English Mastiffs are, in no way, hypoallergenic dogs. The term, although there isn’t a single dog breed that’s 100% hypoallergenic, is only commonly used for canines who produce a significantly low rate of dander like the Poodle, for example.
As a sensitive dog lover who has fallen madly in love with the English Mastiff, the fact that he sheds regularly can put you in a major dilemma. You can bring one home but this entails the possibility of jeopardizing your health.
The risks, however, can be eradicated if you execute ways in managing your allergies as well as your English Mastiff. We understand how badly you want this colossal canine, so this guide is specifically made for hypersensitive dog fanciers like you.
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Why Are English Mastiffs Non-Hypoallergenic Dogs?
All dogs including the English Mastiff are non-hypoallergenic by default. The main reason behind this is their non-stop production of dander either through their saliva, sweat, urine, or fur.
The English Mastiff is no exception. Take note, the real culprit is neither his fur, sweat, urine, or saliva. These are simply where the Fel D1 is commonly found. This protein is a primary allergen believed to protect the dog’s skin, but further studies need to be conducted to affirm that.
Although this is naturally produced by your Mastiff, having contact with the trigger can cause your body to react in various ways. The Fel D1 protein that penetrates the immune system will prompt your body to produce antibodies that will fight off the foreign substance although most people can tolerate it.
The result of the interaction between your immune system and the dander will manifest physically which includes but is not limited to a runny nose and itchy, red, and watery eyes.
Does an English Mastiff Shed a Lot?
Even though he has a short and fine coat, it remains to be a fact that he is a double-coated, moderate-to-heavy shedder. This giant dog lets go of his fur all year round so his body can produce a new set of hairs. This cycle has to go on and on so all the loose and damaged strands can be released and replaced with healthier ones.
All dogs undergo a series of phases in shedding. First, when they start developing thicker coats as a puppy, their blood supply generously provides nutrients to aid each strand in growing. This first phase is called the Anagen. This is followed by the Catagen when the hair has fully developed and the supply of nutrients is cut off. Thirdly, the Telogen phase occurs wherein the hair strand remains in the follicle for 90 to 100 days. And finally, all hairs are released or they simply fall out. This Exogen phase typically lasts for 60 to 150 days.
You might be wondering why some dogs shed more than others. This is because some breeds like the Maltese only have a single coat, the English Mastiff and others have a double coat, and the rest are three-coated! An example of a triple-coated dog is the Bergamasco Sheepdog.
When Does He Shed the Most?
The English Mastiff will continuously shed regularly hence why it is suggested that he receive a good brushing every week. However, you have to brace yourself during spring and fall since these two seasons are when he’ll release a greater amount of fur.
When the warmer months approach, your English Mastiff will let go of his winter coat and grow a thinner and lighter one so he can adjust and adapt to the summer heat. While the dog discharges his old fur, you’ll notice a lot more of his fine hairs sticking either in the couch, carpets, or flying in the air.
Similarly, when fall comes by, a significant change in his coat will become more noticeable. All his summer coat will become loose and eventually get released as a preparation for a thicker fur which will give him warmth during the colder months.
Always be mindful of the calendar and the seasons you’re in if you want to prevent your house from getting filled with dog hairs. Ready your brush always and ensure that you run this along in his entire colossal body.
Can Someone With Allergies Live With an English Mastiff?
Absolutely! All it takes is for you to manage your allergy symptoms. The English Mastiff itself is not the allergen but rather the protein his body produces. You can control and manage his naturally-produced allergen by targeting vital areas such as by:
- Regularly grooming him.
- Ensuring his jowls are clean from drools.
- Crate-training him so he pees in a designated area.
- Keeping him off hot and humid conditions.
Can I Develop an Immunity to Dog Allergies?
Several accounts have been reported wherein dog owners ended up building immunity to dog allergies. While this case may indeed happen, it remains rare for an individual to fully get immuned or outgrow his allergies.
