What to Do if Your Dog Has Irritated Skin

Dogs are great. It’s true that they’re ornery, stubborn, and mischievous at times. But there’s no denying that they’re loving, loyal, and make us laugh out loud on a regular basis. As dog owners, we want to be the best pet parents we can be by taking the best care of our furry friends (and having lots of fun adventures together!). However, dogs have their fair share of health problems just like humans do—and itchy skin is one of them.

Pets are prone to seasonal allergies and other skin disorders much like humans are; it’s important for pet owners to know how to effectively treat their pooch if he has irritated skin. If you think your dog might be suffering from an irritated rash or another type of allergic reaction on his skin, take action quickly as this could lead to more serious medical issues down the road. Here’s what you need to know about caring for your dog if he has irritated skin:

If your dog has irritated skin, you may be able to safely treat him at home.

If your dog has irritated skin, you may be able to safely treat him at home. But if the problem persists or causes excessive discomfort for your furry friend, you should see a vet.

It can be difficult to identify what is causing the irritation and how best to treat it. However, there are some telltale signs that will help you make an informed decision about whether or not to take your dog in for professional treatment:

  • Look at the wounds closely and check for signs of infection (such as swelling). If there are signs of redness or pus drainage, go straight to the vet’s office! They need antibiotics immediately if they have an open wound.
  • Look for other areas of the body where something might be causing irritation; if there is one area that seems particularly bad but doesn’t seem like anything on its own could cause such intense itching (like underarms), then take note of this fact when discussing treatment options with a doctor before making any decisions.
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Take a look at the dog’s irritated skin and try to identify what might be causing the problem.

Once you’ve identified the cause of your dog’s irritated skin, it’s time to treat it. But first, take a look at the dog’s irritated skin and try to identify what might be causing the problem. Here are some common causes that you should consider:

  • Infection: If the irritation is accompanied by redness, swelling, heat or pus then it’s possible that your dog has an infection in his skin (or elsewhere). Infections usually require antibiotics from your veterinarian so if this is suspected then don’t wait too long before taking him in for treatment!
  • Allergies: In some cases dogs will develop allergies after being exposed to certain irritants like molds or pollen in the air—especially if they’ve already had a history of allergies beforehand (like with food sensitivities).

You can try bathing the dog yourself until you can get to the vet for a professional bath.

You can try bathing the dog yourself until you can get to the vet for a professional bath.

  • Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner, or an oatmeal or medicated dog shampoo designed for irritated skin.
  • Rinse well and follow up with a medicated rinse that is made for itchy skin, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or chlorhexidine gluconate, which helps prevent bacteria from causing inflammation in the skin.

Use a soap or medicated shampoo that is designed for dogs with irritated skin (what is appropriate will depend on the cause of irritation).

If you’ve identified that your dog has irritated skin, it’s time to get out the medicated shampoo. This can be a little tricky because there are quite a few different kinds of shampoos and soaps out there. Make sure you use one that is designed for dogs with irritated skin. They work best at restoring moisture and helping to treat irritation caused by allergies or other irritants.

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If your dog has dry skin, consider adding an oatmeal-based shampoo into the mix as well—many brands sell special blends designed just for this purpose!

If your dog has hot spots, cut out the matted hair so that air can reach the wound.

If your dog has hot spots, cut out the matted hair so that air can reach the wound.

First, you will need to trim away any dead skin and fur around the hot spot. The best tools for this are a pair of scissors or a clipper blade with a sharp edge (ideally, one that has been disinfected). You should be careful not to cut into healthy skin while trimming away dead tissue.

Next, clean out any dirt or debris in and around the wound using warm water and soap or an antiseptic solution like Betadine (povidone iodine). After patting dry with a towel or paper towel (never use cotton balls as they may stick in your dog’s fur), apply an antibiotic cream such as Neosporin over the entire area where hair has been removed from around the hot spot.

Apply an ointment or antibiotic cream (only if recommended by your vet) to hot spots.

If your dog is experiencing an allergic reaction, you can apply an ointment or antibiotic cream to hot spots. If your vet recommends this treatment for an allergic reaction, make sure that the product is approved for use on dogs.

Conclusion

Often, skin irritation can be easily cured with a bath and some anti-itch cream. You’ll want to brush your dog regularly so that any problems don’t get worse and if he has hot spots, you’ll need to cut out the matted hair so the wound can heal. If these do not work, then it’s time for a visit with the vet!