Dog Skin Irritation: What Wicker Park Dog Owners Need to Know

We have all seen a dog itch themselves at one time or another. Although this is not usually something that dog owners need to worry about, sometimes excessive itching can lead to hair loss and even skin infections in dogs if left untreated.

Skin irritation in dogs has a variety of causes such as allergies, external parasites, and even just harsh environmental factors. Luckily, skin irritation in dogs is usually very treatable.

dog skin irritation

In this article, we will be explaining everything that dog owners need to know about skin irritation in their pets. This includes the symptoms of skin irritation in dogs, what causes it, and how it is diagnosed and treated by a vet. Alright, let’s jump right into it!

What Are The Signs Of Skin Irritation In Dogs?

A dog that has irritated skin will likely scratch, lick, and bite their skin excessively. In addition to this, the irritated skin may appear pink or red, and it may even have raised bumps and appear rash like.

In addition to this, a dog with irritated skin may have localized hair loss and signs of a skin infection.

What Causes Skin Irritation In Dogs?

There are several different things that cause skin irritation in dogs. Allergies and intolerances, skin infections, parasites, and even excessive grooming can cause a dog to have irritated skin.

In addition to this, other external factors can cause skin irritation in dogs as well. Here are the causes of skin irritation in dogs in more detail.


Allergies are possibly one of the most common causes of skin irritation in dogs. The irritated skin caused by allergies can appear pink, red, or even rash like. In some cases blisters and scabs can also form on the irritated skin as well.

Dogs with allergies commonly experience the following symptoms as well:

  • Itchy ears and recurring ear infections
  • Discharge coming from the nose and/or eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Excessive licking (especially around the paws)
  • Excessive scratching (especially around the face and ears)

Food Intolerances

Food intolerances can sometimes cause skin irritation in dogs as well. Although a food intolerance is not technically an allergy, it often causes similar symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and itchy skin.

The best way to prevent skin irritation in dogs is to stop them from eating the food that bothers them. 

Excessive Grooming

Excessive grooming can also cause skin irritation after a while. Excessive grooming involves licking and biting at the skin. This is sometimes caused by a medical condition that causes pain, and other times it is caused by anxiety.

External Parasites

External parasites are very irritating to a dog’s skin. External parasites like mites, fleas, and ticks can all cause a dog to have itchy and irritated skin.

Skin Infections

There are a variety of skin infections that can cause skin irritation in dogs. These include bacterial, fungal, and even yeast infections. Skin irritation that is caused by a skin infection may smell strange and appear to be a bit different than the irritated skin caused by the other causes listed.

Other Environmental Factors

Sometimes dogs can have sensitive skin in a similar way that people do. As a result things like soaps, cleaning products, and sometimes even perfumes can cause skin irritation in dogs.

How Is Skin Irritation In Dogs Diagnosed?

Skin irritation in dogs is almost always diagnosed through a physical examination from a vet. Here they will take a look at what your dog’s skin looks like and figure out what is causing the irritation.

They may also prescribe medications for things like skin infections and allergies. In addition to this, vets may also run some tests to see what a dog is allergic to in some more rare instances.

How Is Skin Irritation In Dogs Treated?

Skin irritation in dogs is treated in a couple of different ways depending on what is causing it. For dogs with sensitive skin or a food intolerance most vets will recommend that you discover the root cause of their irritation and prevent your dog from coming into contact with these items. They may also prescribe some medication to make your dog more comfortable and less itchy as well.

For allergies, a vet will likely also advise that you prevent your dog from coming into contact with the things that they are allergic to. In addition to this, they may also prescribe your dog with allergy medication or shots to treat the skin’s irritation.

Of course, skin irritation that is caused by external parasites and skin infections will always be treated with medication that will help your dog to fight the infection. Skin irritation that is caused by a condition leading to excessive grooming will need to receive special, individualized care. This is because the condition that is causing the excessive grooming and skin irritation will need to be treated before or alongside with the skin irritation itself.

When To See A Vet About Your Dog’s Skin Irritation

Although skin irritation in dogs does not always necessarily warrant a vet visit, there are definitely some cases of skin irritation that should be treated by a vet. If your dog suddenly develops some skin irritation and it does not seem to be going away, then you should definitely take them in for a vet visit.

There are some other instances where you will need to take a dog to the vet for skin irritation, though. Here are some other examples when you should take your dog to the vet for their irritated skin:

  • If their skin appears to have an infection (bacterial, fungal, or yeast)
  • If their skin is bleeding as a result of their scratching
  • If they are exhibiting signs of pain or illness
  • If they are showing signs of having severe allergies
  • If they are showing signs of having external parasites (mites, ticks, or fleas)

Contact Companion Animal Hospital of Wicker Park if You Have Any Questions 

At Companion Animal Hospital of Wicker Park, we are committed to providing the absolute best care. If your fur baby’s skin is irritated or if you have any questions at all, call us at (312) 283-7333. We are here for you and your pet!

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