Every hypersensitive person should be cautious before bringing home a pet dog. No matter how promising it can be if you adopt the good-natured English Mastiff, your health is still at risk. The more you get exposed to allergens, the worse your case can be.
However, one thing that fascinates scientists the most is even though dog allergies often run in the family, babies who get to bond with dogs right away usually end up growing without having to experience those pesky allergies. It is believed that pets produce certain microbes that stimulate and improve the child’s immune system.
Letting your baby enjoy the outdoor environment also plays a significant role in making his body stronger compared to those who seldomly get the chance to explore the outside world.
Proven Ways to Manage Your Dog Allergies
Aside from getting to spend an initial time with your English Mastiff before finally introducing him to your family, you have to determine first if the hypersensitive family members don’t have life-threatening symptoms. Only then could you decide that bringing home a pet dog is a wise move.
When all symptoms seem manageable, the next step you need to do is to look for ways to lessen the number of dog allergens in your household. Here are some proven ways you can execute:
- Designate allergy-free areas. These would include your bedroom, furniture, and any other places you’d usually use. Among all those places, you have to be the most strict when it comes to your sanctuary. Never allow your dog to get in your bedroom nor even lay for once on your blankets. Remember, this is where you spend at least 8 hours every night, and resting should make you feel at peace rather than feel stressed due to constant and uncontrollable wheezing.
- Bathe your English Mastiff. A good wash every 6 to 8 weeks is enough for families who don’t suffer from allergies. However, for those who do, bathing your dog more often might do a bit of a trick. Frequent baths help eliminate loose hairs present in your Mastiff’s body. But, this should be done with caution. Use mild shampoos and products to avoid drying his skin and coat. When this turns out badly, your ginormous dog will blow off more hairs than you’ve experienced.
- Use HEPA air cleaners. Strong, efficient, and useful. Never neglect the idea of using HEPA air filters! Having these installed in your rooms can hypothetically remove at least 99.97% of particles present in the air. Danders, as particles, are usually 2.5 microns and the HEPA filter can eliminate flecks with the size of 0.3 microns!
- Try some medical treatments. Collect a plethora of medical approaches such as visiting your allergist so he’d know what your needs are. He might recommend that you take allergy shots which help reduce allergy attacks. This may take a few years to complete, but people who go for this find it very useful. Antihistamine pills and nasal sprays would prove handy too when the situation calls for it.
- Look for the real cause. Sometimes, owners are quick to put all the blame on their English Mastiff. However, it remains possible that you might be allergic to more than one type of allergen! The best way to deal with this is to visit an allergy expert so he can identify which causes your allergy symptoms. Only by then could you think of what methods to take to refrain your body from having reactions.
- Provide your English Mastiff with a nutritious diet. Dog meals play a huge role in your buddy’s overall health. Learn if ever he gets reactions when he eats his meal. Sometimes, some food ingredients can irritate your dog’s skin causing it to itch. The usual tendency, your dog will scratch the spot to ease his discomfort.
Are There Other Mastiffs That Are Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, not a single Mastiff breed is hypoallergenic. They all are typically not the kind of dog sensitive people should go for unless that person is willing to transform his habits and the way his household is run.
If you badly want to own a ‘hypoallergenic dog breed’ you have to look beyond the Mastiff family. Other groups or dogs are available for you to choose from such as the:
- Bichon Frise
- Portuguese Water Dog
- Irish Water Spaniel
Whatever you do, these magnificent English Mastiff dogs will continue to shed on a regular basis. If you take appropriate measures such as the ones listed in this post, you’ll witness a significant and positive change not only in your home and health but as well as in your relationship with your beloved companion.
Some owners who, later on, found out that they’re allergic to pets resort to rehoming their fur babies. This would be devastating, especially when kids are already attached to such a wonderful dog breed. Nevertheless, you can change this course by simply being mindful of everyone’s well-being including your dog, and the cleanliness of your environment.