Understanding Canine Skin Conditions

Just like with humans, dogs deal with skin conditions all the time. Redness, scratching and hair loss may signal a benign issue, or those symptoms may be a red flag that something major is going on. Consider the most common skin conditions your pooch may get.


Whether you have champion breed German shepherd puppies or a senior mutt you picked up from the shelter, your dog can get allergies. Some dogs are allergic to the corn, wheat and dairy that may be present in their food. Other canines are allergic to pollen, grass and certain plants. If your dog frequently scratches, especially to the point of damaging its skin, you may need to talk to a vet to see if your dog has allergies. 


You might go into the vet thinking your dog has allergies and find out that the constant scratching is because it has fleas. If you suspect your dog has fleas, look for “flea dirt” in its hair, which is actually flea feces. This “dirt” looks similar to pepper and will dissolve in water. Other signs may include seeing tiny bites about the size of a pinprick on your dog’s skin. These wounds are often in lines and clusters. 

Yeast Infections

Does your pup have itchy, smelly or crusty skin? It may be suffering from a yeast infection, which many dogs can get. This infection is relatively harmless, but it can still irritate your canine’s skin. If your dog shakes or tilts its head, it may have a yeast infection in its ear. Also, look for oily, red skin in the folds or wrinkles of your dog’s skin.


If you see flaky skin, your dog may have dandruff. This is a common condition that usually isn’t anything to worry about. Your vet can give you a shampoo to use and make sure the condition hasn’t been brought on by something more serious.