Diagnosing and Treating Dog Skin Allergies

November 25, 2019

If your dog is scratching, biting and licking various parts of his body incessantly, he may have a skin allergy. Skin allergies, also known as allergic dermatitis, are the most common type of allergic reactions in dogs.

Symptoms of a Dog Skin Allergies

  • Itchiness
  • Hair loss
  • Swelling in the face, earflaps or paws
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Hives and rashes
  • Chronic ear infections

In addition, skin allergies can lead to another series of infections generally called secondary infections. These secondary infections occur because the allergy causes intense itchiness of the skin. This unbelievable discomfort forces your dog to scratch, lick and bite at the site, which in turn can develop into a yeast or bacterial infection, with potentially serious consequences.

Possible Causes of Dog Skin Allergies

In order to treat a skin allergy, you must first determine the cause. Some of the main causes of skin allergies in dogs include:

Sensitivity to Certain Foods

dog allergies of the skinFood allergies are common in dogs because some dog foods contain too much corn, soy or other fillers. This allergy can cause itchy skin in your dog, usually around their ears and paws, and may also cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Many people contact us to find a cure for itchy paws that smell like Frito chips. This is the result of a yeast infection that shows up as an intense, unbearable itchiness in your dogs paws. It also comes along with an offensive odor and utter misery to your dog as she chews and bites endlessly at her paws to try and get relief. 

To diagnose a food allergy, vets usually recommend using an elimination diet. This means feeding your dog just one source of protein and carbohydrate for three months and seeing the reaction, then gradually re-introducing other foods. One way of tackling this situation is, when you visit your local dog food store, ask the staff about high protein dog foods. You will find educated, caring staff at these stores who can help you with these choices. For example, Taste of the Wild makes a Wetlands Grain-Free Kibble that has received many accolades and is easy to find in any dog food store.


dog ear mites and fleasSome dogs are allergic to flea saliva and get extremely itchy, especially at the base of the tail. You may or may not be able to see the fleas or notice flea dirt – but you’ll definitely notice the licking, scratching, scabs and hot spots caused by fleas. Ticks, like fleas, can also be the cause of allergic reactions. Mites, those difficult-to-see parasites that burrow into your dog’s skin, can cause mange and other skin disorders. 

It’s easy to get busy with life and miss a flea treatment for your dog or be late with her treatment. A lapse in prevention is all it can take at particular times of the year –next thing you know, your beloved pooch has picked up a flea or vice versa. Some treatments require a flea to bite in order to die, and those bites can be problematic for your dog if he is allergic to flea saliva. Other parasites may include ticks or intestinal worms. Your vet can help you with anti-tick treatments or a simple de-wormer to rid your dog of worms.

It’s a good idea for any dog that spends time outside to receive a de-worming treatment. Frequency depends on your dog’s lifestyle; for example, the following conditions call for more frequent de-worming: Is he outside a lot? Does he mingle with other dogs? Do you live in a warm climate? (Warmer climates are kinder to worms and hence less kind to your dog.) But don’t take de-wormers lightly; they are a strong medication so take care with how often you administer it to your dog. The best advice on de-worming for your dog is to work out a system with your vet’s input and advice.

Environmental Allergens

Hot Spots From Itchy SkinIt’s possible your dog may be allergic to dust, pollen, mold or even grass. Other environmental possibilities include grooming products, carpet or floor cleaning products, and lawn treatments. If her itching flares up during a particular season, the cause may be easier to find. Environmental allergens can be difficult to track down and require patience.

Don’t forget that, if your dog has a skin allergy, it’s quite likely all the scratching, biting and chewing may end up breaking the skin and causing a full-scale skin infection, which will also need to be treated.

How to Treat Dog Skin Allergies

Step 1: Handle Severe Allergic Reactions ASAP

If your dog has an acute allergic reaction, take her immediately to the vet or emergency pet hospital. Just like people, dogs can go into anaphylactic shock if they have a severe reaction – but luckily, these reactions are not that common.

Step 2: Avoid Exposure

The best way to help your dog with skin allergies is to avoid exposing them to the allergens as much as possible. Ensure your dog doesn’t get fleas if he’s allergic to their saliva, for instance. Change his diet to one that doesn’t contain the ingredients that cause allergic flare-ups. Try another shampoo if you think your dog may be allergic to its ingredients. Keep him inside on hot days if he gets heat rashes (which are basically an allergy to heat).

Step 3: Visit Your Veterinarian

veterinarian care for dog ear infectionsIf you notice your dog scratching excessively, or see a change in your dog’s skin such as rashes, scaling, redness or bald patches, take the problem to your veterinarian to get her/his diagnosis. You may think you know what is causing the allergy, but sometimes the typical symptoms may actually be signs of other conditions, such as mange, ringworm, impetigo or sebhorrea. Your vet will be able to make a proper analysis.

Step 4: Use the Banixx Home Remedy

No matter what the cause of your dog’s skin allergy, vets generally recommend supplementing any treatment with a topical, pet-friendly, quality product such as Banixx Pet Care to alleviate the itching, swelling, irritation and even the wounds caused by your dog’s constant scratching. Banixx offers immediate relief to your dog’s itchy skin. It doesn’t sting on application, nor does it smell. It’s also an excellent anti-fungal and anti-bacterial solution that creates an environment in which it is next to impossible for an infection to develop. And it’s gentle, natural ingredients are not likely to cause additional allergic skin reactions.

How To Use Banixx For Skin Infections

It’s a great home remedy that can be used at home: Simply apply Banixx 2-3 times a day to your dog’s skin infection, being sure to saturate your dog’s skin. Massage it gently into your dog’s skin for complete saturation. The solution works on contact.

If your dog licks it off after you apply it, it will not harm your dog – but it will remove the solution and slow the healing process. Try distracting your dog so he doesn’t lick it off and Banixx has a chance to work.

We hope you found this article helpful and if your dog ever gets any cuts, abrasions, skin infections, ear infections or hot spots, we hope you keep Banixx Pet Care in mind. Go to our dog page to learn more about how to keep your dog happy and healthy! Just as an example, do you know how long your dog can go without peeing? or Why your dog drinks out of your toilet?

dog hot spots treatment