curly-coated retriever skin allergies

Curly-Coated Retriever Skin Allergies: What You Need to Know

Do you want to know more about curly-coated retriever skin allergies? Like humans, dogs, too, are prone to health issues. One common problem among curly-coated retrievers is skin allergies.

I never thought much about it until my pup started scratching like mad. Since these dogs have such beautiful, curly fur, it also means they are prone to skin issues like hot spots and dermatitis. It can be frustrating and uncomfortable for them, so as an owner, I have to be on top of things when it comes to their skincare.

After some research, I’ve learned a lot about managing it, and I’m happy to share what I’ve found with fellow curly-coated retriever parents. So in this article, I’ll explain what you need to know about curly-coated retrievers skin allergies.

Understanding the Symptoms of Curly-Coated Retriever Skin Allergies

curly-coated retriever skin allergies

So what are the signs and symptoms of allergic reactions in curly-coated retrievers? I will go over the most common ones here.

1: Biting and Scratching Their Skin or Coat

If you notice your Curly-Coated Retriever biting and scratching their skin or coat excessively, it could be a warning sign that something is wrong. Allergies are one of the primary causes of this behavior. This symptom can be irritating and painful for your dog, leading to hair loss or skin infections. If you observe these signs, take a closer look at their skin, and see if you notice any redness or inflammation.

2: Infected, Inflamed, Red Skin

Another tip-off that your Curly-Coated Retriever could have skin allergies is inflamed, red, or itchy skin. This sign of allergy can come in different forms, including hot spots, rashes, or pimples. Different things, including food, pollen, or flea bites, can cause allergies. If your dog breeds are experiencing the above, consult your vet for advice on the best course of action.

3: Excessive Shedding

If you’ve been a pet owner for a while, you know that shedding is a natural process for most dogs. However, if you notice an increase in hair loss, it could be more than harmless shedding. Curly-Coated Retrievers have a unique coat that can hide hair loss and make it harder for pet owners to spot skin allergies. In order to help prevent excessive curly-coated retriever shedding, brush your dog’s coat regularly and look for any issues causing or exacerbating their skin allergies.

4: Skin Discoloration and Foul Odor

Discoloration of the skin and coat and a foul odor indicate possible skin allergies in Curly-Coated Retrievers. Yeast and bacterial infections can cause both issues, leading to red or brown staining. If you are dealing with a smelly dog, note that it can be embarrassing and uncomfortable for you and your pet. Furthermore, keep your dog’s fur dry and ventilated, as dampness can lead to further skin irritation.

5: Compulsive Paw Licking

Have you ever noticed your curly-coated retriever licking its paws more often than usual? This could be a sign of skin allergies. Skin allergies can cause itchiness, and since paw pads have fewer follicles, they may become a focal point of your dog’s itchiness. This behavior can also lead to foot sores and infections. If you notice that your dog always tends to lick or chew on their paws, take note and schedule a vet checkup.

6: Persistent Ear Infections

Ear infections in curly-coated retrievers can be a result of skin allergies. Skin allergies can produce excess wax in your dog’s ear, providing an ideal environment for bacterial growth. If you notice that your dog is constantly shaking their head, scratching, or rubbing their ears, it could indicate skin allergies causing ear infections. A veterinarian will examine the ear before determining the leading cause of the infections.

7: Boot Scoots

If you have been noticing your dog dragging its behind on the ground, this could be a sign of anal itching, which can occur due to skin allergies. Anal itching may be caused by food allergies, insect bites, or fleas, but skin allergies tend to affect the dog’s skin. If the scooting persists or increases, have a veterinarian take a look to determine the root cause.

8: Redness and Rashes

In addition to itchy paws, ears, or anus, skin allergies in curly-coated retrievers can cause inflammation and redness around their mouth, nose, and groin. Rashes may develop, and, in some cases, the skin can become flaky and scaly. If you find your dog scratching, or chewing their skin continuously, schedule a vet checkup so that they can recommend the best course of treatment.

