Dog Articles

Dog Skin Allergies and Other Dog Skin Problems

Dog skin problems can be complex. The more general term for diagnosis of dog skin problems is eczema - a broad term used for inflamed skin. But pinpointing the root cause of a dog skin problem is quite difficult and sometimes impossible.

The common pattern of dog skin problems is inflammation or dermatitis which causes itching and irritation. This discomfort tends to make the dog scratch using his claws and teeth, which results in hair loss, more itching, and more inflammation. This dog skin problem is termed as the itch-scratch-itch cycle. The cycle also causes broken skin and gives way for bacteria to invade.

The following are major signs of dog skin problems and dog skin disease: scratching; rashes; reddening of the skin; loss of hair; wet areas from licking - on white dogs, distinguished as stained brown by their saliva; black and gritty material in the coat; insects attracting the coat; dry coat; infected spots; dandruff; and mats.

The most important way of preventing dog skin problems from happening is to keep your dog clean and well groomed. Bathing on a regular basis is essential in maintaining a clean skin and coat. Grooming is also a very important part of his overall skin care. Contrary to what many people believe that grooming is solely for cosmetic reasons, grooming your dog gives you a great opportunity to check for fleas, ticks, and other signs of abnormalities that can cause dog skin problems.

But how often do you have to bathe your dog? Obviously, if your dog gets into something really dirty or is always playing outside in a grassy field, then of course you will need to give him a bath almost immediately. Otherwise, it all depends on his type of coat. If your dog has a smooth coat similar to the coat of a Dalmatian or a Whippet, then he only needs to be bathe two times each year. The same rule of thumb applies if your dog is medium coated like a Golden Retriever or a Saint Bernard.

If your dog is long coated similar to a Bearded Collie or a Maltese, he has a greater risk for developing tangles and other dog skin problems. He would need a monthly bath as well as conditioning and blow out to prevent from catching various types of dog skin problems. A wirehaired or broken coated dog like the Schnauzer or a Norfolk Terrier needs a bath every three to four months. Lastly, if your dog is curly coated similar to a Poodle or a Curly-Coated Retriever, then he is more likely to develop mats and knots that gives way for dog skin problems to occur. Long coated dogs ideally needs a bath every six to eight weeks.

Dog skin problems are most often the result of a less than optimal immune system. Dog allergies generally are likely to be caused and/or contributed to by an immune system deficiency.

For information on what you can do to ensure that your dog has a healthy immune system which is able to ward off dog skin allergies and other dog skin problems, click here.

Or for the quick summary on keeping your dog's immune system healthy, click here.