Your dog can suffer from various types of allergies. One of the most common is dog skin allergies from fleas. Any form of allergic reaction that affects the skin can make your dog uncomfortable.
Just like humans, your dog’s skin is the largest and one of the most important organs of his body. The skin helps to regulate your dog’s body temperature, helps to prevent the loss of moisture, and keeps away some parasites. Because the skin is so important to your dog’s health, it is important that you understand some of the things that can cause irritations, allergic reactions, and possible infections.
Dog Skin Allergies From Fleas And Other Insects
One of the most common dog allergies is a sensitivity to fleas and other insects. It can affect any dog regardless of breed or sex. Flea allergies are most likely to occur during spring and summer, the typical flea season. During these times, the weather usually reaches a warm 80 degrees and stays warm, a prime breeding environment for fleas and mosquitoes. Because it typically occurs only during certain times, it is also considered a seasonal dog allergy.
We talk about flea and insect allergies, but in fact, your dog is actually allergic to one or more of the substances present in the saliva from these insects. Studies have shown that there are at least fifteen different antigens present in flea saliva that can trigger an allergic reaction in your dog.
When the flea, mosquito, or other insect bites your dog, the saliva is injected under your dog’s skin. This can cause an allergic reaction and the skin becomes itchy and inflamed. Itching usually begins immediately after being bitten and can last long after the fleas have been eliminated. And yes, dogs and mosquitoes can be a potential danger.
Some of the common symptoms of dog allergies from flea bites include:
- chasing the tail
Problems can occur if you leave a flea or insect allergy untreated. Your dog can really damage her skin. They usually chew and scratch at the irritated areas which can cause the hair to fall out and the skin to become dry and scaly. In some extreme cases, the dog chews and scratches so much, that the skin develops open sores which can become infected. Not good!
If your dog shows signs of a flea or insect allergy and you find fleas on your dog, then she is probably having an allergic reaction to the flea bites. An intradermal skin test can confirm if it is indeed an allergic reaction to flea saliva.
Getting rid of the fleas and controlling the fleas in your dog’s environment will usually take care of the problem. Preventing the flea bites in the first place is key for dogs with flea allergies.
Other Types of Dog Skin Allergies
Like humans, dogs can be allergic to almost anything they come in contact with. There are so many things that can cause skin irritation to develop. Your dog can be allergic to:
- dog sprays
- dog beds
- other pets
- …and the list could on.
If you think your dog might be allergic to something she comes in contact with, the best way to tell is to simply remove that item from your dog’s environment. Of course, it is not always that simple if you think she is allergic to the cat or to your other dog, but you get the point. Try to keep her away from the potential source for a period of time and see if her condition improves. If not, then it is probably not what you thought and you need to keep looking. Anyway, if this is something that has been bothering you, then check out our tips on skin allergy prevention.
Preventing Dog Skin Allergies
One of the best ways to prevent dog skin allergies is to make sure your dog’s skin and coat remain healthy. But maintaining healthy skin and coat is sometimes not enough. Learning about potential skin irritants and allergens can help you to be more aware of your dog’s environment and can help to prevent dog skin allergies from developing.
Dog Allergy Treatment Recipes
If your dog is suffering from the itching and scratching of dog skin allergies and other irritations, you may want to provide some relief with a homemade remedy. Below are couple homemade
Note: To be honest with you, I haven’t tried them on on my dog, but I thought I would share them with you anyway.
Recipes for Dog Flea Allergy
Here are a couple options if you’re interested in making your own natural flea repellant. This would be especially useful if your dog has an allergy to flea bites or other insect bites.
Homemade flea powder
Note: Use dried herbs for this recipe.
- 1 cup Wormwood
- 1 cup Fennel
- 1 cup Peppermint
- 1 cup Rosemary
- 1 cup Rue
- Mix all the ingredient together in a large bowl and grind. Make sure the mixture is ground into a fine powder, just as you would find in commercial flea powder.
- Sprinkle or shake the powder all over your dog as best as you can. One method that works really well is to buy a salt or pepper shaker, or a shaker that’s designed for powdered sugar.
- Give your dog a good coating of the powder and then massage it into the dog’s fur with your hands.
- It is best to do this outside since your dog will probably give a good shake when you are through and powder will go flying everywhere.
Pennyroyal flea powder
- 2 tbsp ground Rosemary
- 2 tbsp ground Wormwood
- 4 tbsp powdered Pennyroyal
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
Mix ingredients together.
