Most Common Skin Allergies in Dogs

When a dog is itchy most people assume the dog has fleas, and while this may be the case, itchiness in dogs can also be a sign of a skin allergy. There are several common allergens that can cause skin allergies for dogs. Allergy tests are available from a veterinarian, but many owners try to find the source of the allergy on their own.

Flea Allergies

Even long after the fleas are gone a dog might still have flea dermatitis. The dog is essentially allergic to the flea saliva and dirt left behind. The steps to dealing with this kind of skin allergy are first to get rid of the fleas, and to bath the dog with a soothing shampoo, such as an oatmeal shampoo.

Food Allergies

Ingredients in a dog’s food, or treats, can also cause a reaction on their skin, or may show up as ear infections. The most common allergens in dog food are corn, wheat, soy, pork, and beef. These ingredients may be hard to spot on an ingredient list, particularly pork and beef, which may be listed as “meatmeal” or “animal fat”. Dog owners must be aware that some foods claiming to be hypo-allergenic contain problem ingredients and knowing specifically what a dog is allergic to will help an owner select a better food. This is often done via an elimination diet.

Household Cleaning Products

Our dogs lay on our floors, beds, and furniture where this puts their skin in direct contact with many cleaning supply residues. Laundry detergent is often the source of skin allergies. Skin allergies to cleaning supplies and laundry detergent may show up more on the dogs belly, but can also cover their whole body depending on the severity.


Most people think of Poison Ivy, Stinging Nettle, and so forth as being irritating plants. The reaction to plants such as this is really a skin allergy. Dogs spend lots of time in the garden, and on trails. They have a good chance of encountering either one of the common allergy causing plants, or may suffer from allergies to other plants.


As with fleas, dogs can be allergic to other insects. Most people are allergic to mosquito bites and the saliva from them, the same thing can be a problem for dogs, and in some cases they may have severe reactions.

Get Veterinarian Help if You Cannot Diagnose Your Dogs Skin Allergies

If you have a dog that has signs of a skin allergy and you cannot figure out what the cause may be, you should visit your veterinarian to be sure the problem is a skin allergy as oppose to something else, such as mites. The veterinarian can consult you in regards to doing further allergy tests on your dog.