Causes of Skin Conditions in Dogs

Article Featured on Hillspet

Environmental Allergies

Skin problems in dogs are sometimes the result of environmental allergens. Dog skin allergies tend to show up in very specific areas of your dog including: face, ears, paws, base of the tail, under elbows and in the groin area. Allergies typically appear between ages of 3 months and 6 years. Be sure to ask your veterinarian if an allergy test is right for your dog.

Environmental allergies can include pollen, mould spores and dust mites. These allergens are airborne and may appear year-round, aside from pollen, which is more common in springtime. Your dog’s skin is a crucial barrier to allergens for keeping your pup healthy, which is why your dog’s skin care should be a priority.

Dog skin allergies tend to be chronic and will require lifelong management. This means bathing your dog with an anti-itch shampoo to help soothe his skin. Nutrition also places a vital role in your dog’s skin health — switching to a dog food formulated to support skin health can help ease the irritation.

Parasites and Fleas

Fleas, lice and mites all can cause skin irritation in dogs. Bites from parasites are irritating, causing dogs to bite and scratch themselves, damaging their skin. Some dogs can be particularly sensitive, or “hypersensitive,” to bites from parasites, as a single fleabite can cause a lot of discomfort for your pup.


Much like your dog’s overall health, bacterial and fungal infections can cause skin problems for your dog. Infections can be caused by a number reasons including allergies, but open wounds or cuts are most susceptible to infection and generally pose the greatest threat to your dog’s skin and overall health. Be sure to consult your veterinarian if you think your dog might have a skin infection.

Food Sensitivities

Similar to humans, dogs can develop food sensitivities as a result of a reaction to certain kinds of proteins in your dog’s food. Your vet can perform an allergy test to determine if your dog has any food allergies, and recommend a dog food that is formulated to ease problems for dogs with food sensitivities.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Dr. Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine) welcomes referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.

Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital

9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.

Phone: 503.292.3001
Fax: 503.292.6808
Email: [email protected]