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Common Dog Skin Allergies

Updated on July 17, 2009

Dog skin allergies along with dog ear infections are two of the most common afflictions that canine owners face when caring for a dog. Dog itching problems become readily noticeable by adults and kids alike and if this is not noticed then dog skin rashes and bald spots on their skin become immediately noticeable when bathing the dog.

Many of the allergic reactions that manifest themselves on a dog's skin has to do with allergic contact dermatitis.A dog may be hypersensitive to certain common subtances that their skin comes in contact with such as dog shampoos, topical antibiotics, nickel, wool, rubber, common household cleaning products, and salt used for de-icing roads.

There can be many other common household chemicals that may trigger a dog skin allergic reaction. Many pet owners are careless and leave common household cleaning agents in plain sniffing range of their dog. People who do their own painting at home leave paint and thinner exposed for dogs to sniff and lick. Other dangerous and toxic stuff like liquid plumber and WD40 are also left uncovered and can result in your dog getting a skin reaction from this stuff that left exposed.

Dog Food Skin Allergies

Dog food skin allergies are a more frequent occurrence than many people realise. Although a dog's skin allergies may be the result of contact with an allergent, frequently it is a result of a reaction to ingredients in their food or lack of immune boosting ingredients that leave the dog susceptible to common contact infections that it would normally not be affected by. the only way to isolate the offending ingredient to any degree is through simple trial and error. Simply change the dog food from time to time and note any changes to the skin allergy symptoms. It may also be that the dog skin allergy is a reaction to something that the dog ate outside of his regular diet at home. maybe a stranger, friend, or neighbor unwittingly fed him a certain type of meat. kids sometimes give dogs something totally random like chocolates or grapes and for many dogs these types of crazy edibles are actually toxic to their system. Canines are carnivores with the type of teeth, salivary enzymes, and the short digestive tract with strong acids that is only suitable for digesting meats. Any other complicated foods could provoke an allergic reaction which may show up on the dog's skin.

Dog Skin Contact Allergens

Simple skin allergens that get on the skin through contact are more likely to appear on a dog's skin where there is less or no hair such as lips, muzzle, paws and belly. Fungal and bacterial allergies are some of the most common that manifest themselves as Cheyletiella, mange, and ringworm. They are oily looking and have a rancid pungent smell. The can be easily diagnosed by a vet. Usually the vet will prescribe a round of antibiotics for dog skin allergies treatment or an ointment may do the trick as a topical application.

Dog Food Fillers as Skin Allergens

There are some common food ingredients that have been known to cause allergies more frequently then others. Corn and wheat are two culprits that are commonly used as fillers in some of the cheaper dog foods. You may be able to mitigate some dog skin problems by switching to a costlier better know brand of dog food that does not use these fillers. Hypoallergenic foods are available. Check on the internet or at your pet store for formulations that you can try on your dog. Eggs, chicken, beef, and fish have also been known to cause skin allergies. Historically lamb is considered as a meat that provokes far less allergic reactions in dogs than some of the other more common meat ingredients.


Note When Your Dog Scratches an Itch on your Rug or carpet
Note When Your Dog Scratches an Itch on your Rug or carpet

Symptoms to Watch For Airborne Allergens

Allergies in dogs can be similar to allergies that show up in humans. many dogs are just as susceptible to pollen, dust mites, and mold. Skin allergies dogs symptoms may include chewing at feet, biting, scratching and licking constantly. You may notice that the itching is concentrated around the armpits, groin,flanks, and feet. You may see your dog rubbing his face in the carpet to target the ears. His ear flaps will look red and feel hot to the touch. You have to careful of the ear infections that may follow from all this scratching of the ears. one of the clues that the skin allergies are the result of these allergens is in the seasonality. If you notice that your dog is only doing all this scratching during hay fever season then it might be wise to assume that the allergen is in the pollen or mold the dog is inhaling.

Allergens From Fleas

Unlike humans that react to allergies with nasal symptoms, dogs mostly react with skin symptoms. However the most common assumption that dog owners make when their dog is constantly scratching skin is that there is a tick or flea infestation on the skin. In the case of fleas the allergen is typically the saliva of the flea and not the flea itself. there are some dogs that have fleas constantly but don't scratch and then there are some dogs that don't have fleas but from one errant flea bite they may get a skin reaction that lasts for days. A flea allergy test is a simple test to performed on the skin for you tell whether you need to totally eradicate fleas from your dog.


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