Causes of Dogs
Skin Conditions

What is a skin condition and what causes it?

A “skin condition” is a general term for very common but nonetheless distressing disorders which damage or irritate your pet’s skin.

There can be a variety of reasons for your pet’s itchy, scratchy skin condition, including environmental allergies or food sensitivities. In dogs, more than 50% of allergies are caused by the world around them.

The most common symptom of an allergy is skin irritation – itching, scratching and licking. Some skin conditions can be cleared up quickly, while others need lifelong management. The good news is, soothing the itch can be as simple as feeding your pet the right type of food.

Common causes include:

  • Environmental allergies are common: Your dog may be allergic to grass, pollen, dust mites or mould spores. These allergens are often seasonal and can start early in a pet’s life. The dog’s skin is a crucial barrier to allergens, making proper skin care a priority.
  • Parasites: Fleas, lice and mites can be a constant nuisance to many pets. Some pets are particularly sensitive, and even a single fleabite can cause a skin irritation! Rigourous tick and flea treatment for your pet and environment is essential to break the cycle.
  • Adverse reactions to food: Certain ingredients in a pet’s food, such as beef, milk products, fish or wheat, can also be the cause of allergies.
  • Infection: Bacterial and fungal infections can cause skin problems.
  • Hormonal imbalances: Pets with too much or too little of certain hormones are prone to skin issues.
  • Breed disposition: Certain breeds of pets can be predisposed to skin conditions too such as bulldogs, labradors and bull terriers.

More about environmental allergies in dogs:

How do I know if my dog has an environmental allergy?

Skin conditions present with similar signs but two ways you can often spot an environmental allergy is that it usually appears before the pet is a year and flare ups are linked to spring and summer. There are numerous potential reasons that may cause your dog to itch and unfortunately, they don't all present as typical cases; if you notice your dog chewing any part of its' body more than normal, take him to your vet for a thorough examination as the vet is the best person to differentiate between the different causes of itchiness.

How can I help my dog?

Environmental allergies are most often chronic, which means they demand lifelong management and often require a multi-modal approach. You won’t be aiming for a cure but rather to reduce the frequency, intensity and duration of flare ups. However, a simple change in food can make a significant difference.

Tips for Senior Pets
Share this awesome site
#itchyPets