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Prone to Pruritus: 10 dog breeds with itchy skin

Pit Bull terrier itches skin

Dermatological issues are a primary concern of many dog owners. In fact, itching—often referred to as Pruritus—is one of the most common reasons pet parents seek veterinary care, according to the Merck Veterinary Manual. Pet parents know how difficult it can be to watch their dog itch incessantly. 

While all dogs are susceptible to Pruritus, some breeds are predisposed to itchy skin. It is important for pet parents to understand their dog’s genetic predispositions for Pruritus so they can address underlying issues and help their canine companion feel their best. Which dog breeds are prone to itchy skin? How can CBD + CBDA help these dogs find relief? 

Table of contents 

What is Pruritus? 

Pruritus refers to the sensation of skin itchiness, which is very prevalent in dogs, notes Merck. Itchy skin often appears as a symptom of a number of common skin disorders in dogs. If you notice your dog itching, either in one localized spot or all over their body, they are likely experiencing Pruritus. 

Signs of Pruritus 

A dog with Pruritus will excessively scratch, bite, or lick its skin. Itching may be general or confined to one area. 

  • Scratching 
  • Licking 
  • Chewing or biting 
  • Rubbing against surfaces 
  • Rolling on the ground or floor 

Persistent itching can lead to secondary, potentially more serious issues for your dog: 

  • Injury at the site of the itch 
  • Inflammation, swelling, or redness 
  • Changes in pigment of the skin (skin color usually darkens) 
  • Skin infection 
  • Signs of discomfort, such as vocalization or soreness 
  • Alopecia, or hair loss 

Incessant itching can easily cause more serious harm to your pet, emphasizes the Veterinary Information Network. This is why addressing Pruritus as soon as possible is so important to protecting your dog’s health. 

Causes of Pruritus 

The most common causes of itching in dogs are parasites, allergies, and infections like hot spots, according to VCA Animal Hospitals. Allergic reactions can be triggered by a variety of things, such as fleas, food, household allergens like dust mites, or seasonal environmental allergens like grass or trees. The Merck Veterinary Manual notes that your dog may also suffer occasionally from contact irritation from things like soap or perfumes. Hot spots are often caused by swimming, where the water is trapped in the fur, leading to a red and raw skin irritation. Shaving the area to keep it dry can help significantly. Take note of when your dog appears to get itchy to identify potential causes of their Pruritus. 

Breeds predisposed to itchy skin 

Some dog breeds are more likely to suffer from itchy skin than others. According to the Veterinary Information Network, some of these breeds include: 

  1. Boxers – These medium-to-large, short-haired dogs are prone to yeast infections that can cause itching and irritation. 
  2. Bulldogs – American, English, and French bulldogs are all susceptible to developing irritation and bacterial infections in the many folds of their skin. Their wrinkles should be cleaned and monitored regularly to avoid itching.
  3. Cocker Spaniels – These dogs are prone to itchy skin due to environmental allergies, particularly ears and ear infections which may be related to allergy and ear anatomy. 
  4. Dalmatians – These spotted dogs often have environmental allergies that cause incessant itching. Owners of dalmatians commonly see a bronzing of their dog’s skin, which is caused by inflammation of their hair follicles.
  5. Poodles – Poodles are known to suffer from allergies that make them itchy. Because these dogs are a popular choice for crossbreeding, itchy skin is also common in poodle hybrids like Goldendoodles and Labradoodles, among others.
  6. Pugs – Much like bulldogs, pugs often suffer from irritation and bacterial infections in the folds of their skin. These wrinkles can be itchy and lead to more serious issues if left unaddressed.
  7. Retrievers – Golden and Labrador Retrievers often suffer from itchy skin caused by both environmental and food allergens. These breeds are also susceptible to hot spots as they are water-loving breeds in some cases.
  8. Setters – Setters, both English and Irish varieties, are prone to allergies that often manifest in itchy skin. 
  9. Shih Tzus – Allergies are common in these small dogs.
  10. Terriers – Many varieties of terriers, including West Highland White terriers, Scottish terriers, Boston terriers, and Pit Bull terriers often have environmental allergies that lead to Pruritus.  

Honorable mentions 

While not as prevalent as in the dog breeds listed above, Pruritus is also fairly common in Beagles, German Shepherds, Lhasa Apsos, and Schnauzers. Hereditary skin problems are also common in hybrids and mixed breed dogs, notes Merck. Owners of these dogs should be aware of their predisposition for itchy skin so they can care for their dog’s skin health properly. Any breed of dog can become itchy for a wide variety of reasons, so if you see your dog itching regularly, it may be time to call the vet. 

What should you do about your dog’s Pruritus? 

First, it is important to always consult your veterinarian if your dog is showing signs of Pruritus. Because itching can be a symptom of underlying issues, your veterinarian will be able to rule out, identify, and help you address underlying causes of itchy skin. 

Dogs with skin issues or allergies that result in dry, itchy skin typically require more frequent bathing. Regular baths can go a long way towards removing environmental allergens and reducing bacteria and yeast. The appropriate shampoo should be used as over bathing can cause dry skin and cause even more itching.  An oatmeal shampoo or a shampoo specific for sensitive skin is best and your veterinarian can steer you in the right direction. Appropriate grooming, with the right frequency and tools, can also help support your dog’s skin health. Consult your veterinarian and a professional groomer about your dog’s individual needs. 

How can ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA help your itchy dog? 

ElleVet Products

ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA is proven effective in providing dogs support for itchy skin. ElleVet conducted a groundbreaking study in 2020 investigating the efficacy of our CBD + CBDA  on dogs with Pruritus. Results showed that over 65% of dogs enrolled in the study, who had not responded to other commonly used products, had a significant improvement in skin itchiness after using ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA.  These results are extraordinary and a huge win for itchy dogs everywhere! 

If you notice your dog excessively itching, ElleVet’s CBD + CBDA products can address this irritation and discomfort and provide needed relief, greatly improving their quality of life.  

Bottom line 

Itching can be extremely uncomfortable for dogs, difficult for owners to watch, and can lead to more serious health issues. Pruritus is a very common issue for dogs, and the top reason for veterinary visits. Understanding your dog’s predispositions for itchy skin and being able to address your dog’s skin issues as soon as possible is essential for keeping your pup happy and healthy. ElleVet is here to help! 

Any health or medical information in ElleVet blogs is from a variety of public and reputable sources. This information is intended as an educational resource only and is not a substitute for expert professional care.  

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