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An Introduction to Canine Atopic Dermatitis | Symptoms and Treatments Revealed

Dermatitis is a disease observed in your skin, causing rashes and itching, resulting in significant discomfort. It is standard for dogs. The condition can be easily monitored and identified as the area where the itching and rashes occur becomes red and sore. There are specific causes and dog allergy symptoms for a case of dermatitis in dogs. In this article, you will find yourself exploring the condition of dogs in detail.

Dogs mostly prefer outdoor activities; therefore, they become vulnerable to foreign materials, such as parasites and bacteria leading to dermatitis. You might be having various questions when it comes to dermatitis like ‘is dog dermatitis contagious?’.

The Causes of Allergic Dermatitis in Dogs

There are numerous ways of catching dermatitis outdoors, but to narrow it down, we will discuss the three primary and most common causes in dogs.

#1 Parasites

Parasites are a significant concern for pet owners. The toxin that is released by parasites has different kinds of effects on a dog. Your dog might be allergic to the poison, so the area where the parasite is present will show signs of discomfort. For example, the place where the parasites are present will itch and become sore unless it apply some medicine in that region.

Fleas, mites, or ticks are the most familiar carrier of parasitic toxins. The common areas they can observe where flea or tick attacks are the lower parts of the tail, ear flaps, inner thighs, armpits, paws, and lower back. A substantial amount of hair falls due to scratching and itching in the affected area.

#2 Allergies

Humans have certain food products to which they are allergic; in the same manner, dogs are allergic to some food items. The symptoms are pretty straightforward and can be easily identified. So, try to use the best dog foods for allergies like the grain based dog food that help your pet fight infections. Although, ensure whether your pet is allergic to grains or not. For example, allergic dermatitis in dogs will show the symptoms such as inflammation and significant itching in certain parts of its body. The major areas where allergy occurs are the abdomen, ear flaps, and feet.

#3 Infection and Bacteria

If not attended, the flea bites and sores can eventually lead to infections that amplify the itchiness and can cause significant problems in your dog’s skin.

#4 Atopic Dermatitis

This form of dermatitis is hereditary, meaning that the skin will be sensitive and vulnerable to foreign substances, and the ability to develop a natural defense against toxins and other substances is less. The condition can be seasons or non-seasonal, and 10% of the dogs have atopic dermatitis.

Breeds Prone to Canine Atopic Dermatitis

Following are some of the breeds that are most likely to suffer from atopic dermatitis:

  • Labrador
  • Golden Retriever
  • Bulldogs
  • German Shepherd
  • Pitbulls

What are the Symptoms of Dermatitis in Dogs?

The task of identifying dermatitis is relatively easy. Here are the symptoms:

#1 Itching

You will notice your dog is constantly itching for his ear flaps, tail, or wherever the hotspot of the dermatitis is present. The itching is frequent, and you will notice great distress in your dog.

#2 Soreness or Redness in the Skin

Flea bites in a particular region cause the skin of that part to turn red and sore. You will notice hair fall, and the skin will turn hard.

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#3 Infection

If not treated, then the skin becomes prone to infection. The dog ear infection symptoms are the widespread occurrence in dogs, as it is tough to look into your dog’s ears and find the contaminant.

#4 Bad Odor

Your dog will have a terrible odor when suffering from dermatitis, which is very noticeable.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Rashes.
  • Inflammation.
  • Licking.
  • Biting the skin.
  • Major hair loss.
  • Crusting

What is the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis In Dogs?

