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.
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.
- Clean and disinfect the area