Natural remedies for hot spots on dogs that will help soothe existing outbreaks and help keep your dog hot spot free for good! You can explore home remedies if your dog is developing hot spots. We cover how to treat dog hot spots, including when to go to the vet. Stress-licking is one of the possible causes of hot spots in dogs. Learn how CBD oil can help alleviate symptoms of this skin problem.
Natural Solutions for Hot Spots on Dogs
When it comes to skin conditions, hot spots on dogs are some of the most common, yet challenging to deal with. They can appear seemingly out of nowhere and stick around despite all our best efforts to get rid of them. What’s more, it may seem impossible to determine the source of these recurring issues. It’s no wonder hot spots leave pet parents frustrated and confused.
Luckily, there are natural remedies for hot spots on dogs that will help soothe existing outbreaks and help keep your dog hot spot free for good!
Table of Contents
What are Hot Spots on Dogs?
A dog’s skin naturally hosts a wide variety of bacteria and other living microbes. When our dog’s skin is healthy, these organisms are able to coexist in a symbiotic relationship with our pets.
Unfortunately, there are a number of factors that contribute to an imbalance in the bacteria on dogs’ skin. Under the right conditions, bacteria thrive and multiply to numbers that the immune system can’t keep under control. Normally, the skin acts as a protective barrier between the outside world and our pet’s bodies. However, if there’s a breach in the barrier, these bacteria are able to get in and cause all sorts of problems, including infections.
These skin infections are known by a few names: Pyotramatic dermatitis, superficial pyoderma, moist dermatitis or most commonly, hot spots !
What do Hot Spots on Dogs Look Like?
Hot spots on dogs appear as small areas of swollen and inflamed skin. They tend to be raw and moist, hence the name moist dermatitis. Furthermore, hot spots tend to give off a nasty smell and discharge pus or fluid, matting the surrounding fur. Though the areas usually have a distinct border, hot spots on dogs can grow rapidly, as they scratch and aggravate these itchy areas.
What Causes Hot Spots on Dogs?
There are a number of factors that can make dogs vulnerable to hot spots. Oftentimes it is a combination of environmental, dietary and genetic factors that make our pets more prone to this kind of skin infection.
In addition, certain breeds are especially prone to canine hot spots. Hot spot regulars include: golden retrievers, german shepherds, labradors and others with thick coats. While this dermatological condition may occur year round, it is most common during the warmer months. During this time dogs are spending more time outside, playing in the water, and getting dirty in the heat and humidity.
The most common factors that increase the risk of hot spots on dogs include:
- Poor immune function
- Habitual Licking or Scratching
- Unhealthy Skin
- Dirty Skin
- Dense, damp fur that doesn’t dry easily
- Unhealthy Diet
- Fleas or other bites
- Abrasions, cuts and scratches
When increased bacterial growth meets weak or unhealthy areas of the skin, you have the perfect environment for canine hot spots.
Is CBD good for dog hot spots?
Yes! A dog’s skin is full of receptors that work specifically with cannabinoids like CBD, making them super effective when applied topically. What’s more, CBD has numerous therapeutic properties that make hemp salves one of the best natural remedies for hot spots on dogs.
One important therapeutic property of CBD, is its ability to moderate the immune system and reduce local inflammation . According to clinical research, CBD is a fantastic way to help dogs suffering from various forms of dermatitis.
CBD and other cannabinoids found in a full-spectrum hemp extract are also known for their natural anti-microbial properties . This is especially applicable, as it can help fight the growth of bacteria and help avoid further infection. Check out this recent study, which explored these anti-microbial properties!
One of the hardest parts about dealing with hot spots on dogs is the associated discomfort and itchiness. Furthermore, this irritation is what causes them to constantly reactivate their wounds, turning acute hot spots into chronic infections. Luckily, CBD has also been shown through research to be an effective analgesic.
Accelerates Wound Healing
Among the other therapeutic properties mentioned above, CBD has the potential to speed the process of wound healing according to a recent study from University of Sao Paolo, in Brazil.
