Dog Skin Allergies

Updated: February 20, 2024

Dog skin allergies are one of the most common reasons for every vet visit. Dog allergies occur when your furbaby's immune system overreacts to a particular allergen. This results in irritation and inflammation of the skin. The immune system signals a response in the form of an allergic reaction, as it tries to get rid of the allergen from the body. This will eventually damage the skin's natural protective barrier, creating higher risks of infection if not properly managed. According to the American Kennel Club, dog skin allergies are a misguided reaction to foreign substances by the body’s immune system.

Let’s take a deeper look into the different types of dog skin allergies, what causes dog allergies, how you can spot them, and allergy relief for dogs.

dog skin allergy

"Dog skin allergies are one of the most common reasons for every vet visit."

Here, you'll learn more about the different types of dog skin allergies, what causes it, and how you can spot it.

Types of Dog Allergies and What Causes Them

Skin allergies in dogs vary from one type to another. Unsurprisingly, the causes also differ based on the dog allergy.

types of dog skin allergies

Dog skin allergies caused by environmental factors.

A skin allergy caused by environmental factors is also known as atopy. This type of dog skin allergy is usually caused by a furbaby's sensitivity and reaction to particles that are usually found in the air. These particles include allergens like pollens, molds, dust, and a change of season like the beginning of winter or summer. Dog seasonal allergies are usually easy to spot because they occur during the same time every year.

Contact allergies in dogs.

This particular type of dog allergy happens when a certain body part of your furbaby gets in contact with an allergen, like harmful and strong substances. Examples of this included household cleaning products like bleach, fabric powders, or disinfecting spray.

Parasite bite allergies.

These allergies take place when your furbaby gets infested with fleas and ticks. Though dogs can differ in their reactions to these bites, it will almost always end up with excessive itching and irritation. If not given immediate attention, can lead to skin infections and worse, tick-borne diseases (we hope not!).

According to the Animal Medical Center of Southern California, this type of allergic reaction in dogs is not specifically because of the flea or tick itself but because of the proteins present in their saliva. Regular preventative treatments can do a great deal to prevent any infestations and allergic reactions in your dog.

Food allergies in dogs.

A large number of skin allergies in dogs are reported to be caused by food. Though not all dogs have sensitivities or food allergies, a lot of dogs are allergic to certain foods. Some common foods that can cause allergic reactions in dogs include chicken, eggs, and wheat. These food allergens do not only cause skin irritations to your furbaby but also upset stomach and GI tract irritation.

Learn more about What Triggers Allergies in Dogs?

How to Spot Skin Allergies in Dogs

As a pet parent, it is up to you to recognize the symptoms of allergies in dogs to keep your furbaby healthy and happy. If your dog is showing one or more of these allergy symptoms, you may want to consider allergy meds for dogs, allergy pills for dogs, or dog allergy supplements. Signs of skin allergies can include but are not limited to:

  • Excessive itching
  • Excessive licking on certain body parts, like the paws and feet
  • Itchy ears, regularly shaking head
  • Biting, gnawing, scratching the skin
  • Hair loss
  • Inflamed skin
  • The appearance of rashes and bumps

Dog Skin Allergies Management

Dog skin allergies can be difficult to treat but easy to avoid. The end goal is to provide allergy relief for dogs, no matter the cause. That's why we've come up with ways you can properly manage the allergies.

dog skin allergy, dog skin allergies

It’s important to note that prevention is always better than a cure! Preventing allergies is the first step in managing skin allergies. Consult with your vet as they will help determine what your furbaby is allergic to. Allergy tests will be performed, like skin or blood tests, to help identify the allergens that are affecting your dog. They may even prescribe allergy medicine for dogs to help your furbaby get the relief they need.

Aside from a vet visit, here are some steps you can do at home to help:

For allergies caused by environmental factors:

  • Wash your furbaby's bed and bedding to reduce the presence of any allergens.
  • Regularly clean your dog's chews, toys, cage, bed, and bowls.
  • Give your dog allergy supplements and skin and coat supplements to help prevent reactions.

For contact allergies:

  • Keep all harmful and hazardous substances out of your furbaby's reach.
  • Make sure all chemical and soap products that your dog comes into contact with are rinsed off thoroughly and immediately.

For insect bites allergies:

  • Regularly clean your household or the places where your furbaby usually stays to avoid build-up of dust mites.
  • Keep your lawn managed to reduce the presence of fleas and ticks.
  • Always keep your furbaby up-to-date with flea prevention.

For food allergies:

  • Consult with your vet about providing your dog with hypoallergenic and anti-allergy foods that prevent the immune response from remaining to be triggered.
  • Consider running allergy tests on your dog.

Other preventative ways to manage dog skin allergies:

  • Help your dog build their immune system with Allergy SoftSupps®
  • Use a high-quality dog shampoo that is specifically made to help reduce allergen and bacteria buildup in your furbaby's skin and coat
  • Use Pet WiPees™ Dog All Purpose + Allergy Wipes regularly to clear allergens off of the skin that can irritate your dog and cause reactions. These are hypoallergenic NatureTuff™ wipes with 90%+ bio-based ingredients that contain bio-based antihistamines. These dog wipes can these extend the time between baths with a FurFresh™ Deodorizer. Plus, they can actually help to heal skin irritations and create a barrier from future irritants with regular use.
  • After bathing, make sure you have dried your dog well, particularly on the ears, neck, armpits, and areas where folds are present.
  • Boost your dog's skin health by offering Pet Parents® Skin and Coat SoftSupps®. Our soft chew supplements can help keep your dog's skin and coat healthy and shiny. It will help reduce your dog's shedding, will help prevent itching & irritation, and can even aid in hair regrowth in bald areas. For dog skin allergies, these supplements may help reduce itchiness and skin inflammation. But what exactly makes these supplements stand out among the rest?

Why Pet Parents® Skin and Coat Supplements?

With skin allergies, your dog will excessively scratch, rub, lick itchy body parts, most particularly in the underarm, paws, ears, and face. A good diet for your dog's skin and coat health includes Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and ingredients that are of high-quality and jam-packed with essential nutrients, like Biotin and Zinc. Many low-quality commercial dog foods and/or improperly balanced homemade diets are not beneficial for a dog’s skin and coat. For example, a furbaby that eats mostly chicken will not get the right (or enough) nutrients for healthy skin and coat. Learn more about proper nutrition in this article.

These skin and coat supplements meet the Omega-3 needs of your furbaby from the world-renowned brand Epax®. These needs vary with age, specific life-stages (such as pregnancy), overall health condition, and genetic dispositions. Omega-3 is known to help with the immune system, kidney functions and more, particularly in allergies and skin conditions.

These dog allergy supplements are also made from Alaskan Salmon Oil 100% from Wild Alaska Pollock & highly concentrated in EPA & DHA (as many dogs are allergic to chicken). It conditions the skin and reduces scratching and hot spots.

dog skin allergies, dog has skin allergies

"A good diet for your dog's skin and coat health includes Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and ingredients that are of high-quality and jam-packed with essential nutrients like Biotin and Zinc"

Skin allergies in dogs are very common, and they can be easy to spot if you know what you are looking for. Make yourself aware of the most common types of skin problems for dogs. If your dog exhibits any of the signs and symptoms of skin allergies, do your best to take account of any changes in your dog’s environment. Stay vigilant and attentive to the health and condition of your dog’s skin, and if any signs or symptoms of skin allergies develop consult your vet! By taking these things into account, you can help your pup live a healthy, happy life!