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Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic?

Are you thinking of getting an Australian Shepherd and want to find out if they’re hypoallergenic? Maybe you have allergies and want to know if they’re the right breed for you? Here’s everything you need to know about whether Australian Shepherds and hypoallergenic.

Are Australian Shepherds Hypoallergenic? No, Australian Shepherds are not hypoallergenic. They’re a double-coated breed that shed all year round. They shed more severely twice a year, in line with the changing seasons. This can be difficult for allergy sufferers, especially if they have asthma. 

Read on to find out exactly what a hypoallergenic dog is, what causes people to be allergic to Australian Shepherds, and how to manage allergies within the home.

Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years. 

What Is A Hypoallergenic Dog?

A hypoallergenic dog is thought to be less likely to cause people allergic reactions to them.

There’s no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog. Although, some breeds tend not to aggravate allergies as much as others do. 

Even if a breed is considered hypoallergenic, there’s no guarantee that they won’t cause pet allergies to flare.

The only way of knowing exactly how an individual dog will affect your allergies, is to spend time with them.

Are Australian Shepherds Good For Allergy Sufferers? 

No, Australian Shepherds aren’t the best breed for pet allergy sufferers.

Because they’re a moderate shedder, there will be more dander around your home. This can make your allergies much worse. 

Their thick coat requires lots of brushing to keep it in good condition.

This also helps to remove any loose undercoat and dander and reduces the amount being shed into your home. 

What Causes People To Be Allergic To Australian Shepherds?

People are usually allergic to Australian Shepherds because of the dander attached to their fur. They can also have allergies to their saliva, urine, and faeces.

It’s commonly thought that Australian Shepherd’s fur causes allergic reactions, but this isn’t actually the case. 

Dander is similar to human dandruff and can be microscopic, which makes it challenging to manage.

There’s no way of stopping dander from being produced by your Australian Shepherd because all dogs produce and shed it naturally.

This is the most common cause of allergies for Australian Shepherd owners. 

Although it’s less common, people can also be allergic to their Australian Shepherd’s saliva, urine and faeces.

So, be sure to wash your hands when you’ve cleaned up after your Australian Shepherd. 

Australian Shepherd on a yellow background with a speech bubble that says 'Do I cause pet allergies?'
Australian Shepherd Pet Allergies

How Do I Know If I Am Allergic To My Australian Shepherd?

Pet allergy symptoms can be more or less severe depending on the person and dog.

If you’re allergic to your Australian Shepherd, you may suffer from any combination of these symptoms:

  • Itchy, Dry or Watery Eyes
  • Dry or Sore Throat
  • Runny or Blocked Nose
  • Coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Feeling of Tightness In Your Chest
  • Difficulty Breathing 
  • Skin Rashes And Irritation

What Can I Do If I Am Allergic To My Australian Shepherd?

If you’re allergic to your Australian Shepherd, there are some things you can do to help manage your pet allergies:

Vacuum Your Home Frequently

Vacuuming your home daily can help remove the hair and dander that your Australian Shepherd leaves around your home. This can help reduce the allergic reactions you experience.

Concentrate on any soft furnishings like sofas, carpets and rugs. These areas are magnets for collecting hair and dander.

Choose a vacuum specifically for pets with a built-in HEPA filter as these tend to be better at collecting dander too. 

Use A Damp Cloth For Dusting

Use a damp cloth to dust around your home. This can help to remove more dander particles.

Instead of them floating into the air, this traps the particles in the fabric and stops them from settling elsewhere in your house.

Less dander can mean fewer allergic reactions!

Don’t Let Your Australian Shepherd Lick You

If you’re allergic to your Australian Shepherd’s saliva, don’t let them lick you. This may bring you out in a rash, especially if they lick your bare skin.

Australian Shepherds are a very loving breed, so it’s natural for them to want to kiss you!

If they do, it’s best to wash the area afterwards to limit their saliva’s contact time on your skin. 

Brush Your Australian Shepherd Regularly

Brushing your Australian Shepherd often is a good way to keep your allergies at bay.

They do most of their shedding from their short undercoat, and this is where the dander lives too.

Brushing helps remove their loose undercoat, which stops it from being shed around your home.

Use an undercoat rake to make sure you reach through their thick topcoat.

They need to be groomed at least 2-3 times per week.

Give Your Australian Shepherd Their Own Bed

Make sure your Australian Shepherd has a comfortable bed of their own. If you have pet allergies, it’s not ideal to let them sleep on the bed with you! 

Mattresses, bedding and pillows are great places for hair and dander to stick to. So this can really get your allergies going!

It’s easier to teach your Australian Shepherd to sleep in their own bed when they’re a puppy.

However, it’s possible to teach an adult dog to do so too! 

Australian Shepherd on a yellow background with a speech bubble that says 'Do I cause pet allergies?'
Australian Shepherd Pet Allergies

Don’t Let Your Australian Shepherd On The Furniture

Try not to let your Australian Shepherd get onto your sofa or chairs.

This is especially important if they’re fabric ones because these are fur traps!

Where there’s fur, there’s dander. So this is sure to get your allergies going!

If you want them to share the sofa with you, try to cover it with blankets. These are easier to remove and wash. 

Bathe Your Australian Shepherd

Bathing your Australian Shepherd can help to reduce the amount of hair they shed. This can help to keep your allergies under control.

Use high-quality dog shampoo and conditioners that are made from natural ingredients.

A bath once every 6-8 weeks should be plenty for your Australian Shepherd. If you bathe them more often than this, it can remove the natural oils from their coat and cause skin conditions. 

Wash Your Australian Shepherd’s Bedding

Wash your Australian Shepherd’s bed and blankets regularly.

Use a high-quality washing powder or liquid and wash them on a hot wash setting.

You may want to hoover their bedding first, to remove excess hair before it goes in the washer.

It may help if you run an empty wash cycle afterwards to remove any hair trapped in the washing machine.

Feed Your Australian Shepherd High-Quality Food

If your Australian Shepherd’s eating a poor-quality diet, this can affect their skin and coat health. And, if their fur is brittle, this can make it fall out more.

This means more dander being shed around your home.

So choose food made from high-quality ingredients that doesn’t contain artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. 

The better the food, the better the coat health and this means less shedding in the home.

Make Sure Your Australian Shepherd Is Hydrated

If they’re not drinking enough water, your Australian Shepherd’s skin can become dry. Dry skin can mean they shed more hair and dander.

They’re an active breed, so it’s essential they keep hydrated, especially after exercise. 

Use Air Purifiers Around Your Home

Air Purifiers usually contain HEPA filters. These are great for collecting microscopic dander and dust particles from the air. 

Using them in the rooms that your Australian Shepherd spends most time in can be helpful for allergy sufferers. 

Take Anti-Allergy Medication

Your doctor will be able to advise you on treatments for your allergies.

Prescription anti-histamine medication may be helpful, and it’s often stronger than the over-the-counter ones. 

Change Your Clothes After Cuddling Your Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherds can be very loving dogs that love to cuddle! But their fur can quickly get trapped in your clothing.

So, you should change your clothes if you’ve been cuddling your Australian Shepherd.

This shortens the amount of time that their hair or dander is in contact with your skin. 

So there you have it! Australian Shepherds are not a hypoallergenic dog breed. They shed all year round and, more severely, as the seasons change. They’re large dogs with a lot of dander and pet hair, which can be challenging for pet allergy sufferers. 

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