The skin is the largest organ in the body; it acts like a glove over your dog’s body providing warmth and protection. Secretions from the skin form a barrier to keep germs and water outside the body and bodily fluids inside. Breakdowns in this protective barrier cause hair loss, infections, and fluid losses. The appearance of your dog’s skin provides insight to the overall health of your pet. Common conditions affecting your dog’s skin include: allergies, bacterial and yeast infections, ringworm, and external parasites, such as fleas, ticks, and mites. Systemic conditions, such as autoimmune disorders, hormonal imbalances, or nutritional deficiencies, may display characteristic patterns in the skin to help your veterinarian diagnose the underlying problem.