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Dermatitis in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

It’s common for dogs to scratch an itch with their paws. They also like being petted and lightly scratched by their human friends every chance they get. However, if your dog is excessively itchy, it may be due to an underlying skin condition called dermatitis.

Dog dermatitis is broadly characterized as any inflammatory skin condition that may affect a dog. This skin condition can happen for various reasons, such as allergies, infections, and illnesses. It can affect dogs of any age and breed, resulting in long-term skin conditions if left untreated.

The best way to deal with dermatitis is to begin treatment at its first sign. Here’s everything you need to know about this condition to stay on top of it and ensure it doesn’t get worse.


Dermatitis has many underlying causes. The treatment of the condition depends on the root cause of the problem, so it’s important to categorize the condition correctly before beginning treatment. Here are the different sub-categories of dermatitis and what causes them.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is caused by allergens that may be present in food or the environment. This hypersensitivity to specific materials can result in itchy lesions. If the dog keeps itching these lesions, it may also get secondary lesions that can aggravate the situation further.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is persistent and chronic pruritus that can result in lesions in the dog’s front limbs, abdomen, shoulders, face, and ears. This condition also causes painful lesions or excessive redness.

Parasitic Dermatitis

As the name suggests, parasitic dermatitis is caused by parasites such as tick or flea that lives on the dog’s skin. It can result in persistent itchiness that can be eliminated by getting rid of the parasite.

Acral Lick Dermatitis

This condition happens when the dogs lick their skin excessively. This can cause lesions on the dog’s skin, and it’s difficult to treat as a complete behavioral change is required. It can happen due to neurological disorders, allergies, infections, and parasitic diseases.

Pyotraumatic Dermatitis

This condition causes big, pus-filled lesions on the skin as the dog’s exterior layer of skin and hair follicles get infected. This can be a simple one-off condition or a complex one that requires extra care. It’s usually caused by bacterial and fungal infections.

Malassezia Dermatitis

Malassezia dermatitis is caused by a yeast infection which can result in a foul odor, crusty skin, scales, hair loss, and inflammation.

A dog getting a soothing bath


Here are some of the most common symptoms of dermatitis that you should be on the lookout for:

  • Lesions
  • Itching
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Dandruff
  • Hair loss
  • Body odor


The treatment for dog dermatitis should begin at the first sign. In most cases, topical medication is enough to treat the condition’s underlying cause. You can easily get over-the-counter ointments for allergies and rashes that will provide relief to your dog and treat the problem.

Gou Gou Pets offers a wide range of pet care products online, including dermatitis medicine, essential oils, pet shampoos, anti-inflammatory shampoo, and more. We have a holistic approach to pet care that will keep your precious pet safe from dermatitis symptoms.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our pet care products.