Constant itching. Painful red patches. Dry, flaky skin. Despite having soft coats, dogs suffer from skin-related issues as much as we do. Under all that floof, our furry friends have skin, just like us, and skin problems are one of the most common ailments dogs can suffer from, with a wide range of causes, conditions, and treatments. Although they may seem like a minor annoyance, they can be painful and debilitating for your pet.
Understanding what causes your furry pal’s skin issues and how to treat skin problems in dogs is essential to caring for your itchy four-legged friends. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most common canine skin problems, their symptoms, and most importantly, how to successfully treat them.
Dog Dermatitis: Types of Skin Problems In Dogs
Dog dermatitis is a condition that affects your dog’s skin, can range from mild to severe, and manifest in numerous ways. The type of skin problem depends on the cause. Understanding that there are over 160 different types of skin disorders in dogs is key to helping you solve the issue at hand. Many require professional treatment to resolve.
What Causes Skin Problems In Dogs? Most Common Canine Skin Conditions
Skin issues are fairly common in dogs and can cause significant discomfort for your pet. Some of the most common causes of canine skin problems are:
- Parasites: Fleas, mites, ticks
- Infections: Bacterial or fungal
- Allergies: Environmental (such as pollen, grass, dust mites) or food.
How to Spot a Pet with a Skin Condition? Signs of Skin Problems In Dogs
Have you noticed your dog licking its paws frequently? Scratching behind its ears? Chewing at the area above or below the tail? Perhaps you’ve noticed hot spots – areas of red skin with a rash, bumps, or sores. Many skin diseases cause discomfort and can even be painful for dogs, preventing them from getting rest and causing their owners anxiety.
Most Common Symptoms of Dog Skin Conditions
The sound of a dog constantly scratching or licking can be as irritating as nails on a chalkboard. But don’t blame your pooch for these bad habits – a skin condition is probably the culprit. If your dog has a skin condition, you will probably notice that your dog is showing signs of:
- Excessive scratching
- Rubbing on the carpet/furniture
- Hair loss at hot spots
- Greasy or flaky skin with an odor
- Chewing their paws
- Saliva staining (red/brown staining on the fur where your dog has been licking)
- Thickening or dark color of skin (especially in hairless areas)
- Redness or rashes on the belly or ear flaps
- Spots or crusts on the skin
When Should You See a Vet?
It’s important to pay attention to any skin problems your dog suffers from, even if they appear relatively minor. When itchiness strikes, it can really drive your dog nuts. If left untreated, it can become even more severe. So, you must be proactive and persistent in achieving an understanding of what’s causing your dog’s skin problems as soon as they arise.
How to Treat Skin Problems In Dogs? Natural Remedies and Treatment Options
Skin problems in dogs can be difficult to diagnose right away, as symptoms can overlap. But, after getting the right diagnosis, there are various ways to treat skin problems in dogs, depending on the cause and severity of the condition.
1. It All Starts with a Diagnosis
Only after a proper diagnosis is made can effective measures be initiated to cure or control the problem. Skin symptoms in dogs could also be an indicator of an underlying cause or health condition that hasn’t already been diagnosed by a vet or vet nurse. But, successful treatment of skin disorders requires correct identification of the underlying cause.
2. Topical Remedies
Not surprisingly, many treatments for skin problems in dogs are applied directly to the skin surface (topically). It may be the preferred method of treatment for some diseases or beneficial in addition to systemic treatment. Examples of products applied directly to the skin include antibiotic ointments, corticosteroid preparations, medicated shampoos, and topical insecticides. Local ointments, gels, and sprays are best used sparingly so that your dog does not lick off excessive amounts. Closely follow your veterinarian’s instructions for any topical medications.
3. Systemic Drugs and Oral Medication
This treatment option may be needed to treat some canine skin disorders. These include whole-body antibiotics, antifungals, antiparasitics, hormones, antihistamines, corticosteroids, and other anti-inflammatory drugs. As with any treatment program, make sure that you understand all instructions on using the prescribed product.
Omega-3 fatty acids and zinc work wonders by improving the overall health of your dog’s skin because they are a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents. Luckily, Celt Natural’s ImmunoPet is a 100% natural supplement rich in these nutrients, that successfully relieve allergy symptoms, improve flaky patches of dry skin, and reduce skin irritations caused by skin problems in dogs. It also helps calm down a hyperactive immune system and supports a healthy histamine response to seasonal allergies, so your pet is back to wanting extra belly scratches for pleasure, not itch relief, in no time.
5. Diet Alterations
If your dog has developed allergy dermatitis from a food ingredient, its diet plan will need to change accordingly. Allergies develop through exposure, so most hypoallergenic diets incorporate proteins and carbohydrates that your dog has never had before.
A distracted dog with a skin problem is a happy dog. Dogs who are out walking, running, playing fetch, and enjoying time with their fam are less likely to become bored and worry about their sore spots. Exercise is critical for your dog’s health anyway, so make sure they’re getting extra attention during skin flare-ups. It won’t make your dog’s skin problems go away, but your well-exercised pup will sleep better despite the irritation, too.
Facing Your Dog’s Skin problems Head On
Itches love scratches. But your dog’s skin doesn’t!
Once you know the triggers to your dog’s skin problems, you’ll be able to treat or keep them at bay successfully by keeping your skin-care arsenal stocked with everything you need to nip them in the bud year-round.
Jack was born and educated in Ireland and U.K. He has a varied education, mostly in engineering projects. Since then he has worked with a number of major companies with interests in various parts of the world. His personal interests include athletics, cross country skiing and especially long distance running. Jack has competed in many running events and some at an international level, including many marathons. He has always had a keen interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. More recently he has specialized in the areas of health and supplements, with a special focus on the immune system.