Common Dog Skin Problems

Scratching is a sign of dog skin problems

One of the most common ailments in dogs is skin irritations. Dog skin problems can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from allergies, parasites, or dietary insufficiencies. Skin allergies in dogs can be painful and can cause the dog much discomfort and distress. Furthermore, if left unattended skin irritations will cause the dog to continually scratch and lick the affected area, which can lead to a steady deterioration of the skin and coat. A dog with a skin reaction very often has a foul odor, and as a result is not very pleasant to be near, so it will be most beneficial to both you and your pet to take measures to ensure that your dog’s skin is maintained in a healthy condition.

Skin problems range from dry, itchy skin, to moist dermatitis, which is often a skin problem that has reached an advanced stage, and infection has set in. Dry, itchy skin will cause the dog to scratch and chew violently at himself to try and relieve the itching. This can rapidly advance to form bright red open skin lesions that are extremely tender and warm to the touch.

Environmental Causes of Common Dog Skin Problems

Dog skin problems are very often caused by allergies. Dogs with sensitive skins are particularly susceptible to allergic reactions, which can stem from food allergies; flea allergies; or allergic reactions to environmental stimulants, such as grass seeds, to name a few. Use a flea treatment to get rid of any fleas that may be causing the reaction. Besides fleas, mites are another major culprit for causing skin conditions, including mange, in dogs. If mange is suspected, take your dog for a veterinary check up and treat with an effective medicated shampoo and/or dip if necessary to eradicate the mange mite.

Sometimes skin allergies in dogs are seasonal, and may be related to an allergic reaction to a particular grass seed, to pollen, or to dust that is more prevalent at that time of the year, which can be very difficult to combat.

Curing Dog Skin Problems with Dietary Supplements

Very often dog skin problems stem from dietary insufficiencies, which cause dry, itchy skin that gets progressively worse as the dog bites, licks, and scratches himself. The good news is that skin conditions related to diet can be easily rectified with canine nutritional supplements that contain the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy skin and shiny coat. A deficiency in iron or any of the major vitamins – vitamin A, any of the B vitamins, or vitamin E can result in a skin that is prone to skin irritations.

Canine nutritional supplements often contain Omega fatty acids – Omega-3 and Omega-6 – which can combat skin problems associated with dietary deficiencies. Omega fatty acids also act as an anti-inflammatory agent, to help reduce skin inflammations; and in addition they help boost the immune system to help combat infections.

If your dog is suffering from a skin irritation, check for external parasites, change the diet to see whether it may be a food allergy, and consider supplementing the diet with canine nutritional supplements to ensure that your pet is receiving all the essential nutrients necessary to maintain a healthy skin and coat. If your dog has advanced moist dermatitis, learn how to treat dog hot spots here.

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Featured Image by Lee J Haywood, via Flickr

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