Common dog skin problems explained

Common dog skin problems explained

We all know what it’s like to have itchy skin. Irritating and uncomfortable, skin conditions can make life a misery for us, so just think what it’s like for our beloved pets.

Here we’re going to find out about some of the most common skin conditions that can affect our four-legged friends and learn about how we can help alleviate some of the symptoms.

Unfortunately, our puppy pals can’t tell us how they’re feeling so it’s up to us to protect them as best we can.

Finding the right dog insurance is easy at Go Get It. We can help you run a pet insurance comparison to find the level of cover that suits your pup and your pocket!


What can trigger a skin condition?

Skin conditions are common in dogs and, thankfully, highly treatable if you catch them early on. They can range from mild to severe and flare up more at certain times of the year.

Summer, for example, might spark allergies in your dog, which could, in turn, lead to itching and sores on their skin.

As the Animal Trust explains, parasites, bacterial skin infections and allergies triggered by the environment are the most common type of dog skin conditions.

A dog on a vet's table being inspected

How can I tell my dog has a skin infection?

As dog lovers, we all know that our pups like to have a good scratch now and again! But prolonged periods of itching or licking their skin could be an underlying sign that something is wrong.

You may notice that your pup displays this scratching behaviour after certain meals, after you’ve used certain cleaning products or after you’ve walked through a certain field in the summertime.

Any of these things could be triggering an allergic reaction in your dog, so make a note of when it happens and give your vet as much information as you can.

Look at your dog’s skin – it may be painful to touch, so try to keep your dog as calm as possible.

If you can see any of the following, it’s best to consult a vet so they can make a proper diagnosis:

  • Dryness, crusting or scaling
  • Soreness
  • Lumps or bumps
  • Redness or rashes
  • Areas that are inflamed or hot to the touch
  • Black or white spots
  • Patches of hair loss
  • Dandruff


What are the most common dog skin conditions?



Most dog food allergies stem from the protein they consume in things like beef, chicken or diary. Vegetables and wheat can also cause allergic reactions but slightly less so.

If your dog as a food allergy, it might have vomiting and diarrhoea alongside the itching. A vet will probably put your pup on a controlled diet for a few weeks to try to determine the cause of the allergy.

Try our pet insurance comparison to make sure you have the right level of cover in place to protect your pooch.

A dog receiving a treat from its owner


From house dust mites to hay fever, there are many allergens in your dog’s everyday environment that could irritate a skin condition.

Blue Cross says that allergies like this usually show themselves when the dog is between six months and three years old.


Mites, fleas and ticks

Parasite allergies can be particularly nasty for dogs. Fleas, for example, bite and suck the blood of our beloved pooches.

Their saliva gets under the skin and causes huge amounts of irritation and lead to itchy, inflamed patches. If you see your dog nibbling at its fur, it might have fallen victim to parasites.

Regularly flea treatments ­– for both your dog and your home – will help.



Mange, otherwise known as canine scabies, affects the face, legs and ears. The tiny mites cause itchy, red skin and hair loss in more severe cases.



If you’ve just bought a new pup, watch out for impetigo, a bacterial infection. It comes from the staphylococcus strain and is sometimes referred to as a ‘staph infection’.

It causes horrible fluid-filled blisters to appear on your pup’s face, groin and legs, which may pop or become crusty. If they do pop, they will be very sore and uncomfortable.

Impetigo is also highly contagious so infected animals need to be kept away from other pups in the house.

You may need antibiotics to get rid of this infection so it’s always a good idea to have the right pet insurance in place. Run a quick pet insurance comparison today.



This is a condition that inflames the hair follicle itself, leading to painful sores and scabs on your dog’s skin.

It might be harder to spot in long-haired breeds so make sure you give your pup a regular inspection. The vet may give you antibiotics if shampoo treatments don’t work.


Which breeds are most prone to skin conditions?

A boxer laying down looking sad

While allergies can affect any dog at any stage of their life, there are some breeds who are more likely to suffer from skin conditions. Purina lists these as:




English Setters

Labrador Retrievers

Golden Retrievers

West Highland White Terriers

Lhasa Apsos

Wire-haired Fox Terriers



Some skin allergies in dogs are inherited – Terriers are particularly predisposed to skin conditions, so make sure you have the right level of cover in place if you’re thinking of welcoming one into your home.

Run a pet insurance comparison at Go Get It today.


Protect your pooch

If you have a pup that’s prone to skin problems, you might be visiting the vet more than normal. That’s where pet insurance can come in handy.

Did you know that Go Get It is the UK’s only dedicated pet insurance comparison website?

We understand that finding pet insurance shouldn’t be a hassle – that’s why we’ve made the process as simple as possible.

Save time and money by running a pet insurance comparison at Go Get It, and your beloved pup will be protected in a flash!

Remember, Go Get It can find you policies which can include:

  • No upper age limit
  • Cover for puppies and kittens from 8 weeks old
  • Emergency boarding

Why not run a quick pet insurance comparison today and see how much you could save?

Get a quote today.

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