Dog Skin Allergy Treatment

A dog skin allergy can occur frequently and may be problematic to treat. The skin can get dry, itchy and irritated and it may take a long time for this condition to heal. The allergies may be caused by different irritants which must be identified to be able to relieve the dog’s itching, scratching and discomfort.

Discover the Irritant

The first step in treating the dog’s skin allergy is to discover what causes the irritation. The irritant may be discovered by thinking about the possible substances the dog has been in contact with:

  • Shampoo may irritate the skin
  • Sprays (i.e. anti flea spray) may also cause contact dermatitis
  • Plants
  • Chemicals including detergents, soaps or fragrances
  • Insects and parasites/ flea bites
  • Food
  • Drugs

Once discovered, the exposure of the dog must be eliminated if possible or at least limited. You will see that after limiting the dog’s exposure to these irritants, the reactions will diminish.

There are also other conditions such as fungal infections that may also cause dermatitis and rashes, so a vet needs to establish the cause of the skin irritation.

Skin Allergy Treatment

The treatment of the skin allergy will depend greatly on the irritant. In addition to the limitation of the dog’s exposure to the irritants, you may use some steroid topical ointments that will relieve the itchiness and heal the skin. Alternatively, you may opt for sprays containing hydrocortisone or antihistamine medication.

You should also bathe your dog on a regular basis to remove the irritants from his coat; the irritants may be inhaled or may penetrate the skin through the skin pores. You may use dish soap or a hypoallergenic shampoo.

Benadryl is a drug that may be administered to dogs with skin allergies. The dosage should be 1 mg per pound of body weight once every 8 hours; however, make sure you consult the vet prior to administering the drug. If the allergies are more severe, Benadryl will not be effective and the dog will need a stronger prescription drug or even injections. Antihistamines and steroids will be prescribed.

Dry, flaky and irritated skin occurs in dogs with a weaker immune system or in dogs with an unsuitable diet. Supplements can help improving the skin of the dog. There are a lot of coat and skin supplements available in pet stores.

Fish or olive oil added to the dog’s diet will normalize the skin’s pH and make the coat shinier. Talk to your vet for additional vitamins and supplements; if need be you may change your dog’s diet.

Typically, skin allergies are not an emergency, but they cause a lot of itchiness and discomfort, so you should get treatment. The only emergency is if your dog develops anaphylactic shock (to insect bites or injections) he will get extremely swollen and irritated immediately after the exposure to the allergen. In this case, you need to rush to the vet to get an antihistamine shot. Other symptoms of an anaphylactic shock include panting, excessive salivation, vomiting or seizures.