The Akita breed of dog is based straight out of Japan, and has entered the hearts of many people across the globe. They are sizable animals that have the capacity and skills to aid you with companionship and comfort, and protect you from imminent threats.
The only threat that an Akita cannot protect you from is allergies, considering that the Akita breed is not hypoallergenic. Their physical features make it really easy for any person with allergies to begin to scratch and sneeze, which is a huge factor to consider.
Akitas are a wonderful dog to own and connect with as a friend; but when it comes to your biological health, Akitas can surely prove to you that they too have their shortfall.
Why Are Akitas Not Hypoallergenic?
With such a great set of skills for hunting, protecting, and comforting, unfortunately, Akitas will not make the list as the most hypoallergenic; and the main reason for this is because of their fur coat. Akitas are known to be heavy shedders, although this is not a year-round situation.
Dogs of the Akita breed have two layers of fur: the undercoat, and the top coat; and they have a traditional biological habit of shedding their undercoat about twice per year.
When this is happening, the follicles of the hairs that are closer to their body – the undercoat – will begin to loosen, and eventually die off; leaving the dog with massive amounts of hair within the upper fur coat. When this happens, you will find Akita hair everywhere!
And the disappointing part about this is that you can’t stop it.
However; there is one way that you can help control the amount of hair that you find in your house, and that is by brushing the shedding dog daily. In the end, the heavy shedding of an Akita dog plays a major factor into why they are not hypoallergenic.
What Causes Akitas To Not Be Hypoallergenic?
There can be several reasons as to why Akitas are considered to not be hypoallergenic. One of these reasons is based on a person’s sensitivity to dogs, or anything too furry.
If a person has a narrow capacity for how much dust, dander, or fur they can inhale before potentially sneezing or coughing out a lung, then an Akita would seriously give you a run for your money, and potentially to your local neighborhood pharmacy.
Another significant factor for what causes an Akita to not be hypoallergenic is the amount of fur that they have, as well as the amount of fur that they shed.
Yet, in between those periods of shedding, their present hairs, or hairs from the previous shedding cycle, can be trapped deep within their fur; thus, causing the loose fur to fly right out, and eventually traveling right into the nostrils of the unsuspecting victim.
As previously mentioned, their coats shed twice a year; so between natural allergies that can be triggered by anything from nature, plus the high-flying hairs of an Akita, being hypoallergenic is not an option for these pups.
What About Akitas Causes An Allergic Reaction?
All of this talk about fur must have you thinking that it’s the same cause for someone to have an allergic reaction; when in reality, it typically is not.
Yes, fur can cause a tingle sensation, and a potential sneeze, but it’s what’s inside of the fur that matters, and that’s dander. Simply put, dander is the tiny scale that comes off of the Akita’s skin or hair; and this hair can be a cesspool for pollen and dust mites.
With this information, you can now see why the simple inhalation of the free-flowing Akita hairs can create blood vessel restriction, which can lead to wheezing. In addition to the pollen and dust from nature to the Akita hairs, an Akitas’ saliva or urine can also cause an allergic reaction.
Those same pollen and spores that attach to the Akitas’ fur have the ability to also ceep into the skin, or be ingested through the mouth.
This could lead to the bacteria from your pooch being transferred through their love licks, or an accidental spray during a walk in the park to cause the irritation or allergic reaction.
How Can I Tell If I’m Allergic To My Akita (Common Symptoms)
There are some pretty prominent features that present with allergic reaction from an Akita. The symptoms that are experienced may be the low end of the scale, yet has the potential to go a bit further than that if enough Akita hair is in the air.
Common symptoms of showing signs of being allergic to your Akita may present as
- Showing redness in the area of being licked by your Akita.
- Itchiness and/or swelling of the eye and/or nose – which is why your eyes and nose may start to run; or feel the need to rub them excessively.
- Shortness of breath, wheezing, or coughing within 10 to 30 minutes of being exposed to the Akita allergens.
- And, if you currently have, or had a history of asthma, an asthma attack could occur.
Another symptom that may occur is a bit more severe; in children, the allergen from an Akita could cause Eczema, which is a severe inflammation of the skin.
These signs are fairly common across the realm of allergies, and unfortunately, Akitas, like hunting, protecting, and providing friendship, are also good at causing you to grab your nearest box of tissue.
How Can I Prevent Allergic Reactions Caused By My Akita?
Although being exposed to a non-hypoallergenic dog like the Akita can take you on a biological rollercoaster, there are a couple of techniques that you can use in order to prevent allergic reactions from them.
The most effective allergic reaction solution would be to stay away from the Akita all together. It may seem like a challenge to resist that cute and fluffy face, but it will be worth it, at the sake of your body scratching and itching.
To piggyback off of the staying away from the dog, removing it from your home would also be a smart idea too.
But if you’re not keen on that idea, you can cover your air vents with a dense material, like cheesecloth, to prevent the spread of the Akita hair via the pushing of air conditioning or forced air-heating.
After engaging with the dog, a change of clothes may do you some good in preventing any further physical discomfort. Another great way to prevent allergic reactions is to add a friendly air cleaner, and combine it with quality air filter for pet dander.
What Should I Do To Treat an Allergic Reaction Caused by My Akita?
Since there is a likely chance that you may experience the related symptoms of an allergic reaction towards an Akita, knowing some treatment and management skills could end up literally saving your skin.
Once the reaction has started, one of the best solutions for treating an Akita allergic reaction would be utilizing a antihistamine.
The antihistamine will begin to join in on the process of your body trying to heal itself, which will reduce the itchiness or swelling that may occur from the reaction.
