written by Janie Knetzer

Baby boomers should take notice to their dog’s skin. The condition of dog skin is a big indicator of a pet’s overall health. When skin problems occur, the dog may respond by excessive scratching, chewing, licking, etc. There can be a wide range of causes including external parasites, allergies, infections, metabolic problems, stress, or it can be combination of all. Disease can also be a cause. All can affect the dog’s skin.

Common skin problems in dogs are:

Licking, scratching and chewing the skin
Hot spots
Round, scaly patches on the face and paws
Redness or inflammation
Flaky or dry and even otherwise irritated skin
Rubbing face against carpeting or furniture
Lumps, swellings or any skin discoloration
Greasy skin and smelly ears

Dog Skin Issues

Dog owners should never take skin issues lightly. Since many can easily get out of hand, it is best to attack it immediately. First, determine what the skin problem is and what is most likely causing it. It can be as simple as fleabites or more complex like environmental or food allergies. Some of the common causes of dog skin problems are:

Fleas/Ticks- The bites and droppings from annoying insects such as fleas can tremendously irritate dog skin and many pets have allergic reactions to just one bite. Some dogs may also be sensitive to flea treatment products and these products may cause redness and irritation around the neck of the dog.
Ringworm- It is a highly contagious fungal infection that can result into inflammation, hair loss and patches. If diagnosed with Ringworm, take care in keeping other people and pets in the home from becoming infected.
Seasonal Allergies- Often times scratching is due to sensitivity of allergens such as pollen, dust, weeds, mold or grass
Food Allergies- Dogs also develop allergies due to common ingredients found in dog foods like wheat, soy and corn, just to name a few. Fillers and colorings are may be seen as foreigners to your dog’s immune system, leading to itching and ear problems.

Sarcoptic Mange- Extremely contagious; symptoms include hair loss with oily skin, crusting and scabs. Dogs become extremely itchy and skin becomes inflamed.
Grooming Products- Heavily scented shampoos and grooming products loaded with chemicals can be irritating to a dog’s delicate skin.
Stress and Boredom- Dogs will lick their skin for many reasons including stress due to boredom and lack of exercise.

Dog skin problems can cause great pain and discomfort for Fido as well as stress for dog owners. The good news is that most skin issues are preventable simply by feeding a superior grade all natural diet including treats, keeping the dog clean and using only natural forms of grooming products, regularly protecting the pet from fleas/ticks, providing allergy medicine if environmental allergies are suspected (talk to your Vet) and by providing adequate exercise daily. Learn more about treating your dog’s skin problems here: http://www.old-dog-treats-and-rawhide.com/dog-skin-problems.html.

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