What Are Golden Retriever Skin Allergies?

Like any other dog breeds, even the golden retrievers are no exemption with regards to skin allergies. These are among the common problems which every dog suffers. The common denominator of the source of each dog’s skin allergy mainly attributed to food, pollen, and even dust mites. But what they experience is completely normal with the exception of leading to a serious problem. Getting the utmost attention and care is what they need. So, we need to ask, What are golden retriever skin allergies?

If you don’t know what to do and you are finding some useful information about the golden retriever’s skin allergy, hopefully, this article will bring understand and supply your need.

Type of coat

Golden retrievers have thick coats and have medium-length hair. This is because of being raised as a companion and to retrieve hunted waterfowl near the bodies of water. The outer coat is water repellent and the thick undercoat is protected from other elements and to withstand colder weather conditions.

They need regular grooming especially during their peak season of shedding. Due to their thick coat, sometimes it’s difficult to detect skin allergies especially the early sign on a golden retriever.

What are the common golden retriever skin allergies?

When it comes to allergies, there are no specific skin allergy problems on each dog breeds. All of them experience the same kind of skin allergies even the symptoms, the findings, and the results. The only thing they vary is the treatment and prevention. But there’s an instance that golden retriever suffers from a common skin allergy known as Canina Atopic Dermatitis (CAD).

If you properly care for your golden retriever, there’s a possibility that you can detect the early signs of these common allergies. But if you’re not, then it could lead to worsening of the problems.

It is your duty to know and (if ever) identify them as early as possible in order to prevent any worst-case scenarios and it can be quite expensive. As they say, prevention is better than cure.

These are the common golden retriever skin allergies and their symptoms that are present, even among all canine breeds.

4 common golden retriever skin allergies

1. Atopic Dermatitis

Among the common skin allergies that are affecting every canine breed is atopic dermatitis. But it is more likely to develop in breeds such as Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Bulldogs, and Golden Retrievers/ This condition is often due to pollens and other inhaled protein particles. As a result, this leads to hypersensitivity.

Sometimes it is induced from an indoor or an environmental allergen. When golden retrievers have this, they may experience intense itching which affects the face, abdomen, and feet. As well as rhinitis, asthma, conjunctivitis. There are also few cases that some dog breeds experienced discoloration of the coat due to atopy or atopic dermatitis.

Unfortunately, atopic dermatitis is incurable (depending on the intesity of the condition) but it has readily treatment to alleviate its worsening condition. If this condition becomes worse, your goldie might affect its behavior leading to aggressive behavior and even shy away from people.

2. Flea allergies

Another everyday struggle and most debilitating to the golden retrievers are fleas. They are the usual suspect why some goldies are itching excessively to the point that they feel very irritated. Flea allergies are rampant especially when it’s midsummer to fall, and in warmer climates, it can be year-round.

It’s not just golden retrievers who are frustrated even us, dog owners have suffered so horribly just to eradicate, so to speak, these foremost canine adversaries. And yet, they still somehow managed to outsmart the attempts of extermination.

Fortunately, they are not a chronic illness, although some can lead to it it’s very rarely too unlikely. Flea and tick allergies are just there to bug both the owner and the dog. Also, they can be controlled and even eradicate with these simple solutions.

Common treatments for flea allergies

Flea collars

It’s a great invention for dogs in order to prevent a serious flea infestation. They are there to prevent that situation. However, they can cause an allergic reaction to dogs when it’s exposed for a very long time. Be sure to remove them when it’s bathing time and never mix them with sprays or dips.

Anti flea powders and sprays

These two are your perfect companion to drive out the flea and tick allergy invasion in your golden retriever’s body. However, they will not deeply penetrate the heavy and oily coats, and yet they must be used most often. The keyword is “most often” this is to at least resolve the dog’s flea allergy problems even for a short period.


Shampoos formulated to drive fleas should be used for dogs who are currently experiencing flea allergies. They will prevent fleas from spreading throughout your goldie’s body but they will not last long.

3. Ear mites

Although not an allergy per se, but they are a secondary cause of skin allergies. If fleas and ticks are so annoying to golden retrievers, these are just way more annoying and can be very unsettling to them especially if it’s a swarm. Ear mites are less visible but what’s visible enough is the effect of their swarming in the goldie’s ear. If you noticed some coffee-grind particles and smell a foul odor, there’s a high possibility that tiny these eight-legged parasites are having a feast in the ear.

Mites are highly contagious. They don’t have any wings to move into the victim’s body but they do jump around and then will squelch the infestation by residing slowly until it builds up.

