Treating skin allergies in dogs

skin allergies in dogs

Identifying and treating  skin allergies in dogs is a common problem many owners face – with some breeds like Maltese, Terriers, Labradors, Retrievers and, often, white dogs suffering ongoing itching, dryness, dermatitis and ‘hot spots’.

Common symptoms of skin allergies in dogs:

1. Itching – If your dog is constantly itching, and doesn’t have fleas – they may have dermatitis or a fungal infection.
2. Dry, flaky skin: Just like humans, dogs can suffer from dry skin – particularly in Winter. You’ll see scaly or flaky skin under the coat.
3. Red irritation: If dermatitis kicks in, you may see red, raised or even weeping areas of skin. These will be very irritating to your little mate!
4. Hot Spots: These are very red, open sores on the skin. They start with an area that your mate can’t stop scratching or biting. Bacteria from the mouth or skin then enters the area and an infection occurs – leading to a vicious cycle of itching and irritation.
5. Irritated stomach: Internal reactions often lead to external reactions on the skin.

Causes of skin allergies in dogs and treatment

1. Harsh grooming products – A dog’s skin has a very different pH level to a human’s, and is also easily damaged by strong soaps or perfumes. Look for a hypoallergenic shampoo that is labelled as pH balanced for pets, and free from nasties like sulphates, soaps, parabens and ethoxylates.
2. Environment– Grass, dust, pollen and dust mites can irritate some dogs skin. Keep your dog’s coat short to avoid trapping allergens, wash regularly, and try avoiding long grasses and other high pollen areas. e
3. Fleas – Treat your dog, and his environment for fleas and eggs. Flea allergy dermatitis is the most common cause of itching and irritation.
4. Food allergyCommon food allergens for dogs include wheat, soy, corn, chicken and beef, and preservatives. Try a simple, non processed diet based on rice, fish and basic vegetables and see if your little mate improves. Or ask your veterinarian about skin prick testing to identify potential food culprits.
5. Gut Health – Some studies have shown that an imbalance of bacteria in the gut can increase susceptibility to skin allergies in dogs. Try boosting your pet’s diet with a probiotic supplement to improve overall health!  Switching to a complete and balanced raw food diet can also make a massive difference to your dog’s skin and coat health.   Learn how Leaky Gut Syndrome could be impacting on your dog’s overall health, including skin allergies in dogs.
6. Fungal infection – Once the skin is scratched, bacteria or fungus can enter the wound and take hold – leading to an endless cycle of itching! Try a treatment shampoo with antifungal and antibacterial actions to nip infection in the bud.
7. Irritation – Cover any open hot spots, flea bites or scratches to prevent further irritation. Try a healing barrier cream like the DGG Paw Balm that will leave a soothing layer to help prevent further irritation for skin allergies in dogs.

If your little mate is still suffering – see your local veterinarian. Treatments like corticosteroids, antihistamines and exposure therapy can help in allergy cases that just won’t budge, in addition to addressing the underlying cause.

For an all natural, paraben, SLES and sulphate-free range of Australian made and owned products, check out the DGG website.


Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive a FREE copy of the E-Book “A Pawsome Guide For Travelling With Your Dog”

Looking for more dog tips and fun facts?

Get your paws on Lara Shannon’s best selling books ‘Eat, Play, Love (your dog) and World of Dogs.

Available in Australia, USA, UK and Canada.