Skin Sensitivities & Allergies in Dogs

Skin Sensitivities & Allergies in Dogs

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. Allergies developed due to their diet, environment or season changes can also result in skin sensitivities in dogs.

Below, we’ve explained what may be causing sensitive skin to your dog, how to spot it, and what you can do to treat it.

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.

Symptoms of Sensitive Skin in Dogs

The appearance of your dog is one the most obvious indicators of their wellbeing. The earlier you can understand and recognise the signs of sensitive skin means that you can help your pet to overcome the problem sooner. Some of the most common signs are…

  • excessive scratching – if your dog is scratching themselves more than usual, this could be a sign of an allergy or skin issue.
  • hair loss
  • dry patches – dry or flaky patches on your dog’s skin often means sensitive skin
  • redness of the skin
  • oily skin and coat

What Causes Skin Sensitivities in Dogs?

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.

Treating Skin Sensitivities in Dogs

If your dog is scratching or licking excessively, then I recommend to contact your vet to get an accurate diagnosis and find suitable treatment. If left untreated, skin conditions or allergies are likely to get worse.

Below are some treatments you can avail of once you have spoken to your vet:


Booking an appointment with a professional groomer for your dog is a great way to get your dog’s coat (and skin) back to its best condition. Our Skin Soothing Therapy Bath & Styling package is especially for dogs with sensitive skin, or those that suffer with hot spots, blemishes or irritations. Contact your local Petmania Grooming Studio where our professional and experienced groomers can help guide you in the best direction.

Diet Change

Just like humans, some dogs are sensitive to particular food groups that can result in allergies. By identifying and eliminating offending foods, you may notice your dog’s skin issues ease up. Check out our range of hypoallergenic dog foods to help keep your dog’s allergies at bay.

golden retiever with sensitive skin eating from a food bowldue to food allergy


If you don’t want to completely change your dog’s diet but would still like to help relieve as skin sensitivities they have, why not try a supplement? GoShine Skin & Coat Supplements are specifically designed to ensure the optimal health and wellness for our canine friends.These tasty chewable supplements which can be given daily feature unique seaweed complexe to help support skin and coat condition for a healthy appearance.

OMEGLO Skin Function Support is a complementary dietetic feed for dogs and cats, for the support of skin function in the case of dermatosis and excessive loss of hair. Proven to help relieve itchiness and sensitive skin in our pets, simply mix OMEGLO well into your pet’s feed and watch the transformation of healty, shiny skin.

Environmental Change

While easier to discover, environmental allergies can be tough to avoid. For example, if your dog is allergic to pollen and you live in the country, there may be too many triggers to completely avoid altogether. Discuss a treatment plan with your vet, who may suggest antihistamines or other proven methods of dealing with environmental allergens.

Dog Flea Allergy Dermatitis

A flea’s saliva can cause an allergic reaction in many dogs. These allergic reactions can lead to flea allergy dermatitis, a condition that results in incredibly itchy skin – especially at the base of the tail. If your dog has fleas, this is a problem that can be taken care of with a number of treatments. Regularly inspect your dog for flea dirt and examine closely enough and you may even notice these parasites. Using a regular preventative spot-on treatment (recommended every month) can help to keep fleas and ticks at bay too.

Skin Soothing Therapy Bath & Styling

In this groom, we perform a rich clay therapy massage that combines the natural healing properties of aloe vera, lavender and witch hazel which instantly eases irritation and itching. The aloe vera has natural healing properties that sooths and promotes skin regeneration, and the witch hazel has strong anti-oxidant and astringent properties which promotes healing and reduces inflammation, which is useful for dogs that suffer from hotspots.

Our shampoo also has lavender essential oil which regulates and balances skin functions and promote healing by using its anti-allergy, anti-inflammatory and anti-septic properties. The combination of these ingredients results in a soothing shampoo providing an overall spa like experience for your dog.

If you would like to book your dog in for a groom, you can do so by clicking here, or you can call into your local store to see what your options are.

If you have any questions regarding your dog’s diet or are interested in finding out more about what shampoos and treatments we have available, don’t hesitate to contact a member of our team today.

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