Types of Mites

Mange mites

These are the prime suspect of your golden retriever’s excessive itching. It’s alarming that mange mites have three cousins and each of them has a specific area to havoc on your dog’s body.

Sarcoptic mange

Scabies or Sarcoptes, is a crab-shaped mite that resides on the dog’s skin and lays eggs, and even in this process, dogs may experience itching to the point of getting irritated ad chewing the infested area of their body. The infected area will become hairless and scabby which can be seconded by bacterial infections from the open sores.

Walking dandruff mites

Or alternatively known as chyletialla mites. These walking dandruff travel through the surface of the skin which causes the dog’s body to experience mild itching and even flaking on the head. Proper medication and prescription grooming care is the possible treatment for golden retrievers who experience this condition.


Demodex usually targets the face portion of the golden retriever and sometimes invades other areas. These tiny critters live on the dog’s oil glands and hair follicles. Over time they will multiply in the coat which leaves bare patches in the face, neck, eyes, and front legs.

4. Food allergies

Some dogs will have specific food intolerances. The best possible reason why some golden retrievers have food allergies is because of their innate condition and it can also be linked to inheritance. To accurately identify the goldie’s food allergies is by trial and elimination diet method. This method will single out the food that causes your dog to have an allergic reaction.

There are actually many factors that contribute to food allergies, and some of them came from the ingredients included in dog food or dog treats. These are:

Dairy products

Most dogs are fairly intolerant to dairy products. These common allergens may trigger especially when ingested. Allergic reactions may persist mostly in the skin and on a rare occasion in the digestive tract. Sometimes it’s just lactose intolerance but at times it could be a symptom of allergy albeit this is a secondary symptom.


Specifically the egg yolk. This particular food is common among food allergens which give the golden retrievers an allergic reaction. Sometimes acquiring allergies from eggs are likely due to genetic problem. Some dog kibbles have egg inclusions, so better check the food label first before buying.


Wheat is one of the most common ingredients listed in every dog food. Because wheat is cheap and readily available, and also a great major source of protein especially when mixed with animal protein. If your goldie is allergic to this, you can just opt to buy a product that has “grain free” or “gluten free”. These products offer a better alternative if your dog has grain allergies. Although they have a higher price point than regular dog foods, keep in mind that cheap is not always better.


Soy can induce an allergic reaction to your golden retriever if you have failed to see the label which contains such an ingredient. If left unnoticed, your goldie might suffer from hypersensitivity which can then lead to distress, pruritus, and excessive itching. Again, better to check the label first. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Beef, lamb, chicken, etc,

Sometimes you will notice your golden retriever being a finicky eater, even though you have bought him premium-quality dog food only to find out that it has chicken on it which later on you realized that your goldie is allergic to it. It can be frustrating at times, but animal proteins can be a primary source of allergy. That said, you need to undergo an elimination method where you will see what’s safe and not safe to eat. This process can be tedious which can last for about weeks but this is needed to avoid any serious problem in the long run.

Cleaning products

Every goldie’s initial reaction when they have smelled, ingested, or even touched a cleaning product that has strong chemical content is through triggering an allergic reaction. These products you use can cause skin allergies to dogs if you will not be careful and keen enough to buy products that are dog-friendly and have mild chemical content.

Common symptoms of golden retriever skin allergies

If ever you have noticed some of these allergy symptoms. Get the most attention that your golden retriever needs and also if it becomes worse, you should probably consult your local veterinarian.

Swollen Face

A goldie with a swollen may look cute. But it’s not. It could be critical or a reaction from acute allergy. Sometimes it’s most likely a sting or an insect bite. But in some cases, the swollen face is a result of inhaled allergen such as pollen particles. That said, goldies with snout have the possibility to become anaphylactic shock although unlikely it is common. Symptoms like these can be dangerous and you should contact your vet right away if you have some lingering thoughts about it.

Itchy ears

Golden retrievers with itchy ears are usually an early stage of ear infection. It might be an ear mite that is slowly building up and likely to infest. But the early stages are not alarming. It will only come to your attention when your goldie is increasingly irritated by their continuous scratching and occasionally tilt their head out of irritation. This can be prevented through regular ear cleaning especially the ear canal and the base of the ear. But if the situation is under control, contact your vet for further treatment.

Frequently skin chewing or paw licking

It’s normal to see your golden retriever to chew their skin and lick their paw for a number of reasons, but what’s not normal if they are doing it continuously as if there’s no end. This could be a sign of infection or an allergic reaction to the skin.

