Pet Skin And Allergy Care

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Stewart.

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It is easy to get distracted by the health and condition of your pet’s coat, but forget about the importance of the wellbeing of the skin underneath. It may surprise you to know that, although often covered in hair, your pet’s skin is probably just as sensitive as your own.

Our skin is prone to giving us tell-tale signs when something isn’t right with our body, becoming itchy, swollen, sore or covered in some form of rash. It is no different for our pets, whose skin reacts in exactly the same way to irritants or allergens.

What causes dog allergies?

Pet allergies are often caused by the same things that cause allergies in humans. This can include, but is not limited to:

What sort of symptoms can I expect my pet to exhibit?

Allergy symptoms vary widely but normally include skin-related problems such as excessive itching and scratching. Rashes may also develop, and these can vary in appearance and severity.

Allergy symptoms may also extend beyond the skin, including:

  • Itchy, watering eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring (which is usually caused by an inflamed throat)
  • Hair loss
  • Persistent licking of their coat

Other causes of skin conditions in pets

Of course, not all skin problems are allergy related. There are a range of other skin conditions that could be making your pet miserable. Let’s take a look at a few of the other possibilities.

Parasite infestations

If preventative action isn’t taken, skin parasites are a common problem among pets. Mites, fleas, ticks, and lice are all common problems for unprotected pets, and parasites can spread to the human members of your family if not kept in check.

When these parasites bite your pet, their skin quickly becomes irritated, causing them to scratch. Persistent licking and scratching can lead to the skin becoming swollen and infected, and hair discoloration and loss.


Ringworm is another common skin problem seen in pets. Rather than an actual worm, it is actually a fungal infection that causes a red, ring-shaped rash to appear on the skin. As expected, the rash is very itchy, causing your pet to scratch and put themselves at risk of sore, swollen and broken skin.

Dry skin

Dry skin isn’t just a human problem either. When your pet has dry skin, it may begin to flake off, which can appear very much like dandruff. Unfortunately, regular moisturizing is a little hard to provide for your pet, thanks to the fur and hair covering their body.

There are many different products on the market which can help to alleviate your pet’s dry skin, with the right examinations, our veterinarians at Care Animal Hospital in Temecula will be happy to make a recommendation on the right course of treatment for your animal.