dog-itchy-rash-on-belly

Dog Itchy Rash on Belly – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

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Dog itchy rash on the belly area could be caused by food or environmental allergies, parasites like fleas or ticks, nutritional deficiencies, yeast or bacterial infections, or dry skin. Poodle mix breeds such as Cavoodles and Groodles are particularly prone to allergies. This guide also discusses the important role grooming plays in the prevention of skin irritation in oodles.

So which itch is it? Why is your dog constantly licking, chewing, or scratching its belly? And, most importantly, what can you do to relieve it?

This guide answers all these questions and more.

Why Does My Dog Have A rash on Its Lower Belly?

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Here are some of the common causes of a rash on a dog’s belly:

Parasites

Parasites, both internal and external, can result in itchy skin and rashes in dogs. Examine your pet for fleas, ticks, mites, or mange. If you notice these, please use appropriate parasite control as recommended by your vet. Internal parasites (roundworm, pinworm, etc.) could also cause skin issues. Deworm your dog regularly to prevent these.

Food or Environmental Allergies

Itchy rashes on the dog’s stomach, face, and paws are one of the most common symptoms of food or environmental allergies. In addition to a rash on the belly, your pet might also have pimples, redness, scabbing, and dark or thick skin due to the food/environmental allergens.

Your vet might order some tests to determine the cause of the allergy. You may also want to make dietary changes. Food allergens in dogs usually include proteins and grains although commercial dog foods with preservatives, synthetic flavours, and dyes can also be the culprits. Many dog owners of poodle mixes that are prone to allergies such as cavoodles, moodles, bichoodles, poodles and groodles find that when they change their dog over to a raw food diet, the allergies resolve.

Environmental allergens include:

  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Grass or poison ivy
  • Insecticides used on tick collars, sprays, dips, spot treatments, and shampoos
  • Pesticides and fertilizers
  • Cat litter
  • Dishwashing and fabric detergents
  • Household cleaners and disinfectants
  • Home furnishings
  • Soaps and shampoos
  • Lanolin
  • Petroleum derived products
  • Pet toys or food/water bowls made from plastic or rubber
  • Cement

Stopping the use of these agents can help prevent itching in your pet. For more information about food and environmental allergies read our dog allergy guide.

Dog itchy rash on belly – Skin Infections

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The following skin issues result in belly rashes in dogs:

Dermatitis

Canine atopic dermatitis is a complex disease and affected dogs sometimes need lifelong treatment to manage the symptoms.

Dogs with dermatitis are itchy all the time. They may rub their bellies on the ground and could suffer from red, inflamed skin, hair loss, blisters, and greasy/flaky skin. Some dogs with dermatitis constantly chew their paws. Dermatitis can also lead to secondary skin infections that need antibiotics and steroids to treat.

Ringworm

Ringworm in dogs results in red, raised, flaky, itchy lesions on the dog’s belly and other parts of the body. These lesions are mostly circular and look like a “worm under the dog’s skin” – hence the name ringworm. In reality, ringworm is caused by a fungus.

Since ringworm is contagious and can spread to humans and other pets, you need to isolate your dog. It is important to wash its bedding, toys, etc to prevent the infection from spreading. 

Candidiasis

Candidiasis results in itchy sores all over the dog’s skin. These may be red and inflamed and are often accompanied by a foul odour. Your pet will need oral and topical medicines to treat candidiasis.

Underlying Health Issues

Cancer, hormonal imbalance, genetic issues, thyroid-related issues, etc. can also result in an itchy belly in dogs. Your vet may ask for some blood tests to rule out these issues.

How Do You Treat an Itchy Rash on a Dog’s Belly?

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As a first line of treatment, use the following home remedies to get rid of an itchy rash on your dog’s stomach:

Bathe Your Pet

Use a mild, vet-approved shampoo to bathe your dog. Bathing can eliminate parasites (ticks, fleas, mange, mites) as well as allergens like mould, dust mites, pollen, etc. from your dog’s skin. Look for shampoos containing aloe vera, chamomile, lavender, rosemary, etc. For fleas and ticks, use appropriate shampoo with insecticides like pyrethrins. 

If your dog has specific skin issues such as a fungal infection (ringworm) or scabies, your vet can recommend a special medicinal shampoo or dip to get rid of it. You need to repeat the bath a couple of times a month to prevent the rash from coming back. 

