Protecting Your Pet Pooch From Skin Allergies
By Jane Williams
Thu, Sep 19, 2019 at 10:45AM

Protecting Your Pet Pooch From Skin Allergies

10% of the nation’s pet pooches have an allergy, according to assistant professor of dermatology, Sandra Diaz. Skin allergies are one of the most common types of allergies veterinarians see in dogs, however, determining the cause of the intense itching, hot spots, hair loss, and inflammation can take time. This is because many factors play a role in the onset of a skin allergy, including a dog’s diet, pests, and where he takes his daily stroll.

Flea allergies 

Many homeless dogs that move into shelters are riddled with fleas due to female fleas laying up to 50 eggs per day on a hound’s fur. All dogs that are re-homed will have been treated for fleas. However, it’s crucial that you keep on top of their anti-flea treatments, otherwise, they’ll return with a vengeance and cause your pet hound a whole heap of skin issues.

The most common signs of a flea allergy are intense scratching and hair loss between the middle of the back and base of the tail. Scabs may also be present as a result of the flea bites. Treatment consists of regular administration of flea preventatives and a thorough clean of your home, including your dog’s bed to banish any lurking fleas. Your veterinarian may also prescribe antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication in more severe cases. 

Mold in the home 

From time to time, most houses will accumulate some mold. But, as mold exposure can cause itching and scaly skin in dogs, as well as respiratory concerns, it’s essential that you tackle mold in your home quickly and efficiently. Mold is caused by moisture so be sure to repair any leaks as soon as they occur to prevent over-exposure. If you do stumble across mold in your property, it can be treated with a dehumidifier and air scrubber. An anti-microbial paint is also recommended for keeping mould at bay. It’s also worth taking your dog to his veterinarian as antibiotics may be required to treat any secondary infections caused by excessive scratching. Bathing your dog with a hypoallergenic shampoo regularly will help to soothe your pet’s inflamed skin, too.

Lifestyle factors

There are multiple other factors that could be causing your hound’s skin to flare up. Food allergies are the cause of 10% of all canine allergies and require professional diagnosis and a change of diet. A pollen allergy is another leading cause of skin complaints in dogs, so you should consider whether your daily walking route is the reason for your pet’s itchy, inflamed skin.

Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Staffordshire Terriers are some of the most common dogs found in shelters and they are also the breeds that are most prone to pollen allergies. These breeds need plenty of exercise, though, so if you suspect he or she is battling a skin allergy caused by pollen exposure you should keep him on a lead when walking on the grass to stop him from rolling in pollen, remove excess pollen from your dog’s coat with a clean towel after each walk, and brush him daily to remove excess pollen.

Skin allergies affect millions of dogs and can cause severe discomfort. It’s, therefore, crucial that owners consider all the possible reasons before their dog’s poorly skin and, once the cause is determined, take action to deal with the issue promptly.

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