9: Hair Loss

Skin allergies in curly coated retrievers can also cause hair loss, they can scratch or pull their hair out, and the hair can become brittle and break easily, leading to bald scorched patches. If you notice excessive shedding, hair loss, or pattern baldness (especially around the ears and tail), take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

10: Vomiting and Diarrhea

Lastly, skin allergies in curly-coated retrievers can also cause digestive issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. Allergies can disrupt the natural balance of your dog’s gut bacteria, leading to an upset stomach. If your dog has problems eating or digesting food, schedule a doctor’s appointment immediately.

These are the signs and symptoms to look out for if you suspect your Curly-Coated Retriever has skin allergies.

Identifying the Causes of Skin Allergies in Curly-Coated Retrievers

curly-coated retriever skin allergies

Now that you know the symptoms, It is crucial to identify the root cause of these allergies to give your furry friend some much-needed relief. So, let’s dive into the causes of skin allergies in curly-coated retrievers.

☛Food Allergies:

Dogs may be allergic to a particular protein source, such as chicken, beef, or grains. To identify food allergies, you may need to switch your pet’s diet to an elimination diet, which means your pet will only eat a novel protein source. Talk to your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your furry friend.

Environmental Allergies:

Another cause of skin allergies could be environmental allergens such as dust mites, pollen, and grass. These allergens can cause your pet’s immune system to overreact, leading to skin irritation. Environmental allergies can be difficult to identify and treat. Your veterinarian may recommend allergy testing to identify the allergens specifically affecting your pet.

☛Contact Allergies:

Curly-Coated Retrievers may develop skin allergies from contact with different materials such as plastic, rubber, or cleaning agents. Your pet’s skin may become red and itchy or have a rash where it had contact. You should try to avoid exposing your pets to potential irritants by using hypoallergenic items whenever possible.


Mites, fleas, and ticks are common parasites that can cause skin irritation in curly-coated retrievers. These parasites can trigger allergies and cause your dog to scratch itself frequently. You may notice hair loss or redness patches on your pet’s skin. To control parasites, use an appropriate treatment such as a flea collar, topical medication, or medication from your veterinarian.


Unfortunately, sometimes skin allergies may be caused by a genetic predisposition. Some breeds, including the Curly-Coated Retriever, are more prone to allergies than others. The best way to prevent the development of skin allergies is to work with a reputable breeder and ensure they’re breeding healthy dogs with no genetic predisposition.

These are the common causes of skin allergies in curly-coated retrievers. If you suspect your pet is reacting to one of these allergens, consult your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Treating Skin Allergies in Curly-Coated Retrievers

It is important to treat skin allergies in curly-coated retrievers as soon as you can to prevent the condition from becoming worse. It is best to start with an accurate diagnosis, so your veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate treatment plan.

✔️Identify the Allergen:

Allergens include food, pollen, dust mites, and flea bites. The best way to identify the allergen is to conduct an allergy test. However, allergy tests can be costly, and it’s not always necessary. You can identify the allergen by observing your curly-coated retriever and noting any changes in their behavior.

✔️Change their Diet:

If you suspect the allergy is food-related, changing their diet can help. Switch to a high-quality grain-free diet that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3 fatty acids help reduce inflammation in the skin. You can also add supplements like fish oil to their diet.

✔️Keep their Skin Clean:

Curly-coated retrievers have a thick coat that can trap pollen, dust, and other allergens. Therefore, it’s essential to keep their skin clean. Bathing them at least once weekly with a hypoallergenic shampoo can help reduce skin irritation. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to remove all the shampoo residue.

✔️Manage Fleas:

Flea bites are common triggers for skin allergies in dogs. Therefore, it’s essential to use flea prevention and manage flea infestations. Use flea treatments like spot-on treatments, collars, and oral tablets. Regular grooming can also help reduce flea infestations. Moreover, choose the right shampoo and conditioner. A shampoo and conditioner that suits your dog’s skin and coat type can go a long way in preventing skin allergies.