Two factors might be the cause of this. One is coming from the food allergen which came from animal protein and other food allergens. And the other may be acquired from environmental or seasonal allergens such as pollens or dust and molds. This can be alleviated by giving them prescripted medicines or even just regular grooming care is enough to stave off the allergies.

Excessive itching, reddened underbelly, and dull coat

These signs indicate that your golden retriever has an allergy whether coming from food or other sources. Reddened underbelly and excessive itching are the common signs of allergies to dogs. If not treated properly it can eventually lead to inflamed areas and even hair loss.

Upset stomach

Upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms like these largely came from food that has allergens that triggered the dog’s allergy problem. This can be frustrating but what you can do is to seek your vet’s medical attention to fully diagnosed what seems to be the problem.

Ways to manage and treat some golden retriever skin allergies

Check the label first when buying dog food

The most important thing to look out for when buying dog foods or dog treats is the label. See to it that there’s no animal byproduct, wheat, corn, soy, and other food allergens that can trigger your goldie’s allergy. The suggested trick to prevent those food allergens is to find a grain-free, whole ingredients, and all-natural dog food. This is to ensure that quality comes first and specifically for dogs that are finicky and experiencing allergies to food. Stay away from those common food allergens and research or consult with your vet about your goldie’s diet plan.

Also, if you just examining your dog’s food allergy, you can try the process of elimination. Find which food triggers an allergic reaction. Although this can be quite difficult. But if you know which is which, then the problem is solved you know have the knowledge on what’s appropriate food for your goldie.

Reduce the allergens by cleaning

Cleaning your home regularly and the areas where your goldie always hangs and even its bed space is an excellent option to reduce the risk of having your dog acquire an allergic reaction. Also, invest in buying dehumidifiers which greatly helps to filter out the air. Much better if you keep your houseplant to a distance where your dog can’t go near to it.

Have your golden retriever take a dog supplement for a reinforced immune system

The best way to counter skin allergies is to strengthen your pooch’s immune system. Doing this will greatly help them to function normally and stay healthy. Have them take dog supplements that are specifically designed for boosting the immunity system. After all, the immune system has a large role to defend the body of the goldie from any foreign elements and diseases. Keep them stay strong and healthy.

A regular bath is just enough

One of the cheapest ways to combat skin allergies is to bathe your golden retriever every other week or depending on the activity he does. But not too often because it will remove the natural oil from their skin which will make their skin dry and vulnerable to skin damage and infections. Learn to properly bathe your dog and also, after bath grooms them such as nail trim, cleaning the ear canals, and combing them so they look healthy and shiny plus the allergens and the bacteria will spare him.

Furthermore, apply mild shampoo with anti-flea or promotes skin health, and also medicated shampoo will do great to improve the skin of your golden retriever.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know what my dog is allergic to?

There’s no better way to tell if your dog is allergic than by examing them through a RAST test, or radioallergosorbent test. This will help identifies certain antigens which may be a source of their allergic reaction. Aside from that, it’s really difficult to tell if a dog has allergic or other factors especially when it’s too early to tell. They will further develop and become noticeable once it’s mildly affecting the dog’s skin with the symptoms listed above.

What is the best dog food for golden retrievers with allergies?

When it comes to the best dog food selection, there are actually many dog food manufacturers that offer kibble food that is suited for dogs with certain food allergies. Some of them are of high quality and their ingredients are fresh and used only whole ingredients. Although these pet kibbles have relatively high price points they are definitely worth buying.

Can Dogs Be Allergic to People?

Yes. Golden retrievers and some dogs can be allergic to humans species the small flaky skin (or dander). These can be attributed to one of the dog’s skin problems. Human’s allergic reaction is commonly through sneezing and sniffling. For dogs, it’s usually skin irritation.

While human dander is not singled out as a cause of dog’s allergy it can be also due to multiple elements such as pollens and other tiny particles that are so tiny to see. That said, this can happen but very rarely. But veterinarians have a possible treatment for this.

Final Thoughts

Owning a golden retriever and raising them healthy and being a responsible pet can be very rewarding. But raising them was never easy because they still have special needs to attend to such as their grooming needs, scheduled check-ups, and maintaining their healthy skin and coat. There are good sides and bad sides but none of it matter as long as your golden retriever is perfectly safe and healthy.

Be sure to give them what they need if your see some sometimes looming even at an early stage, better to check and examine them so there’s no regret later on. Keep in mind that you need to bring them to your local vet regularly to ensure the overall health and well-being of your Golden.

Like what you have read? Check this also: Best Dog Stroller for Running – Our Top 5 Pick!

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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