Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the island of Crete with my crazy but lovable dog, Sherlock and three lazy cats, Hammie, Dimitris, and Ebony.
Sherlock, however, keeps me on my toes as he’s the most hyperactive dog I’ve ever had. But today I won’t be talking about him, but about Akitas and whether or not they are hypoallergenic.
What is an Akita?
Akitas originate from Japan, but now there are two types, the Japanese Akita and the American Akita.
The American Akita is a little bigger than the Japanese Akita and it has a foxlike head rather than a bear head. They also come in different colors.
The most common colors for American Akitas are pinto, brindle, and solid white.
The Japanese Akitas are usually orange, red, or brindle. Whichever you choose you will end up with very devoted companions.
These dogs are muscular and double-coated. They are very loyal to their owners and they are usually one-man dogs. Perhaps you’ve seen the film about Hachiko with Richard Gere.
It is based on a true story from Japan where an Akita called Hachiko waited for his master at the train station every day for years even after he had died. It is a very moving film and had me in tears.
Akitas are heavy-boned and stand at 24 – 28 inches at the shoulder. They weigh between 70 and 100 pounds, so they are not small dogs.
There are two types; the standard coating and the long-haired coating, but nevertheless they both have a lot of fur.
They have fully curled over tails and erect ears which give an impression of alertness which is very apt.
Personalities and Training
They are mouthy dogs who will carry around toys with them all day and they can moan, grumble, and bark at their owners when they want attention.
However, they are wary of strangers and other animals. It is essential that they are socialized with other people and animals from an early age so that you get well-rounded dogs.
Akitas have strong personalities so they may not be the first choice for a novice dog owner. You need to be firm but loving with them. If not raised properly they can become aggressive.
Akitas need to be exercised, if for nothing else than to prevent boredom. You won’t do well with them if you are out at work all day and have no time to take them for walks or play fetch.
If they aren’t stimulated, they can start chewing things all over your home. However, if you have the time, they will prove to be a great addition to your household.
Akitas are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to certain illnesses such as hypothyroidism, hip dysplasia, and progressive renal atrophy which can lead to blindness.
In Japan, these dogs carry spiritual significance. When a new baby is born often the parents will receive a small statue of an Akita from friends or relatives.
This signifies happiness, health, and long life. They are truly a revered animal in Japan.
What is a Hypoallergenic Dog?
To be fair, there’s no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog. Yes, some dogs may create fewer allergy symptoms than other dogs, but even hairless dogs can bring on allergic reactions.
People think that allergies are caused by the fur, but to be honest, allergies are caused by a protein that’s in the saliva and urine of your pets.
This protein sticks to the dead flakes of their skin which will be expelled by your dogs however hairy they may be. It’s just that dogs with more hair shed more of this dander.
Are Akitas Hypoallergenic?
The simple answer to this question is no. Akitas are not hypoallergenic in any way, shape, or form. They have a fur coat and are known to be heavy shedders.
They have two layers of fur, the undercoat and the topcoat, and they will shed the undercoat twice a year, in the spring and the autumn.
This doesn’t mean that they won’t shed at other times of the year. They still can although it won’t be quite as heavy.
What happens is that the follicles of hair that are closer to their bodies will loosen and eventually die off leaving the dogs with a lot of hair in the topcoat.
When this happens, you will find hair everywhere, over your floors, over your clothes, and on your couch.
My Sherlock, though not an Akita, sheds profusely too. I’m continually sweeping up after him, but luckily, I’m not allergic to him.
How Can You Tell if you are Allergic to your Akitas?
Perhaps you’ve never thought that you were allergic to dogs, but if you show certain symptoms you may be allergic to your Akitas.
If your dogs lick you, you may find redness around that area. In addition, you might experience itching or swelling around either your eyes or your nose.
You might feel as if you need to rub them excessively. If you wheeze or cough even half an hour of being with your Akitas it will signify that you have an allergy to them.
If you have asthma it may not be a good idea to get Akitas as they can bring on asthma attacks.
However, you may be keen to get Akitas and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t if you take the necessary precautions.
Invest in antihistamines or nasal sprays which will open up your blood vessels to allow more oxygen in. Immunotherapy is another option.
With this, you get allergy shots which decrease your sensitivity to allergens.
How do you Control Shedding?
There are ways to lessen the effects of your Akitas shedding and this is with grooming. You need to brush them daily and bathe them at least once a month.
They may not like taking a bath, but if you start doing this when they are young, they should get used to it.
When you brush Akitas, you should first spray them with mist from a water bottle. They don’t need a lot of water, just enough to lightly dampen their fur.
Then brush their fur section by section from their shoulders downwards with a pin brush or a rake.
You need something stronger than an ordinary brush to make sure that you get through to the dead hairs in the undercoat.
You will need to brush backwards and downwards until the whole coat has been seen to. Don’t be surprised to see a lot of hair in your brush.
This is a good thing as their hair has accumulated in the brush rather than on your furniture or on your clothes.
The last things that should be brushed are the legs. When finished go over the hair once again with a wide-toothed comb.
When it comes to bathing your Akitas, things become a little more difficult.
Akitas have almost waterproof coats so it will be hard to get them fully soaked but persevere and you’ll soon get the hang of it.
The first thing to do is to brush your Akitas and then wet their coats thoroughly. Use your hands to squeeze the water into their coats.
If you’re not certain that the coat is completely soaked run your hands through their fur.
Then starting at the top of your dogs, apply some specially formulated dog shampoo. It’s not a good idea to apply human shampoo.
Regular shampoo can have too high an acidity level for your dogs which will harm their skin. Washing your dogs shouldn’t be rushed.
Be careful around their ears and eyes as these are sensitive areas and it can cause them pain if you are too rough.
An old face washer is a good tool to use to remove any dirt or grime. Dry them thoroughly when you have finished bathing them.
Dog shampoos are great for maintaining the coats of your pups. With every wash, your dogs’ fur will look shiny and smooth.
They’ll smell good and all the debris will have been washed away. Every fragrance in dog shampoo is made from non-toxic substances so you won’t have to worry about your dogs health.
In addition, dog shampoo is easier to apply than human shampoo as it lathers up very quickly so you can get on with bathing your dogs in no time at all.
Regular brushing also helps to keep mats and tangles at bay. There are certain areas where mats are prone to appear like the thighs, under the tail, and under the ears.
If you set up a brushing routine, you should be able to avoid this.
Final Thoughts: Are Akitas Hypoallergenic?
Akitas are definitely not hypoallergenic and if you do suffer from allergies you will need to think twice about adopting them.
However, all is not lost as there are ways of combating allergies and you will be rewarded with very loving and devoted companions.
Thank you for reading are Akitas hypoallergenic. Have a great day!