If you notice your dog has been scratching many times, chewing, and even getting redness in different areas of their body – they are common dog skin issues that they may have. It can be pointed out some of these habits or behaviours are normal for dogs, but it is not always that way.
These external skin issues will most likely be associated with allergies, diseases, or sicknesses they may have. Dog skin issues are also signs of a deeper health concern that your pooch may have. Make sure to treat these issues as soon as you notice them to prevent them from becoming worse. Failure to address dog skin issues can lead to other issues such as hair loss, stress, lack of appetite, skin diseases, and discomfort. This means, your dog will be unhappy and uncomfortable – something we don’t ever want to happen to our furry friends.
The most common signs of dog skin issues:
- Poor texture and dull coat
- Dry and flaky skin
- Must odor
- Hot spots or rashes
- Hair loss
Canine Atopic Dermatitis is one of the most common canine skin allergy that is an inherited predisposition that happens when a dog’s immune system starts to react to allergens. These ‘allergens’ can come from their surroundings, the food they eat, and bugs. In response to those allergens, dogs develop skin irritation and even digestive problems. Many dogs develop skin allergies when they reach the age 1 to 3 years old. Because is it a hereditary disease, some particular breeds experience atopic dermatitis. The breeds include: Golden Retrievers, Beagles, Irish Setters, Lhasa Apsos, Bulldogs, Dalmations, Labradoodles, Goldendoodles, Most Terriers, Schnauzers, and Old English Sheepdogs. It’s important to note that any dog can develop allergies, and the list of breeds above means they are pre-disposed to atopic dermatitis.
Here are the most common dog skin issues and allergies:
- Environmental Allergies
The allergens found in the environment include mold, pollen, dust, and mold. Dogs can also suffer from seasonal allergies. They may develop hot spots or rashes due to extreme weather conditions, most commonly due to hot climate conditions.
- Food Allergies
Not all food can be enjoyed by dogs. There are specific ingredients in their diet that may trigger allergies. Aside from dog skin issues, it may also manifest as gastrointestinal issues. In response to ingesting food they are allergic to, your dog might vomit or develop diarrhea. Be wary of proteins rather than grains, since most of the time, dog skin issues come from those.
- Flea or Tick Allergies
When a flea find a dog, its bite leave behind saliva that dogs are allergic to. This can also cause allergy dermatitis. Beware of this dog skin issue, since a single bite can cause reaction to the dog that lasts up to seven days. If left untreated, the flea bite can do more damage on your pooch.
Ways to Help Your Itchy Dog With Allergies
Don’t let your dog suffer any longer from any skin allergies and issues. Once you see the signs, be sure to manage them as soon as possible to avoid worsening of your dog’s condition. The first step is identifying where the source may have come from. Trace back what your dog has eaten that day, where have they been, what have they been exposed to, and if they have recently taken a bath. There are several ways to help with dog skin issues and here at Pretty Pets Kennel, we want to provide you with the best advice on how to keep your dog healthy and happy!
Check Your Dog’s Food
This is one of the most important steps when it comes to treating dog skin issues. Check what you are currently feeding your dog and make sure what you’re feeding them is made from high-quality, healthy ingredients. Remove any processed food containing artificial flavors, colorants, preservatives, and other chemicals. Pick dog food that contains high levels of essential fatty acids, and vegetables that can help get rid of toxins such as zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, etc, and avoid those with starchy carbohydrates.
Remove Fleas and Ticks
As briefly mentioned, fleas leave behind allergy-triggering saliva with each bite. If left untreated, fleas can multiply and the effects on the dog can become severe. Dogs can chew on the areas where the fleas are present and may worsen existing skin allergies. The best way to remove fleas and ticks is through pills, flea collars, and topical treatments.
Keep the Surroundings Clean
Similar to humans, dogs react to different allergens around them in different ways. Make sure to keep the environment where they live clean and spotless to avoid allergens such as dust from triggering skin conditions. Aside from the floor, make sure to keep their dog beds tidy to avoid dust mites.
Give Your Dog a Bath Regularly
Keep your dog’s coat and skin fresh and clean by giving your dog regular baths. Be sure to use gentle cleansers made with soothing, moisurizing, anti-flea, and anti-bacterial properties. Look for ingredients that contain oatmeal, madre de cacao, and/or aloe vera. If the dog skin issues are severe, you may get a prescribed medicated soap from your veterinarian. Wash thoroughly from the ears, snout, and in between the toes.
Lessen the Stress
Not only can stress affect you, but it can also affect your dogs! Emotional stress and anxiety can manifest in your dog’s behaviour which includes excessive licking, biting, and scratching. Let out the steam by going on several exercises and activities with your dog such as running, walking, and playing games.
Visit Your Veterinarian
At the end of the day, your veterinarian knows best and will help you in treating dog skin issues if they persist. Other signs that your dog’s skin isn’t getting better include non-stop scratching, hair loss, redness, irritation, and scaling. Your veterinarian can also assess if they will need to perform an allergy test on your dog and can further identify the cause of your dog’s skin allergies. They will prescribe your dog medication, help improve your dog’s diet, suggest effective remedies for flea prevention, and recommend topical treatments and soaps that you can apply to your dog.
Be aware of possible allergy dermatitis that your dog may have. Be sure to look for signs in their behaviour and skin conditions, provide the care they need, and remove any possible triggers that may worsen it. The most common allergens that can affect your dog comes from several environmental factors, the food they eat, and from flea infestations. There are several remedies for dog skin issues that you may do so at home such as checking their food and keeping their living conditions clean. When in doubt, do not hesitate to contact your local veterinarian to help address dog skin issues.