Dogs can develop skin allergies that irritate and get the best out of their skin. Plenty of irritants can lead to allergic dermatitis or hives, from ticks and pests to seasonal elements in the air.
Dogs can’t exactly communicate whether what they’re feeling is a regular itch that goes away in seconds or something worse and more uncomfortable altogether. So, it’s their owner’s job to be on the lookout for any skin allergy attacks.
Today, we’ll take a look at four of the most common skin allergies in dogs and what you can do as a responsible owner to manage your fur baby’s irritating itchiness.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Dogs
Common skin allergy symptoms include itchiness, redness, and lots of scratching and licking of the skin. If your dog is scratching at its face and body more than usual, maybe it’s time to consider getting them checked for allergies.
In more serious cases, the itching can even lead to nicks, sores, and scabs on your dog’s delicate skin due to the irritation from frequent scratching. Hair loss is another sign that your dog’s allergies have gone from bad to worse. In that case, you’ll need to contact your vet immediately.
You might notice your dog rolling on its back more often to scratch the hard-to-reach parts of their skin. They might even try to scratch themselves on furniture, like the legs of your dining table and chairs.
Common Causes of Dog Skin Allergies
Skin allergies are common in dogs, so don’t be too alarmed if your dog’s been extra itchy. Hypersensitivity to specific allergens might manifest in dogs that are half a year old and above, so keep an eye on your dog’s reactions to specific foods and seasons after they hit the six-month mark.
What exactly causes skin allergies in dogs? Here are four of the most common reasons:
When fleas feed on a dog, they inject some of their saliva into the skin. This saliva can cause an allergic reaction, leading to what is known as flea allergy dermatitis—the most common cause of itchy allergies in dogs.
You’ll know your dog has fleas when they itch a lot—to the point that their skin gets red and scabbed. You’ll also often see the fleas themselves or some dirt on their coat, which is actually flea feces.
Another common allergen among dogs is food. When dogs are allergic to food, they’ll often develop itchy skin, but also diarrhea.
Some common canine food allergens include wheat, chicken, and beef. If you’re not sure what’s causing your dog’s food allergy, try putting them on a strict food-elimination diet. Slowly introduce food back into their diet and see what food they’re hypersensitive to as you go. When you pinpoint these foods, make sure to avoid feeding them to your pet.
Other dog allergens are seasonal, like pollen. While pollen allergies in dogs usually manifest in nasal congestion, they could also show through red, itchy, irritated skin.
If you notice that your dog itches a lot more during spring than any other season, it might be allergic to pollen from grass, weeds, trees, and more.
Another sign that your dog has a pollen allergy is that they only get itchy patches on its skin when you take them out for a walk.
Your dog can also be allergic to dust. Aside from itchy skin, another common symptom of a dusty allergy is sneezing and coughing at home. A dead giveaway of this is if your dog itches more when they’re indoors but breathes easier when they’re outdoors.
One way to ensure that your dog doesn’t get allergic reactions often is by keeping your home tidy. Dust down the rooms your dog tends to stay in at least once or twice a week to prevent any allergy attacks from occurring.
How to Treat Your Dog’s Allergies
Treating skin allergies in dogs as soon as you notice them is extremely important. If you ignore it, your dog risks developing a bacterial infection from too much scratching and licking on their skin. So, it’s a must that you take action right away once your dog is showing signs of an allergy attack.
Make sure your dog’s diet is rich in omega fatty acids
Studies show that omega fatty acids increase the lipid content in dogs' skin, which helps relieve itchiness and irritation due to skin allergies. They are also anti-inflammatory, which soothes hives.
Ensure your dog gets enough omega fatty acids by regularly feeding them fish like salmon and mackerel. An easier way to boost your dog’s omega fatty acid intake is by giving them fish oil for dog allergies.
Not only can fish oil improve your dog’s skin health and keep itching at bay, but it also reduces the risk of heart disease, boosts brain health, and relieves arthritis pain. These are just some of the many benefits of fish oil for your dog.
Give your dog a chamomile tea soak
Letting your dog soak in chamomile tea is an amazing home remedy for skin allergies in dogs. It helps alleviate inflammation, calming down the skin when it’s extra itchy.
Fill your tub with warm water and drop some tea bags. The warmth of the water can be relaxing for your stressed-out dog as well. Once the tea has steeped in the water, let your dog soak in it for 5-10 minutes.
Let your dog bathe in oatmeal
Colloidal oatmeal is excellent for soothing dry and itchy skin, so it’s perfect for dogs with skin allergies. Grind some oatmeal until you have a fine powder, and then sprinkle it all over your dog’s bath water. Allow your dog to sit in the oatmeal-filled water for at least 15 minutes to soothe their skin.
Soothing Allergies Will Improve Your Dog’s Quality of Life
If your dog is prone to allergies, make sure you have a game plan for how to treat it. Pinpoint their triggers and allergens with the help of a vet and take note of what home remedies soothe their skin best.
Also, while it’s important to know what is causing your dog’s allergic reactions, it’s even more important to prevent them from ever happening again. With Stryde™ Fish Oil, you can keep those itchy allergies at bay while ensuring their heart, joint, and skin health are in tip-top shape.