Dogs can be a human’s best friend, so you know how your dog is going to act on most days because each one has their own distinct personality. That’s why it can be scary when they start acting strangely, and you don’t know how to help them. To keep this from happening in your future, read up on common dog skin allergies so you can take a deep breath. Knowing what the problem is will be half your battle.

Alopecia in Dogs

Alopecia is the technical way to say hair loss, and while it’s more widely known for being something humans deal with, dogs can also be affected. Sometimes it just appears as a thinning of your dog’s hair in places you might not think of as concerning, like the tip of their nose or their ears. However, it can quickly turn into hair loss in giant chunks all over the body.

This skin condition, as well as others, are most often first accompanied by symptoms such as rubbing their face and constant scratching, as well as chewing on their feet or even ear infections. The best way to determine the course of treatment for alopecia is to talk with your vet. Your dog could need just a good bath with the right shampoo, or even medication.

The Common Menace: Pruritus

If you notice your dog constantly scratching without hair loss, they’re probably struggling with Pruritus. This just means that their skin has been irritated and they feel the need to scratch, and it can happen for any number of reasons. Allergies can inflame the skin or even a change in diet. This good news is that this doesn’t require a vet trip to get your dog some help.

The best thing you can do for your furry best friend is go to the pet store and get a calming, restorative shampoo. Instead of grabbing what you usually do, look for a shampoo based in oatmeal, since it’s a neutral formula that will soothe the skin. Use this until you notice the itching go away, and then opt for a permanent sensitive-skin shampoo instead.

Flea Allergy Hotspots

Fleas are a nuisance to dogs, not only because of the risks that they pose, but also because dogs can be allergic to them as well. If your dog is allergic to fleas and gets bitten by one, they’ll start itching, losing hair and showing red skin. The most noticeable symptom will be the “hotspots,” which are red spots with no hair that appear above the hind legs and the tail head.

To get rid of the fleas, put a flea collar on your dog or take them to a vet for medication. In addition, it’d be smart to use some oatmeal shampoo to calm their irritation spots and give them some peace of mind. If your vet gives your dog medication that is applied to the coat and not taken orally, take care not to bathe your dog too quickly and wash the medication away.

Protein Intolerance

Some dogs are actually allergic to certain amounts of protein, which can cause them to experience symptoms like itchy skin. To tell this apart from other diagnoses, your dog would also have an upset stomach or swollen tongue.

Sound like what your dog is experiencing? Your vet will have to run tests on your dog’s bloodwork to determine the specific allergy, and they may even do a skin test. If it truly is an issue with diet, your vet will be able to point you to the right food, and may advise that you dog skip certain treats and bones.

 

When your dog starts to experience skin issues, you may feel panicked because you’re not sure how to handle the situation. Is it something temporary and easy to fix with a bath, or should you go to your vet? While you might not be able to afford a vet visit, you should always call and ask for advice before deciding what to do on your own.

 

Bio:

Emily is an avid dog lover and conservation writer from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. To read more of her work, check out her blog, Conservation Folks, and go follow her on Twitter!

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