Skin Irritation in Dogs - Causes and Cures

Posted by Jesse Tilner on

Skin Irritation in Dogs - Causes and Cures

One of the most common reasons why dogs end up at the vet's office is skin irritation. The skin conditions that develop in canines can have a number of reasons; it could be due to parasites and fleas or even serious underlying medical conditions. In this article, we will be going over the common causes of skin irritation in dogs and how to cure them.

Belly Rashes

Rashes can cause redness and irritation on your dog's skin. It's fairly common for rashes to appear on your dog's belly. Causes for belly rashes are contact dermatitis – a reaction to coming in contact with poison ivy, lawn chemicals, and fertilizers. Insect bites and allergies can also cause rashes.


The crusting of the skin is called a scab, and it is usually a short-lived problem that happens when a pimple pops. Scabs can be caused by puppy impetigo, ectoparasites like mites and fleas, or pyoderma, which is a skin infection common in wrinkly dog breeds.

Small Red Bumps and Spots

If you notice red spots on your dog's belly during the late spring and early summer months, the chances are that they are caused by black fly bites. Try not to confuse black fly bites with ringworm since both of them can appear similar.

Small red bumps, on the other hand, can be caused by a fungal skin infection that can only be treated by your vet.

Dry and Flaky Skin

If you notice flakes appear on your dog's body, it could be due to a serious skin condition like seborrhea when a dog produces too much sebum. Dry skin can also be caused by cheyleteiellosis - a condition caused by mite bites and results in dandruff.

Cures for Skin Irritation in Dogs

If your dog has rashes caused by insect bites, there is no need to take them to the vet (at least, not right away). Try to keep your dog indoors for a couple of days, and the rashes will most probably go on their own. If the rash seems to be bothering your dog too much, we recommend giving your dog a cool bath and use a shampoo that has cooling agents like colloidal oatmeal. For scabs and persistent redness, use a medicated shampoo instead. If the red spots on your dog are caused by parasites like mites and fleas, you can use an antiparasitic medication as advised by your vet.

With dry and flaky skin, it is always a good idea to consult your vet - but usually, it's a symptom of dry skin. To ensure the good health of your dog's skin and fur, try to incorporate omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids into their diet. For the overall health of your dog's skin, make sure you shower them at least once a week with a high-quality dog shampoo, give them a balanced diet, and take them for regular medical checkups.