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How to heal hot spots in dogs?

Hot spots in dogs present a common health problem during the summer months. Since it’s a very annoying and painful issue, it’s highly important to treat it on time. Otherwise called moist dermatitis, this kind of condition more often occurs in long-haired and curl-haired dog breeds.


What causes hot spots on a dog's skin?

Hot spots or pyotraumatic dermatitis occurs when a dog constantly licks the skin and develop a self-inflicted skin trauma. The main culprits for such behavior usually present fleas or lice, poor grooming, mosquito or other insect bites, different types of allergy, pains in muscles or constantly wet fur. 

In case your pooch likes to swim and get wet during summer months, he’ll be on a higher risk to develop hot spots on the skin. It most commonly occurs in long-haired dogs whose coats are wet during most of the summer.

A skin that became irritated will start to release a watery liquid called lymph in order to protect newly created abrasions on the skin. It consists of white blood cells that serve to attack bacteria.

Another trigger for a dog’s hot spots on the skin presents a dog’s depression. A dog that suffers from a condition called separation anxiety will be on a higher risk to hurt himself because of the fear he feels when stays home alone. When a dog shows excessively licking of his body parts, it means that such a behavior ‘helps him to deal with a problem’. Unfortunately, it’s a not good solution since things can only go worse.

What are the hot spots in  dog's skin?

Hot spots are visible red patches that present an immune-mediated response to a trigger. They can appear anywhere on your pet’s body, however, severe cases usually occur on leg, tail, back, face, belly and other places that are easily reachable for a dog to scratch, chew, and lick.

What are the symptoms of the hot spots in dogs?


Besides dog owners can notice visibly red skin, there’s a number of other symptoms that follow this health issue. It is a condition that should not be treated at home because it can rapidly spread. After you took your pooch to a vet to determine the cause of a problem, he will get prescribed therapy.

Here is the list on the most common symptoms that follow hot spots on dogs’ skin:

  • itchy and painful lesions
  • hair loss
  • red and swollen skin
  • crusted scabs
  • oozing sores
  • dog’s nervousness
  • scaly skin
  • dandruff
  • bad odor from lesions

How to treat hot spots in dogs?


The treatment of hot spots will depend on the level of severity. In case your furry friend developed a bacterial infection then he’ll need to take antibiotic creams, and oral medication as well.

On the other hand, hot spots that have been noticed on time can be healed by using different natural products such as Coconut oil, Marigold oil (Calendula), and Chamomile oil. Whatever the level of severity is, natural remedies can’t develop any side effects. They can be used both with prescribed therapy.

  1. Coconut oil is famous for a number of beneficial effects it leaves on the skin. It’s rich in fatty acids, helps in healing wounds, and can even kill harmful microorganisms. It possesses antimicrobial properties, while the capric acid that Coconut contains is known for antifungal effects.
    Other studies have also shown that Coconut improves the hydration of the skin and heals blisters and pimples.
  2. Another great natural remedy for healing moist dermatitis in dogs presents Calendula marigold oil. It’s great for treating bites, warts, ulcers, wounds and many other skin irritations. According to many studies, Marigold can even treat a bacterial infection without the use of antibiotics in some cases. It’s also been found that it promotes the growth of healthy new skin, increase blood flow in affected areas, and even boost the production of collagen in a dog’s skin.Thanks to the presence of nucleoproteins and glycoproteins, marigold helps in stimulation of epithelial cell production. As one of the best natural products, we advise you to check Flora4 Pets skin healing oil with Marigold and Chamomile.
  3. When we talk about using Chamomile in healing dog’s moist dermatitis, it definitely presents a good solution since it’s famous for calming effects and antibacterial properties. There’s no way that you’ll cause any harmful effect by using any of the previously mentioned ingredients.
  4. Propolis can also help a lot in healing your dog’s hot spots. The best tip is to choose a cream or spray rich in propolis because an ointment for human usage is usually made with alcohol that will sting the dog’s skin. Propolis cream or spray can be applied to cuts, wounds, rashes, burns, and many other dog skin inflammations.
  5. For treating a dry and itchy skin on dogs, we recommend making a homemade ointment that contains water and apple cider vinegar in 60:40 proportions.Since apple cider vinegar is an acid, you shouldn't apply it straight from the bottle. Otherwise, it will cause burns and blister on your dog’s skin. In case you didn’t know, apple cider is a natural flea and tick repellent. It also relieves rashes and soothes the skin, so your dog will definitely be grateful to splash him with this magical ointment. Apple cider is great for eliminating dead skin cells and increases the production of new ones as well.
  6. Besides using previously mentioned natural remedies, we also advise you putting the Elisabet cone on your four-legged friend’s neck. It will prevent him from further damage to the skin.
  7. In case your pooch developed hot spots due to food allergy, it’s important to change his diet and include ingredients rich in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
  8. Always dry your dog’s fur after bathing. We also advise you to spray it with natural dog deodorant rich in lemongrass, lavender, and peppermint.
  9. Make sure you groom your dog once a week. In that way, you’ll help him to release dead hair and cells as well.

How long do hot spots on dogs take to heal?

Depending on your dog’s level of severity, treatment usually lasts a month or two. In mild cases when hot spots were noticed on time, the period of healing might last approximately 2 weeks.

The most important advice for all dog owners is to stay consistent and to discover the underlying problem. By constant observing your dog’s body language, you’ll be able to notice every change on time.