  • The treatment for dog dermatitis differs from the type of dermatitis a dog suffers. Various substances trigger a reaction in dogs regarding atopic dermatitis, and the treatment varies from what causes the response.
  • As atopic dermatitis is hereditary, the treatment for this skin condition is a bit limited. It is not entirely curable, but a great deal of proper medication can control the effects. For example, for the condition of hypersensitivity, they injected small dosages of allergen into a dog’s body over time so that the body can build up immunity. It can be adequate by a percentage of 60-80%. However, it might take some time to see the results (approximately six months or a year).
  • Treatment for Atopic Dermatitis in dogs can also include home remedies like the use of medicinal shampoo and soap. Different kinds of soap and shampoo products are available in the market that help relieve your dog suffering from itchy skin or significant rashes. With regular baths, it is significantly possible to control the infection.
  • Medication such as antihistamines and corticosteroids helps in controlling the symptoms.
  • Including fatty acids in your dog’s diet, such as soybeans, chicken and animal fat, and vegetable oil, is an excellent source of fatty acids and is very healthy for your dog. Including fatty acids will smoothen your dog’s coat and will help in the better growth of fur.

How to Treat Dog Allergies?

After knowing the symptoms of dermatitis in dogs one can treat it with anti-inflammatory drugs. Regardless, following are some ways for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs:

#1 Anti-inflammatory Therapy

Drugs, such as antihistamines and corticosteroids help make the allergen ineffective in significant cases. Some newer medications can be taken orally (on a daily basis) and through injections (long-term). Including fatty acid supplements in your dog’s diet is another way to control allergies.

#2 Shampoo Therapy

The best medicated dog shampoo for skin allergies and soaps are some of the most immediate ways to relieve your dog’s allergic skin. Furthermore, for your dear pooches you can happily go with any top rated puppy shampoo. The medicated soap will wash out all the external contaminants. It can help your dog smoothen the skin and cure itchy patches and inflamed skin.

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#3 Hyposensitization and Desensitization Therapy

They inject a small dosage of allergen from time to time. It will help the dog’s body to develop immunity against the allergen. Almost 50% of the dogs treated with this method show a positive response. It would help if you considered having this treatment only after your vet approves of it.

Is Dog Dermatitis Contagious?

If you are thinking whether this condition is contagious or not, then, the answer is no, dermatitis is not contagious and cannot be caught by other animals at the house. But certain infections are contagious, and they must maintain caution.

Few of the contagious conditions are

#1 Flea Infestation

Fleas are very problematic parasites that will cause great distress to your dog’s health. Fleas can be carried and spread from one carrier to another. Therefore, if you have multiple dogs in your home, then make sure you check them for fleas and treat flea allergy in dogs.

#2 Mites

Mites will cause itchy skin in your dogs and other animals if present. These are primarily present in feet and paws. You should consult your vet immediately if you suspect your dog might suffer from mites.

#3 Ringworms

It is a fungal infection that can be seen mainly in your dog’s large and small intestines. It can cause itchiness in your dog’s anal region and might lead to significant distress. Ringworms are a matter of concern and should get checked.

How to Prevent Dog Skin Allergies?

  • Maintaining a proper diet and avoiding food items that cause allergies will help you significantly prevent skin problems.
  • Medication for parasites – parasites are one of the most annoying and damaging infectious creatures that will cause great trouble for your dog from time to time. Preventive measures to avoid parasitic attacks include flea shots, medications, and medicative soap or shampoo.
  • Keeping away from items that can cause an allergic reaction to the skin is another way of avoiding dermatitis. Detergents and other chemical solid items are common causes of skin irritation and itchiness.
  • Quick visits to the vet when rashes or itchiness are discovered can help you control the infection. It will further stop the spread of disease and will not become a significant infection.
  • You can buy your dog from a healthy kin line, for most of the infection is genetic.


Infections such as dermatitis are prevalent among dogs; most of the time, they are treatable/curable. There are home remedies for dogs itching skin and medication present in the market that should reasonably cure your dog’s condition. However, the treatment is not as effective as others in the cases of atopic dermatitis. Genetic problems do not usually have cures. But there are means to reduce the effect and keep the symptoms as minimal as possible if you know perfectly about how to treat dog allergies. You should consult with your vet about any form of treatment that you are considering for your dog skin allergies.