Dog Breeds Known for Their Allergies

Allergies in dogs is nothing new – the veterinary community has been studying the phenomenon for a long time. Dogs can have reactions to many of our own allergens: just like people, many dogs are allergic to soy, pollen, trees, grass, and certain types of weeds. Another allergen that rarely affects people but is a big trigger for dogs is flea saliva.

Flea prevention is very important in pets, not only to keep both you and your pet safe from the diseases that can be carried by fleas, but also because flea saliva contains proteins that can make your dog’s skin itch constantly for weeks. Cats, too, are vulnerable to flea allergies. If you aren’t sure which flea prevention medication is best for your dog, just give your vet a call, and they will be able to recommend some great brands. Commonly prescribed brands are Frontline, Advantage, and Vet’s Best.

Signs of Allergies

Luckily for loving pet owners, it’s fairly easy to see when your pet is uncomfortable. One of the most clear and common signs of dog allergies are hot spots, or places on your pet’s body that are red, moist from licking, and has thinning or missing fur. Licking and chewing of the feet is also a common symptom for allergies in dogs. Chewing at the base of the tail may occur, along with vomiting, diarrhea, excessive scratching, and rubbing the eyes or ears. Dogs rub their eyes using their shins, and their ears against anything that is solid enough for them to scratch.

Dogs Known for Having Allergies

While any dog can have allergies, some breeds can be vulnerable to their environments. It’s also important to remember that just like people, dogs can also develop allergies.

GSD (German Shepherd Dogs)

Hailing from Germany, these large, hairy dogs have been bred and used to heard and guard livestock. One of the breeds most closely related to wolves, German Shepherds have been both loved and feared by Americans over the years. German Shepherds, though, despite being so beautiful, often experience allergies to soy and chicken.

Pit Bulls

A breed as beloved as it is controversial, American Pit Bull Terriers are a mix of English Bull Terrier, English Bulldogs, and American Staffordshire Terriers. Short-haired, and stocky with tails that never stop wagging, pit bulls are particularly susceptible to skin allergies, including flea saliva.


Both English Bulldogs and American Bulldogs are known for having sensitive skin. English Bulldogs were bred for the now-outlawed sport of bull baiting, and through selective breeding, their American cousins were bred to guard property.


Boxers are known for their friendliness, exuberance, and distinctive faces. They were named for their ability to jump up and knock things down and over, hence, their breed name. The allergies in Boxers vary greatly, but often are skin allergies.


Originally bred to hunt waterfowl, the reputation of the poodle changed at the turn of the 20th century to one of prim and proper ladies. Today, many might be surprised to know that Poodles, one of the many breeds recommended for their lessened effect on dog allergy sufferers, actually suffer from some food allergies themselves.

West Highland White

A Scottish working terrier, West Highland White (also called, ‘Westies’) were popular in Scotland and England before coming to the United States. Though still not a very common breed, Westies can often experience flea allergies, and allergies to soy.