Use Oatmeal or Epsom Salts in The Bath Water

You can also mix colloidal oatmeal or Epsom salts with the bathwater to soothe your dog’s itchy belly. Allow your pet to soak in these for at least 10 minutes before rinsing. 

Rinse With Apple Cider Vinegar

Add a teaspoon of organic, raw apple cider vinegar to your pet’s bath water and use it as a final rinse. This will eliminate bacterial and fungal skin issues and also soothe itchy skin quickly.

Get Rid of Fleas

After bathing your dog, dry it thoroughly. Once it is dry, use a spot-on, flea collar, or flea sprays, or administer oral flea medicine to your dog to prevent new fleas and ticks. These days, oral medicines like Bravecto offer long-lasting protection against fleas and ticks for up to 6-8 months. Always consult your vet before using any flea medicine.

Grooming

If you have a dog with a long, thick coat like a poodle mix breed; sometimes bathing them, blow drying and clipping their itchy belly, will help to improve the airflow and stop the scratching.

Administer Antihistamines

For itchy rashes caused by allergies, your vet might recommend antihistamine medicines (Polaramine, or Zyrtec for example). Note that these only treat the symptoms and not their root cause. For antihistamine dosages, contact your veterinarian.

Use Topical Itch-Relief Remedies

Itch-relieving sprays and skin balms can help relieve severe itching on your dog’s belly. Most of these products contain cortisone or natural ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile, lavender, vitamin E, calendula, or castor oil. 

You can also apply pure aloe gel from the aloe vera leaf to relieve itchy skin. If your pet has dry and itchy skin, apply some coconut oil on its belly to soothe it. Coconut oil is natural and safe even if your pet licks it.

Dog itchy rash on belly – Dietary Changes

In case of food allergies, your vet may recommend switching to another dog food or home-cooked food. You could even try a novel protein such as rabbit, kangaroo, duck, or emu meat to relieve canine food allergies.

Feed Probiotics

Your pet needs probiotic-rich food like yogurt to balance its gut flora and reduce bacterial infections that result in skin rashes. Your vet might recommend probiotic supplements to mix with the dog food.

Supplement with Omega Essential Fatty Acids

Dry, itchy skin can also result from diets lacking in essential fatty acids. Feed your dog omega essential fatty acid supplements (fish oil) to moisturise its dry skin from within.

Alternative Therapeutic Treatments

Traditional Chinese medicine treatments encompass approaching the treatment of allergies from a whole dog perspective. These methods often have fewer side effects and involve optimising nutrition, acupuncture and phytotherapy to stop itchy rashes on a dog’s belly at the source; by treating the immune system.

FAQs – Dog Itchy Rash on Belly

What can you put on a dog’s itchy belly?

In addition to making dietary changes in your pet’s food, you can apply aloe gel, coconut oil, diluted apple cider vinegar, chamomile spray, etc. to soothe your dog’s itchy belly.

What is the best itch relief for dogs?

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Zymox anti-itch spray and Dermoscent Essential are some good anti-itch products for a dog’s itchy belly.

Can I use coconut oil on my itchy dog?

Yes, coconut oil is a great remedy for itchy and dry skin in dogs. It is also safe for young puppies as, being completely natural, it is okay if your pet licks it.

Will dog rash go away on its own?

Most rashes in dogs go away on their own but if the rash persists or is causing your dog pain, please see the vet right away.

Conclusion – dog itchy rash on belly

dog-allergies

Itchy rashes on a dog’s belly can be a sign of an allergy or parasites such as fungus or bacteria. Changing your dog’s diet from grain-based dry foods to a quality raw food diet, can transform their immune system and resolve allergies. Allergy testing can be helpful to find out what your dog is allergic to.

Some poodle mix breeds are prone to allergies, presenting as an itchy rash on the belly and or itchy ears. Teddy bear-coated breeds like Cavoodles, Groodles and other Oodles require regular grooming to ensure adequate airflow to the skin. If you have tried changing your dog’s diet and had a vet check to rule out parasitic or bacterial infections, consider contacting a dog behaviourist to determine whether your dog’s mental and physical needs are being met. Studies have identified a link between stress and allergies in dogs.

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