- Dust this all over your dog and massage the powder into your dog’s fur with your hands. You can use gloves for the job, or make sure to carefully and thoroughly wash your hands after you do this.
- Don’t touch your face, or especially your eyes, after using this powder. Be sure to wash your hands as quickly as you can. Remember, the powder contains cayenne pepper. You don’t want to be washing this out of your eyes.
Natural flea wash
- 1 cup fresh or dried rosemary
- 4 cups water
- Boil the water.
- Add the rosemary to the boiled water. Cover the pot and steep it until it is cool, or at least for an hour. Strain out the rosemary.
- Give your dog a bath. If you used shampoo, be sure to rinse it all out.
- Pour the rosemary wash all over your dog and allow your dog to air dry. Don’t rinse it out or dry your dog in a way that would remove any of the wash from your dog’s fur. You want it to dry on your dog.
Hot spots treatment recipes
If your dog’s allergies are causing him to scratch and chew at certain areas creating hot spots, you might want a remedy to reduce the itching and discomfort.
Here are some homemade remedies to keep your dog’s skin cool and comfortable.
- Mix equal amounts of thyme oil and olive oil.
- Using a cotton ball, apply the oil all over your dog’s hot spots. Using this will not only make the dog’s skin feel better but will help to prevent future infections.
- You can keep the oil mixture up to a month in the refrigerator.
Dog skin tonic
- 4 tbsp Cod-liver oil
- 2 tbsp Garlic powder
- 2 cups vinegar
- 4 tbsp Bone-meal powder
- 5 tbsp Desiccated liver powder
- Mix all the ingredients together.
- Add 3 tablespoons of the mixture to your dog’s food daily.
- This helps to promote new hair growth and will keep your dog’s skin healthy and without irritation.
- Store in the refrigerator or it will go rancid.
So there you have it, a few homemade dog allergy recipes for you to try. If you have any recipes of your own that you have tried in the past, please feel free to share with us in the comments below. I would love to add your recipe to this page!
Shampoos And The Fleas
Dogs have allergies the same as humans do and this can be a problem when they are bathed with certain types of shampoos. You shouldn’t use human shampoos on a dog because they are not designed for this purpose and can be too concentrated and harsh for your pet’s sensitive skin. Caring for a dog’s skin is a part of a regular grooming regimen.
DOG SHAMPOO for sensitive skin
There are many brands of dog shampoo specifically designed for sensitive skin. Your veterinarian is a good source of information on what products work best. From our xperience, Hyla Derm shampoo is a good fit for many different types of skin sensitivity issues commonly present in dogs. It is very gentle, hypoallergenic, and it contains no soap. Additionally, it is a moisturizing product with fatty acid proteins that nourish the skin. The acid is pH balanced and it can be used on cats, too.
Using a shampoo to fight fleas
Shampoos that are used for flea control don’t usually do much unless the fleas can be totally removed from the dog’s environment, and most of the times this is a completely impossible. This is actually not quite right to say that flea shampoos don’t help in the situation; they just don’t alleviate the problem altogether.
Flea dips are of some help in the flea and tick battle, but many owners worry about the toxicity of the chemicals they contain. A dog that licks the coat after a dip can become sick. Some safer alternatives for flea control include:
- Adding brewer’s yeast or garlic tablets to the dog’s diet; there are products available that combine these two ingredients into a single tablet dietary supplement
- An herbal flea collar saturated with flea repelling herbal oils
- Homemade herbal flea powder
Drugs for fleas
It is becoming more popular to give dogs drugs for their flea problems because it is fast and requires less work on the owner’s part.
- Frontline is a popular product that kills a high percentage of the fleas without the dog having to ingest the product through the digestive system. It also kills fleas in four different stages. If it is used per directions, it works well in most cases. However, some fleas become immune to the effective ingredient.
- Capstar is a tablet that kills all the fleas on a dog within 24 hours, but it has no long lasting effects and fleas can hatch from the eggs left behind. Some dog owners are skeptical of the stated side effects, but presently the risks seem to be minor.
- Sentinel is a product that can prevent heartworms and the development of flea eggs. It requires a prescription from a veterinarian.
A combination of these treatments is the best defense against fleas, but during the height of the flea season, it is very difficult to keep a dog completely flea free. Flea control in dogs is an ongoing battle, and some treatment methods must be changed up occasionally as fleas build up tolerances to the products used.