CBD Salve for Hot Spots on Dogs
So now that we know what hot spots are and how they occur, let’s talk about how to alleviate hot spots on dogs.
- Clean and disinfect the area
For this process you want to use a gentle soap, free of fragrances and irritating ingredients, followed by a disinfecting agent. Holistic veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker recommends using a solution of povidone, iodine, and water, diluted to the color of iced tea. If your dog has thick, course fur it may be a good idea to shave the affected area to expose the underlying skin, to keep it clean and dry.
- Dry the Area Thoroughly
Make sure that you pat dry, don’t rub as that could cause more irritation. Leave to air dry if necessary. You want the area to be completely dry before moving on to the next step.
- Apply Hemp Salve to Affected Area
Hemp salves containing naturally occurring CBD have a number of properties that make them perfect for dog hot spots. Choose a salve that contains other beneficial ingredients for wound healing, like honey, ginger and arnica, such as our SOOTHE: CBD Salve for dogs.
- Prevent Further Trauma to the Affected Area
This is one of the hardest parts for pet parents. Our dogs will do anything to itch and scratch the area.They will also try to lick off whatever you put on there.Try wrapping the wound with a bandage. If the hot spot is on their torso, you can put a t-shirt on them, and if necessary be prepared to use the dreaded cone of shame. They may hate it in the moment, but it will save them a lot of anxiety and discomfort in the future.
- Rinse and Repeat
Typically you will need to clean this area and repeat the process at least twice a day, up to every two hours. If after a couple hours you see the wound begin to discharge pus, it is a good idea to start over.
How to AVOID Hot Spots on Dogs
As with most health conditions, it is always better to work proactively. While CBD salves and the steps mentioned above are fantastic solutions for canine hot spots after they have formed, there is so much you can do to avoid them ever becoming an issue.
Tips to avoid future hot spots on dogs:
- Make sure you take care of your dog’s skin and coat.
- Regular grooming is a great way to make sure their coat does not get matted and therefore, hold on to dirt and bacteria.
- If you pet gets wet, make sure they are able to dry out, thus preventing the growth of nasty bacteria that cause hot spots.
- Focus on reducing allergens and feeding a fresh, whole food diet.
- Support the immune system with an oral CBD oil
There is no one size fits all approach to helping your dog with hot spots. The most important thing you can do is support your dog’s overall health, and encourage a strong immune system through a balanced holistic approach to their health.
Father of a bulldog, Moo, Carter is a life-long animal lover from Toronto, Canada currently residing in Brooklyn, NY. Growing up in a family of veterinarians, he grew up surrounded by animals. He had dogs, cats, rodents, reptiles — you name it, and Carter probably rescued it. Carter’s passion for cannabis activism started when he was in high school. After learning about the senseless prohibition and incredible diversity of cannabis’s utility, he was inspired to get involved. When Carter met Angela, he was excited to learn that he could combine his passions: animals and cannabis. Carter now travels North America to educate pet parents, retailers, and veterinarians about CBD. He is excited to bring his passion for pets to CBD Dog Health.
Hot Spots on Dogs: Home Remedies
Hot spots, known by your veterinarian as “ moist dermatitis ”, are patches of skin with bacterial infections. They appear as red damaged skin and sometimes oozing patches of skin either exposed from licking or tucked under the fur. Immediate dog hot spot treatment is important for your pup’s overall health.
They are generally caused by a combination of two factors: a break in the skin and moist conditions. Trauma to the skin can be caused for any number of reasons including an injury, scratching from allergies, or even an insect bite. When moist conditions such as a bath, a swim, or persistent licking occur, conditions become ripe for bacteria to establish themselves, leading to an infection at the site.
While prevention measures such as helping your pooch get dry after a swim and grooming to avoid mats in the fur can help, these “Summer Sores” are often a repeating warm weather occurrence from dogs that suffer from them.
This article will give you some information on when to see your vet and some strategies for treating hot spots on dogs at home with natural products.
