Red Itchy Skin on My Boston Terrier

Food accounts for up to 15 percent allergies in dogs and cats.
Food accounts for up to 15 percent allergies in dogs and cats. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Red itchy skin on Boston Terriers can be the result of allergic reactions or environmental factors and each can range from mild to severe. There are basic preventive measures that Boston terrier owners can take before having to rely on medication. However, if medication is required there are many types of treatments ranging from non-prescription to prescription forms. Once the cause of the red itchy skin is determined, a treatment and prevention routine can reduce reoccurrences.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are a common cause of dry itchy skin in dogs because of the additives processed meats and course grains used as fillers in low-quality dog foods. Food dyes, sugars and other article flavorings can also cause skin disorders. A quality diet including low-fat skin nourishing treats helps reduce common food allergies. Plenty of fresh water daily and a good grooming routine are necessary to prevent itchy skin and other skin disorders associated with poor coat care and dehydration.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors including scents, deodorizers or pollens are also potential allergens to dogs. Perfumes and lotions that are absorbed during petting can cause allergic reactions, too. To prevent red itchy skin associated with bathing, bathe only when necessary; use pet-safe skin and coat hydrating shampoos and use quick pet wipes between baths to reduce the skin’s exposure to drying shampoos.

Fleas, Ticks and Other Parasites

External parasites, such as fleas, can cause itchy red skin that is made worse by allergic reactions to fleas. Routine flea and tick care begins with a grooming routine and is dependent upon routine pest control to be effective at preventing unnecessary skin irritations. Additionally, some pest control methods are themselves a source of red itchy skin. Using skin conditioning flea care or organic methods of pest control help prevent over-dryness in dogs with sensitive skin.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections can be the primary source of red itchy skin or a secondary bacterial infection that is a result of severely irritated skin. Staph, whether the primary or secondary source of illness, gives off an unpleasant odor and can lead to even more severe skin irritation. Staph is the most common bacteria to cause red itchy skin in dogs and can only be treated by a veterinarian.


Take notice when your Boston terrier is more prone to dry skin and consider how you can prepare its skin and coat for changes in the seasons as well. Topical skin pain relievers, such as pet-safe medicated itch spray, increases healing time by reducing the dog’s attempts at scratching at irritated areas. Moisturizers in the form of sprays or disposable wipes can replenish dry skin after an outing in the sun or a day at the lake. Being ever conscious of good skin and coat care reduces the likelihood of Boston terriers developing red itchy skin.

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