Common causes of skin issues in dogs include:
- Environmental allergies to dust, pollen or mould
- Parasites & flea allergy
- Various infections
- Food allergies
Despite common belief, 90% of skin issues are not caused by food allergies.
Often, the environmental allergens are the cause of skin problems. 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 the ages of 3 months and 6 years.
Environmental allergens can include pollen, mould spores and dust mites. Some 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 often require lifelong management. Regular bath and feeding a food formulated to support skin health can play a vital role in helping manage skin allergies.
Some breeds are at higher risk for environmental allergies (also known as atopic dermatitis):
- Yorkshire terriers
- West Highland white terriers
- Golden retrievers
- German shepherds
- Labrador retrievers
- Cocker spaniels
For dogs at higher risk, schedule a visit to your veterinarian proactively, before allergy season starts (around 6 weeks before spring). Even if your dog’s signs are currently mild, it is beneficial to discuss a proactive plan with your veterinarian to help reduce skin signs and keep them from coming back year-round.