixabay

You will want to avoid these dog breeds if you are allergic to dogs:

  • Basset Hound
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Siberian Husky
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Pug
  • Saint Bernard
  • Boxer

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Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, the Great Dane is not a hypoallergenic dog, and they might cause an allergic reaction in someone sensitive to dog dander. However, they do have short coats that don’t shed as much as those of many other breeds, so allergic family members and friends might suffer from fewer problems. Brushing your dog frequently and bathing them every 6 weeks will help you reduce allergies even more, as can keeping the house uncluttered and creating a dog-free zone.

See Also: 

Featured Image Credit: Emma Forsyth 88, Shutterstock

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