ATOPY DOG BREEDSIn the previous article we learned that ATOPY (dog skin allergy from specific substances like pollen, grasses, rubber, dust mites etc) accounts for 90% of dog skin allergies. We also know that up to 10% of dogs have some form of dog allergy – so up to 9% of all dogs have ATOPY skin allergies.

You should realise that the Breed type list below is very general as there are many dogs that come under each of the breed types. In particular its ironic that terriers are listed since their original function was to dig into dirt and get very messy with much weed, dirt and grass contact.

BREED TYPES prone to atopy skin allergy

  • Terriers
  • Retrievers
  • Setters

The following specific dog breed list is not exhaustive but knowing which breeds are prone to ATOPY dog skin allergies can have you look for the sometimes subtle signs of dog allergy, such as a little too excessive itching or licking of paws etc causing discoloration.

SPECIFIC DOG BREEDS prone to atopy skin allergy

  • Lhasa apso
  • Beagle
  • Cocker spaniel
  • Miniature schnauzer
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pug
  • Boxer
  • Dalmatian
  • Shar Pei

When do these dogs get atopy?

It is worth noting that atopy (dog skin allergy mechanism) happens in mostly mature dogs between 1- 3 years of age. And if your dog hasn’t experienced atopy from an allergen that it has been exposed to all of its life, it is unlikely to start after the age of six.

The exception to this 1 to 3 year window is that the Shar pei’s can get Atopy as early as 3 months.

The reason that atopy can take up to a year to develop is that many dogs get their first exposure to an allergen such as pollen or spring grasses on a yearly seasonal cycle and develop sensitization in their first exposure to a pollen season. A dog can get Atopy in that season, but if not, if it is prone to atopy conditions it will most likely have symptoms in the second season of exposure to the pollen allergen.

Atopy is the dog creating high levels of IgE in response to allergens and sometimes it takes one or two seasons for this to really kick in hence the THREE year limit on generally developing this skin allergy.

It should be noted that dogs such as spaniels love to run and roll in grasses all year round. The issue of this of course is if they have an allergy to the grass rolling it or rubbing their head on it to relieve an itch will only make things worse.

We have written other articles on this site about treatments, and since not going to a grass area or a dog park is a stupid recommendation, we treat our dogs with high doses of Omega 3 fish oil (to add to the low conversion flax seed version that is in most pet food). This might only work with 50% of dogs in relieving major symptoms, but fish oil is so great for so many other parts of the dogs body including brain, that you should give them daily extra doses anyway.