Dog Allergy Symptom #7. Dark, Red Skin.

Dark hair and skin caused by dog allergies. Photo courtesy of Elsie the Boxer.

If your dog has allergies, you may notice that their hair and skin is turning a reddish brown color.  This discoloration can show up anywhere on your pet’s body, but is often seen between toes, under arms and on abdomens.

With our dog Elsie, we noticed this discoloration most dramatically between her toes and around her muzzle. We first noticed that her white and fawn colored hair was taking on a reddish hue. Eventually this discoloration moved to her skin as well.

An example of Elsie’s dark red skin and fur is shown in the photo to the left.  You can see how bright the top of her white marking is, compared with the bottom area – around her toes.  Although not completely captured in this photo, the skin and hair between her toes was an even deeper red/brown coloring.

Some allergic dogs also have issues with dark, almost black patches appearing on their skin.  This is known as hyperpigmentation, a condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. Hyperpigmentation is often combined with hair loss or balding.

As with all allergy symptoms, if you see reddish discoloration or signs of hyperpigmentation, you should talk to your veterinarian.  They should be able to help you to determine if your dog is indeed suffering from allergies, or if their skin condition is related to a different health issue.