Dogs go through skin problems just as humans do, but they don’t have an extensive skincare regimen to prevent skin issues from popping up every other day. That’s why they need their human parents to step in for them.
To make sure that you’re prepared the next time your dog experiences skincare issues, it’s good to be well-informed about the signs of skin problems. In some cases, topical treatments can help, while in others, you may have to take your little buddy to a vet.
In this guide, we discuss different skin issues signs in dogs and some dog skincare tips for when you spot these signs.
Signs of Skin Issues In Dogs
As a dog parent, you must know dog skin care tips so that you can be there for them when they’re having skin troubles.
If your dog’s skin is getting crusty, it’s a sign of an approaching skin problem. Scabs can be the leftover from a pustule or might be caused due to other serious reasons, such as:
The ideal treatment for skin scabs is a medicated shampoo. However, the vet might also recommend antiparasitic medication or an oral antibiotic for the pup.
Like humans, rash on dogs is also a bad sign, especially if it’s on the belly. Some common reasons behind a belly rash are:
- Insect bites
- Contact dermatitis (if your dog has recently come into contact with lawn chemicals or fertilizer)
If the rash is due to contact dermatitis, you should wash off the irritant residue from the dog’s skin. However, if it’s due to insect bites or allergies, you don’t often have to worry as the rash goes away on its own.
But if the rash seems to be bothering your canine friend, go ahead and give him a cool bath with a medicated shampoo.
3. Red Bumps
These small bumps are a sign that your dog may have a fungal infection called folliculitis. Or, they may have a bacterial condition that needs to be treated with antibiotics.
You should consult with a vet if you spot small red bumps on your dog’s body.
4. Large Bumps
If the bumps are larger and don’t have any crusting, they could be an allergic reaction. When you spot them, talk to the vet immediately as they swell up and block your dog’s airway.
A professional will probably give steroids or antihistamine medicines to your little friend.
5. Red Spots
Red spots, flat in appearance, can often be spotted on dogs’ bellies in early summer and late spring. These spots are not harmful and go away on their own.
However, they might be tricky to differentiate from ringworm spots as both appear quite similar. While red spots are a result of black fly bites and not bothersome, ringworms need to be treated with oral antifungals.
The major difference between the two is that ringworms appear on all parts of the body, while red spots only stay in the belly region.
6. Hot Spots
Hot spots refer to moist and irritated skin areas with hair matting on the top. If your dog constantly licks an area, bacteria could enter the skin, leading to hot spots.
Most often, hot spots appear in humid seasons, especially if your dog has been around water for a long time.
7. Red Skin
Red, irritated skin is a common sign of dog allergies, resulting from environmental factors or flea bites. You can bathe your dog with an oatmeal shampoo to hydrate and soothe the irritation.
If your little buddy is continually itching, you should know something’s up. Itchy skin could be due to allergies in the ears, groin, armpits, and feet region. For mild allergies, an oatmeal shampoo would do, while for severe ones, you may have to talk to a doctor.
Another cause of itchiness is external parasite infection, especially on the tail and the inner thighs. A vet will prescribe specific medications after diagnosing the type of infection.
9. Flaky Skin
Dry skin is another sign of skin problems. Enrich your dog’s diet with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to prevent skin flakiness.
However, if the flakes are too prominent, the root cause could be seborrhea. It’s a condition in which the dog’s body starts producing excess sebum.
10. Dark Spots
Did you think only humans had to be worried about dark spots? Well, dogs can’t seem to escape this problem either. Dark spots in dogs are often due to inflammation, while in other cases, they may result from hormone imbalance.
For this one, you’d have to monitor your dog’s skin for some time. If the sores don’t seem to be going away, it’s likely there’s an underlying condition – maybe even cancer.
However, that’s not always the case, as most sores heal themselves gradually.
12. Bald Patches
Hair loss is one thing, but if your dog has developed bald patches due to shedding, it’s likely a symptom of one of the following conditions:
When this happens, you’d have to take your little bud to the vet as he’ll need medical attention. Since pressure sores are more common in larger dog breeds, you can prevent this by giving them a cushioned place to lie on.
Dog Skin Care Tips
The best way to keep your dog healthy is through proper nutrition and grooming. Make sure you’re feeding them appropriately for their age. You could also use an oatmeal shampoo for bathing them every once in a while as it helps keep allergies and infections at bay.
As soon as you notice one of the signs mentioned in this guide, take your dog to the vet for medical attention.
Last but not least, don’t ignore any unusual spots, signs, or marks on your pet’s body.