When buying shampoo and conditioner, check the ingredients list and pick one free from harsh chemicals and fragrances. Natural and organic ingredients like aloe vera, oatmeal, and coconut oil can soothe your dog’s skin and prevent allergies. Also, don’t over-bathe your dog; it can dry out their skin and strip away natural oils.


Your veterinarian may prescribe medications such as antihistamines, corticosteroids, and fatty acid supplements to control the inflammation and itching associated with skin allergies.

Treating skin allergies in curly-coated retrievers requires patience, commitment, and proper care.

Home Remedies for Skin Allergies

You can use some effective home remedies that can help manage skin allergies in curly-coated retrievers. Here are some of the home remedies that you can try:

✔Chamomile and Green Tea Soaks

Both chamomile and green tea are packed with anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe irritated skin and reduce swelling. In order to make the soak, simply brew a cup of chamomile and green tea each and mix them in a bowl of lukewarm water. Soak a cloth or cotton balls in the mixture and apply it gently on the affected areas.

✔Colloidal Oatmeal Baths

Colloidal oatmeal is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties. To make the bath, grind some oats into a fine powder and mix it with lukewarm water in a bathtub. Soak your dog in the oatmeal bath for around 15 minutes and rinse them thoroughly afterward. You can do this once or twice a week to keep your furry friend’s skin healthy and itch-free.

✔Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a great remedy for pet-related issues, including skin allergies. It possesses antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiseptic properties that help treat bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections in your dog’s skin. To use apple cider vinegar, mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and apply it over the affected areas. You can also add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to your dog’s drinking water daily to keep their skin healthy and prevent future allergies.

✔Fish Oil

Many studies have shown that adding fish oil to your dog’s diet can help reduce inflammation and itching caused by allergies. Fish oil contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and coat. We started giving our furry friend a small amount of fish oil daily, and within a few weeks, we noticed a significant improvement in his skin’s general health.

✔Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has been long used for its soothing and healing properties in treating various skin ailments in humans. But did you know that it also works wonders for dogs? Aloe vera can help calm down itchy and inflamed skin and promote healing. We used aloe vera gel topically on our dog’s affected areas, and he was immediately relieved from the itching and redness.

✔Baking Soda

Baking soda is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent that can help alleviate dog skin allergies. Mix baking soda with water to create a paste and apply it to the affected areas. It will help soothe the itching and reduce redness. This remedy is highly effective in treating our dog’s skin allergies and is easy to make at home.

✔Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce skin inflammation and promote healing. You’ll find vitamin E supplements for dogs in the market, or you can add vitamin E-rich foods such as spinach, almonds, and sunflower seeds to your dog’s diet. We started giving our furry friend vitamin E supplements, and his skin health improved drastically within a few weeks.


Oatmeal can help relieve itching and soothe inflamed skin in dogs. Grind plain oatmeal into a fine powder and mix it with water to create a paste. Apply the paste on your dog’s affected areas and leave it on for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it with water. We tried this remedy on our furry friend, which worked like a charm in relieving his discomfort.

These are all effective natural remedies we have tried and found useful for our furry friend. But it’s always better to consult your veterinarian before trying new treatments for your pet’s skin allergies.

Food to Avoid for Curly-Coated Retrievers with Skin Allergies

There are a few foods that you should avoid feeding your curly-coated retriever if they are prone to skin allergies.

∎Dairy Products

Dairy products such as milk and cheese contain lactose, which is difficult for dogs to digest. As a result, your curvy retriever puppy can develop an allergic reaction, and their skin can become itchy or irritated. Consider lactose-free milk or yogurt options if you must give your furry friend a dairy product. Alternatively, you can opt for non-dairy products such as coconut milk.


While beef is one of the most common types of protein in dog food, it can be the source of your dog’s skin allergy. Beef contains alpha-gal protein, which can trigger your dog’s immune system, leading to an allergic reaction. If you need to switch to a protein source besides beef, try chicken, fish, or lamb.


Their skin will likely be affected if your dog is allergic to wheat. Wheat-based products such as bread, pasta, and cereals can cause itching and redness on your furry friend’s skin. Opt for grains such as brown rice, quinoa, or oatmeal to substitute wheat in your dog’s diet.