How to Spot Hot Spots on Dogs
Hot spots can look very different depending on the breed of dog, length of fur, and stage of advancement. If left untreated, hot spots often get larger, more inflamed, and can become extremely irritating for your pooch.
If you have a dog with a medium to long coat, you may not notice the visual signs of a hot spot right away because it is under the fur (sometimes matted fur). Keep a close eye on your dog for signs of excessive licking or scratching in a specific area and monitor the skin under the fur in the affected area for signs that a hot spot may be developing. You might notice hair loss from excessive licking.
Acute Moist Dermatitis: Should I See My Vet?
Yes, particularly if you are dealing with treating hot spots on dogs for the first time. One thing to keep in mind is that hot spots can spread alarmingly fast and they often require medical treatment to rapidly kill the bacteria and promote healing. For example, your vet may recommend a hot spot spray to kill bacteria, relieve itching, and help keep the area dry.
In addition, hot spots, particularly chronic ones, can be signs that deeper and potentially more serious problems need to be addressed. Work with your vet to make sure the problem is not being caused or exacerbated by diet, underlying immune dysfunction, or food allergies.
Natural Remedies for Hot Spots on Dogs
If you have worked with your vet to make sure there are no underlying issues and you’re still left with a dog that gets a mild hot spot a few times a year, then you’re in luck. Mild cases can often be treated from home.
Here are some ways to identify and treat hot spots from home:
- Keep a close eye on excessive scratching or itching to catch developing hot spots as fast as possible.
- If you spot one in the early stage, carefully trim the fur around the area to help it stay dry and promote healing.
- Wash the area very gently a few times a day using a mild detergent (plain blue Dawn works) or an antibacterial soap specially formulated for dogs. Rinse with a clean cloth and pat dry thoroughly.
- Applying a cool compress to the area several times a day can help reduce the inflammation and give your pet some relief. Just be sure that the area gets dry after applying any cold therapy.
- Prevent your dog from licking the area using a special collar for that purpose if necessary.
- Contact your veterinarian immediately if the sore does not begin to dry up and resolve within 48 hours, or if it begins to spread or worsen in intensity. They have the most effective knowledge on how to treat dog hot spots.
By helping to soothe itchy skin and boost skin health, a CBD balm made from full-spectrum hemp oil can promote the healing of dry areas. In turn, this can help prevent your canine companion from damaging the area with excessive itching or licking which can be a major cause of hot spots in many dogs.
If you have a dog that is prone to hot spots, work with your veterinarian to see where CBD may fit in as part of an overall focus on skin health.
Where Can I Find High-Quality CBD Oil for My Dog?
It is important to find a CBD oil such as Lolahemp that’s made from organic hemp and formulated specifically for our pets.
CBD oil is currently experiencing a massive boom. It’s in demand thanks to a proliferation in scientific research demonstrating a host of potential therapeutic benefits and the discovery of the body’s endocannabinoid system and its many regulatory functions. Since demand is high, there are plenty of companies selling products made from low-quality ingredients or containing less CBD than advertised . In some cases, none at all!
Here at Lolahemp, we provide third-party lab testing for our products so that you can verify the quality before you buy. We were inspired to make the highest quality CBD Oil for dogs by our own loving dog, Lola . And, we donate a portion of proceeds to local shelters and rescues through our community giveback program.
Hot Spots On Dogs : What To Look For And How To Treat Them
Dog hot spots are an external painful skin problem that many dogs run into in many cases. The technical term for hot spots is moist dermatitis of the acute, moist variation. The phrase hot spot can be compared to the concept of being in the hot seat, or of a subject matter being referred to as a hot topic. Since it is a source of attention for your pup, acute moist dermatitis just happened to be called a hot spot, and the nickname stuck.
While the name might make you think of burns resulting from an underlying cause like heat or excessive sun exposure, this implication is a bit misleading. These are not always the underlying cause of hotspots. Dogs do not experience hotspots as side effects of too much sunlight or sitting near a fireplace for too long. Instead, hotspots arise when a certain patch of skin receives too much attention from your dog, whether that be in the form of biting, licking, scratching, chewing, or itching.