Nasal sprays and bronchodilators are a big help too, seeing that they are capable of opening up your blood vessels so that more oxygen can flow through the affected area, thus, treating the allergic reaction.
Immunotherapy may also be of consideration for you. This is a technique that has the potential to not just treat allergic reactions to Akitas, but will also help you build up a tolerance to their allergens, which helps you to reduce the symptoms of the allergic reactions over time.
How To Avoid Allergies From Being Triggered By Akitas
So you want to avoid your allergies from being triggered by an Akita, right? The top and best way for this to happen is to simply stay away from Akitas.
As previously mentioned, Akitas tend to be heavy shedders, and it happens twice a year; so they won’t be able to stop this process due to its naturality, but you for sure can take a few steps back, or leave the room all together when you see one approaching.
Also, Immunotherapy does a great job at both preventing and treating allergies that are triggered by our furry little pals, so this may be a decent option for you in the long run.
Continue to avoid allergies from being triggered by Akitas by not hugging the dog, or allowing it to kiss you. A hug could send hundreds of hairs into the air, which you would then end up inhaling; while the saliva from the lick of the dog could enter your pores and trigger an attack.
Tips on How To Live With an Akita and Allergies
This may seem a bit drastic, but it’s definitely possible to keep your Akita in the home, even if you are allergic to it.
One tip on living with your allergies – and the Akita that caused them – is to create a pet-free zone in your home. This area is the one place that the dog is not allowed to go into, so that you’ll always have a fresh place to breath.
Also, installing a High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter (HEPA) can catch the pet dander and hairs that are floating around, which will keep them out of your air, and therefore your body. Cleaning often will also help with reducing your Akita allergies.
Brushing, wiping down, or washing furniture and clothing is a must if keeping your Akita around is important.
Another big factor that will help you and your Akita live better together is washing the dog at least once per week, which will wipe away, or kill the dander that still lives on the dog.
Allergy shots may be a viable option as well.
Don’t Make Your Akita an Outside Dog
That’s right; if you want to keep allergic reactions down, it’s best to keep you non-hypoallergenic Akita within doors, and here’s why.
Once the dog is outside, it is now exposed to all of the free-radicals that can cause your allergies to be triggered.
Pollen from flowers can attach to the Akitas fur; grass could get caught up in their hair, and remain within the undercoat, which could be a bad sign in the future if you are going to cuddle with the dog in the future.
Also, a big factor for not making your Akita an outside dog is dirt. Akitas are cool animals, but they don’t have much energy for long-term play, meaning that at some point, they will lay down on the ground in the dirt, in order to regulate their body temperature.
This dirt is a high-priority trigger that your Akita should not be exposed to very often, or you’ll be paying the price with sneezing and the sniffles.
What Determines Whether or Not A Dog Is Hypoallergenic?
With respect, there really isn’t such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog, considering that most animals that are domesticated for human companionship have fur.
What makes a dog more hypoallergenic is if it has a lower shedding rate. The less a dog can shed their hair, the less of a chance you have of experiencing allergic reactions; thus, making it a bit easier on your body and sinuses.
However, there are some factors that can make a dog less hypoallergenic than necessary. The most significant determinant of whether or not a dog is hypoallergenic is the amount of dander that they carry.
Some dogs are known to be more prone to causing allergic reactions – like Akitas – because of the amount of dead skin that hides beneath, or on top, of the lower layer of their fur coating.
What Can Hypoallergenic Families Do to Help with Allergic Reactions
Dogs are a great companion for individuals, and an even cooler friend when the entire family is involved! So having some help in keeping families with pet allergies happy, without the nasal running and teary red eyes, would be a great situation.
A tip that could help you and your family stay healthy and reduce allergic reaction is to declare areas of the home that your dog cannot go into.
This technique will create a safe-zone of air that will remain clear of pet dander, and any other pollutant that your Akita, or any dog could attract.
Also, have the least reactive member of your family wash and brush your dog, outside, on a weekly basis, because this will get rid of excess hairs that are known to cause stuffiness and coughing.
Another way that families can do their best to stay hypoallergenic is to trim or cut the dog’s hair down to a manageable size so that you can see the excess hairs on the dog that can trigger allergic reaction.
Dogs That Are Less Likely to Trigger Allergies
The Japanese treasure that is the Akita is a lovely and fully-functional dog that has the capabilities to do just about anything, except keep you from sneezing. So which dogs are less likely to trigger allergies?
Well, Yorkshire Terriers are a decent choice, simply because their coats resemble humans like hair, and don’t carry much allergens. Wire Fox Terriers have curly dense hair, which makes them great choices for allergy-reduction through proper grooming.
Shih Tzu dogs are another great breed to choose for the same reason as the Yorkshire Terriers: their hair is closely related to that of a straight-haired human, and won’t carry much dander.
An interesting choice would be dogs of the Puli breed because of their loc’d fur. The excess hair that usually gets combed out ends up being twisted into their cord-like fur, which reduces that amount that’s in the air.
Havanese and Irish Water Spaniels are solid options too due to their smaller incidencences of shedding.
Here’s What Contributes To People’s Allergies
Akitas are a great dog; and they may cause biological reactions, but they aren’t the only culprit in this illness spree.
Some of the most common allergens include airborne particles, which include dust mites, mold spores, animal dander, and dried saliva from your pets; food – like dairy, wheat, soy, or nuts – is also a major contributor to people’s allergies; so read your dog’s food label diligently.
There are also some medicines, such as antibiotics, that can cause allergic reactions; in addition, chemicals from dog products can also be a solid reason for why an allergic reaction can occur.
This is why having the right dog products will help not only keep you Akita safe and a little more hypoallergenic, but also keep you safe from the allergens that the Akita is known to accidentally give off.