While chicken is often a great source of protein for dogs, it can also be a common allergen. If you notice your curly-coated retriever puppy constantly itching and getting rashes after you feed them food with chicken, it is best to cut it out of their diet. Instead, You can introduce other protein sources such as lamb, beef, or turkey.


Soy is often used as a filler in many dog foods. While it may not be harmful, some dogs may be allergic to it. Soy can often lead to skin irritation and upset stomach in dogs that are sensitive to it. To avoid this, consider giving your curly-coated retriever food with no soy content.


Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish can benefit dogs with skin allergies. However, some dogs may be allergic to fish. The symptoms can often include itchy and irritated skin. If you notice this happening to your furry friend, it may be best to avoid feeding them fish. Instead, look for alternate sources of Omega-3 fatty acids such as algae or supplements.


Corn has always been a common ingredient in both human and pet foods. However, it has been known to cause allergic reactions in pets and can harm your furry friend’s health. Corn is used in dog food as a filler to lower the manufacturing cost of pet food. However, this ingredient can cause skin irritation in dogs allergic to it. Additionally, some dogs may develop digestive issues since corn is not easily digestible. For your curly-coated retriever, avoiding corn in their diet is best to prevent allergic reactions.

∎Artificial Additives

Artificial additives are known for their bright colors, flavors, and scents that entice animals and humans alike. However, these additives can be toxic and worsen skin allergies in some dogs. They have also been linked to several chronic health conditions, which all fur parents want to avoid. It’s important to read the ingredients label and ensure no artificial additives are in your curly-coated retriever’s food to keep them healthy.

If you’re unsure which type of food your curly-coated retriever breed is allergic to, you can try an elimination diet. Begin by feeding it a simple diet of only one protein source and one carbohydrate source for a few weeks. This will help you determine if your dog is reacting to any of these specific foods. Once you know what your dog is allergic to, you can try feeding them food with alternate ingredients that are safe for them to consume.

Frequently Asked Questions

1) Are curly-coated retrievers more prone to skin allergies compared to other dog breeds?

While it’s hard to generalize all dog breeds, curly-coated retrievers are more likely to develop skin allergies than other breeds. They have a thick, curly coat that can trap dirt, pollen, and other allergens against their skin.

2) Should I bathe my curly-coated retriever more or less frequently if they have skin allergies?

Bathing your curly-coated retriever can help remove allergens from their coat and soothe their itchy skin. However, it’s important to do just what is necessary. Too much bathing can dry out their skin and make their allergies worse. It’s usually recommended to bathe your curly-coated retriever once every 4-6 weeks or as your veterinarian recommends.

3) Can I use over-the-counter antihistamines for my curly-coated retriever’s skin allergies?

Never give your dog any medication without consulting your veterinarian first. While some over-the-counter antihistamines may be safe for dogs, others can be harmful and even fatal. Your veterinarian can recommend safe and effective allergy medications for your curly-coated retriever.

4) Are specific areas on a curly-coated retriever’s body more prone to skin allergies?

Curly-coated retrievers are especially prone to skin allergies in areas with thin fur, such as their belly, inner thighs, and underarms. These areas are prone to moisture buildup, which can exacerbate skin allergies.

5) Can stress or anxiety exacerbate skin allergies in curly-coated retriever?

Stress and anxiety can worsen your curly-coated retriever’s skin allergies. This is because stress can weaken their immune system and make them more susceptible to allergens. If your dog’s allergies worsen during stressful periods, talk to your veterinarian about ways to manage their anxiety.

Final Words

Who would have thought that something as simple as a dog’s coat could cause many problems? But after researching and experiencing it first-hand, I now understand the pain and discomfort that can come from curly-coated retriever skin allergies. It’s a struggle to watch my pups suffer and itch, but with proper care and attention, there are ways to ease their discomfort. As a proud owner of a curly-coated retriever, I’ll keep doing everything possible to keep my pup healthy and happy. After all, their love and companionship make it all worth it. So, to all the other curly-coated retriever owners, keep up the good work!

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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