Hot Spots on Dogs: Where Do They Come From?
Some of the total number of causes of hotspots on dogs are…
- Irritation from allergens
- Being bitten by a bug that causes itchy skin, like mosquitoes
- An compulsive obsession with grooming themselves
- Skin infections in and around the anal glands
- Cuts that go unnoticed and not treated
- Infections that lie below the surface of the skin
- Mites that make a home in your pet’s fur, causing scabies
- Dandruff resulting from skin that is lacking in sufficient nutrients and moisture
- Stress / Excessive licking as a result of heightened anxiety levels or discomfort
By running your hands gently through your dog’s fur, you can lift the long pieces of fur and examine the spaces between your dog’s hair follicles. In doing so, you’ll either find that your dog’s skin is doing well or you’ll run into a wound here or there. If you happen to find an open sore, exposed skin, or something that just does not look quite right, dial the number to your pet’s veterinarian.
As long as your pup does not appear to be in a devastating or concerning state, it is not required that you stop by the emergency office of the closest pet hospital. Instead, just book the soonest appointment time that you can at your usual vet and keep an eye on your dog in the meantime.
What Symptoms Do Hot Spots Cause for Dogs?
Some of the confirmed cues that hint at the presence of a hot spot on your dog are…
- An area of warmth on your pet’s coat
- A patch of wet fur, likely as a result of excessive licking
- Somewhat of an obsession with grooming themselves
- An unusual aversion toward being pet or scratched
- A small patch of reddened, exposed skin
- An absence of fur randomly on some part of your dog’s coat
The following behavioral changes or patterns are identified as being an example of a hotspot, but they are also commonly paired with a bunch of other ailments…
- Biting their own fur
- Favoring one side of their body or the other
- Whining as though they want more attention
- Wincing in pain
- Avoiding playtime
- Preferring naptime
- Aggressive behavior even with people your dog knows well
- Personality changes that seem completely unusual
- Spending a lot of time itching themselves
- Skin Infections
- An odd smell coming from their fur
Predispositions to a Hotspot
Some dog breeds are more likely to experience hotspots than their fellow puppy friends of non-predisposed breeds. There are five dog breeds in particular that face a natural susceptibility for the development of a hotspot. These breeds include Saint Bernards, German Shepherds, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Rottweilers.
If you live near the beach, or your dog spends a lot of time outdoors in rainy weather, then your pupper might be more likely to develop a hotspot than his or her puppy pals. This is due to the fact that wet fur that does not fully dry can result in a hot spot. The dampness and buildup of moisture can irritate your pet, causing them to itch the affected area and create a hot spot formed in its place.
Frequent scratching of the hotspot can advance the side effects that occur.
For dogs with bacterial imbalances, a hotspot may take longer to fully resolve itself, and in a similar sense, you may notice that a hotspot get worse at a pace that seems more rapid that it should. The best thing you can do for dogs that are more prone to hot spots is to be proactive.
Prescription Medications Available for Hot Spots on Dogs: Oral vs Topical
Oral hot spot treatment options for dogs are administered via the mouth.
Data shows that oral medications for hot spots include…
- Any medications that are intended to reduce pain levels
- Steroids specifically curated to treat and obliterate skin infections
- Parasite-killing medication
Data shows that effective topical creams include.
- Dog hot spot neosporin
- Cooling creams
- Coconut oil
- Lotions that contain antibiotics
- Drying sprays to help the skin repair itself
- Hydrocortisone creams to make the itchiness fade away
- Corticosteroid lotions
- Flea and tick treatment
- Shampoos designed to cleanse the skin and heal the exposed areas
Alternative Hot Spot Treatment Methods: The Natural and Holistic Approach
You might have heard of CBD before. Whether you know a lot or a little about cannabidiol, the benefits of CBD as an addition to quite literally every single lifestyle out there are endless.
