How To Help A Dog With Allergic Dermatitis

Allergies can make humans sneeze, but they affect dogs differently, causing an itchy condition known as allergic dermatitis. Our vets at Vancouver will help you understand this skin problem, its symptoms, and treatment options.

About Allergic Dermatitis 

Allergic dermatitis, commonly known as "hot spots," is a frequent skin problem in dogs and cats. This condition, also referred to as atopic dermatitis, damages their skin, leading to symptoms such as inflammation, redness, dryness, itchiness, and bumps.

In simple terms, atopic dermatitis is an allergy-induced skin issue in our pets. They may develop this allergy by breathing in certain substances like pollen or dust, or by eating something they're allergic to. Unlike humans, who often sneeze when they have an allergy, dogs and cats tend to itch and scratch. They might also bite or lick their skin. 

Pets with this condition are more likely to get secondary skin infections, ear infections, and yeast infections. Their skin might also be quite sensitive. Furthermore, issues like skin infections or fleas can worsen their allergy, leading to more severe outbreaks, even in previously controlled cases. 

If you notice these symptoms in your pet, please get in touch with your vets at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital for advice.


  • Rubbing their body on the ground or against furniture, for example.
  • Licking themselves
  • Chewing/ Biting themselves
  • Scratch at their feet, flanks, ears, armpits, or groin, causing patchy or inconsistent hair loss and reddening and thickening of the skin.
  • Depending on the dog, the skin may be dry, crusty, or oily. 
  • Dogs may also rub their face on the carpet; ear flaps may become red and hot. Because the wax-producing glands of the ear overproduce as a response to the allergy, they get bacterial and yeast (Malassezia ) infections of the ear.


Several treatment choices exist for allergic dermatitis:

Medication: Allergic (Atopic) dermatitis due to food reactions can be cured, but those due to airborne substances cannot but can be controlled with medication in most cases. Some types of steroids are used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis. They are very effective anti-inflammatory, anti-itch medications. Antifungal medications are also used to treat this because they help with yeast infections. Antihistamines are another medication used to treat allergic dermatitis just like they are used for humans.

Medicated Baths: Medicated shampoos have compounds in them that are aimed at soothing injured skin and calming inflammation

Flea Control: A flea control regime must be maintained for dogs or cats with this problem.

Supplements: The Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acid supplements work by improving the skin's overall health. These fatty acids are a natural anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative agents.

Environmental Control: If you know what is causing your pet allergic dermatitis, avoiding it altogether is best for your dog or cat.

If you believe your dog or cat has allergic dermatitis, reach out to our vets at Mountain View Veterinary Hospital today. We can discuss various treatment possibilities.