Managing Your Dog’s Itchy Skin

jack russel dog scratching ear due to itchy skin outside-1

Managing Your Dog’s Itchy Skin

A dog may have itchy or sensitive skin for many different reasons. Both genetic and environmental factors can lead to skin sensitivity in dogs, and certain breeds are more susceptible than others.

In this blog, we will explore the various causes of sensitive or itchy skin your pup, how to spot it, and what you can do to help.

Tara Murphy, Professional Groomer

Tara started working in Petmania in 2008 and has had many achievements along the way. She completed her City and Guilds Professional Dog Grooming exams and achieved a Diploma. Not too long after, she entered a IPDGA competition where she placed 4th in the Open Clipped Class. She is also a qualified Canine First Responder Instructor and delivers this class to groomers within Petmania. After working as a groomer for 7 years, she started the Petmania Grooming Academy in Petmania Kilkenny in 2015. Today she is an integral part of the Petmania Grooming Team.

What Causes Itchy or Sensitive Skin?

Some dog breeds are more prone to skin issues, like Bichon Frises, West Highland Terriers, Bulldogs, Labradors and those who suffer from hotspots, blemishes or irritations. It may also be related to what you are feeding them; dogs can suffer from allergies or intolerances to foods like gluten, corn and even meat. Allergies and intolerances can appear in a dog at any age and, as well as itching skin, your dog could also be prone to vomiting, diarrhoea or passing blood and mucus regularly in their stools.

Weather and temperature changes can also bring about skin sensitivities in dogs. Dry skin will often present itself during colder months in winter; allergies may flare up during the warmer months in the summer when there is more pollen present.

Fleas and other nasty parasites can also lead to skin sensitivities, itchiness, hot spots or blemishes in your dog. It’s important your dog receives regular flea treatment throughout his life. You can learn how to check for fleas on your dog by visiting our blog post here. 

dog sitting on the grass scratching himself due to skin sensitivity

How to Spot Skin Sensitives in Dogs

It’s a good idea to pay close attention to your dog’s skin on a regular basis so you are able to spot any skin irritations. When checking for any skin complaints, some things to watch out for are:

  • Head shaking, licking, or excessive scratching
  • Hair loss
  • Dry and flaky patches
  • Scooting

How To Help Sensitive & Itchy Skin

The first step to helping your dog is to seek professional assistance from a vet, as it is the only sure-fire way to determine what is the root of the problem.

If your vet suspects a food allergy, they may run a ‘food trial.’ This involves feeding a special, strict diet on their recommendation for a specified time period. Your vet will advise you on the best way to help treat your dog’s food allergy and what trigger foods to avoid. There are many tasty and nutritious hypoallergenic diets available that you can feed your dog. We carry a range of options for dogs that have specific dietary needs, and our team are on-hand to help you navigate through the options should you need us.

Regularly grooming your dog will help ease any discomfort they may be feeling due to skin sensitivities. This includes at-home grooming, as well as taking them to visit a Professional Grooming Studio. Our Skin Soothing Therapy Bath & Styling package is especially for dogs with sensitive skin, or those that suffer with hot spots, blemishes or irritations.

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