Here are a few possible perks of cannabidiol in terms of your dog’s health.
- Lowers anxiety levels
- Decreases production of stress hormones
- Decreases the activity of the central nervous system
- Calms the body
- Assists in the prevention of seizures
- Works as a pain reliever
- Helps with allergies side effects
- Soothes pain in hips
- Decreases boredom
- Reduces head aches
- Tested for safe ingredients
- Helps reduce prevalence of epileptic symptoms
- Free from lead and dangerous ingredients
- Minimizes painful side effects
- Lowers discomfort at the hotspot site
- Calms origins of allergies and increases comfort levels
- Joint support and mental support
Other natural remedies for a hotspot are…
- Witch hazel from the store
- Antibacterial, non-scented soap
- Essential oils like tea tree oil
- An increase in vitamin E consumption in your pup’s diet
- Bathing your dog with oats
- Lowering exposure to allergies
- Creating a spray with apple cider vinegar and water
- Applying coconut oil
Before you apply CBD to your dog’s external pain, call your vet on the phone. Listen to what the vet says while you’re on the phone and take a page from their media books. There might be a few factors at play regarding your pet’s hotspots, but stay dedicated to the cause and perform any of the tips your dog’s vet recommends. You might have to play around with CBD products and doses, but you’ll get there in due time!
Cannabidiol for Dogs with Hot Spots: Where to Buy CBD
CBD can help your dog have fun again. By creating a structure and map of CBD for pets, you can embark on a mission to stay committed as you start the healing process for our pet. A hotspot is a never fun, but CBD is an absolutely amazing addition to the lives of dogs with a hotspot.
For instance, let’s connect CBD and hotspots. As a supplement that can help to reduce the pain the hot spot is causing them, cannabidiol not only improves your dog’s physical state and makes it possibl for your dog to play again, but your dog’s mindset as well. Hot spots take a psychological toll on your pup because the fact that they have an open sore takes up a lot of space in their mind. If your dog isn’t itching their hot spot, then they are thinking about itching the location of their hot spot.
The best thing you can do for a dog with hotspots is to make your pet feel supported while you work to figure out the underlying affected area and developing side effects of hotspots. While the number one way to figure out what has developed on your pet’s skin is to call a non profit organization or hospitals to schedule an appointment, you might want to wait.
This is because even though you need to report the hotspot, you’ll want to first ensure that your pet’s skin has limited exposure. Make sure you don’t touch the hotspots because it can make your dog jump or display signs of frustration due to the pain it could cause. No matter what country or part of the world you live in, you will need to schedule a date to take your pet into the vet so they can start testing the area and figure out what caused the issue to occur.
When CBD devices are at play, your pet will have the means to return back to normal and begin to play again. It takes time to fix the issue, but just stay dedicated and apply the lessons in this article. With this advice, you’ll be able to march your way towards healing for your pet!
- CBD oil for cats and dogs
- Easy-to-swallow CBD capsules made with hemp for pets
From oils and chews to treats and capsules, our hemp products are top of the line. Try CBD for pets as a dog hot spot treatment! You’ll notice that your pet feels so much better on days where CBD is part of their routines. Let us know if you have any questions. In the meantime, we hope your pet loves CBD just as much as you love them!
Sara Redding Ochoa, DVM was raised in north Louisiana. She graduated from LA Tech in 2011 with a degree in animal science. She then moved to Grenada West Indies for veterinary school. She completed her clinical year at Louisiana State University and graduated in 2015 from St. George’s University. Since getting her degree from her colleges, she has been working at a small animal and exotic veterinary clinic in east Texas, where she has experience treating all species that walk in the hospital. In her free time, she likes to travel with her husband, Greg, bake yummy desserts, and spend time with her 4-legged fur kids: a dog daughter named Ruby, a cat called Oliver James or “OJ,” a rabbit named BamBam, and a tortoise named MonkeyMan.
The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
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- Clean and disinfect the area