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Medic for Hot Spots on Dogs

Hot spots are a common skin ailment in dogs. According to the American Society for the Backention of Cruelty to Animals, hot spots typically appear as moist, oozing, reddened areas (of any shape) that can be quite painful and itchy .

There are many reasons dogs can be affected by hot spots, including a flea-bite allergy, general skin allergies, bites from other parasites, chemical irritant, skin infection, ear and anal gland infections, and neglected grooming.

Dogs that swim a lot or those who live in a humid climate are more prone to develop hot spots. Basically, any situation that causes moist, dead fur to be trapped next to the skin can lead to a hot spot.

Usually, the problem starts when a dog chews on or licks broken skin. This breaches the body’s natural defenses and introduces bacteria on the affected skin that can lead to a mild to moderate infection in the skin’s upper layer.

Hot spots in dogs are painful, itchy and often seem to pop up overnight. Also, you will probably notice your dog obsessively itching, licking and biting at the area.

No matter what caused the hot spots, treatment is necessary to help heal the skin and relieve the itching. Along with medications prescribed by your vet, there are many alternative remedies for treating hot spots that can help control the problem.

Here are the top 10 home remedies for hot spots on dogs.

1. Keep the Area Clean

The most common home treatment for hot spots on dogs is to keep the affected area clean and dry as much as possible. This will help prevent any infection from spreading and aid in the healing process.

Use an antibacterial soap on the wound and wash it once daily. You can also use baby shampoo to wash your furry friend. Baby shampoo provides a gentle cleansing effect and helps soothe the irritated skin and prevent further scratching and damage to the area.

Dogs that have long, thick coats are more susceptible to developing hot spots, so you need to trim the hair on and around the affected area. It is important to give the hot spot access to air so the skin can dry out, which in turn helps the skin heal faster.

If you do not want to give your dog a full trim, at least remove or shorten the hair around the hot spot areas.

If there is pus from the wound, clean it with a moist cotton ball or gauze pad.

2. Coconut Oil

For treating hot spots on dogs, coconut oil is a good remedy due to its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties.

The saturated fats in coconut oil will reduce your dog’s allergic reaction and help relieve the itching sensation. The high fat content also helps keep the skin moisturized and promotes the growth of healthy skin and hair.

Whether used orally or topically, coconut oil can be beneficial.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Another good home remedy for hot spots on dogs is organic apple cider vinegar.

Its acidic nature helps restore the pH level your pet’s skin, which is important for killing off pathogens and reducing the itchiness.

4. Oatmeal

Experts also recommend oatmeal baths to soothe itchy skin due to hot spots.

Oatmeal contains anti-irritating, anti-inflammatory and soothing properties that provide instant relief from itching. It also nourishes and moisturizes your pet’s skin, which in turn relieves the discomforts.

  1. Add 1½ cups of finely ground oatmeal to a big tub filled with warm water.
  2. Add a few drops of lavender essential oil.
  3. Bathe your dog in the oatmeal bath for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse away the oats with warm water.
  5. Repeat once daily until the hot spots subside.

5. Black Tea Bags

Black tea bags are another commonly used home remedy for hot spots on dogs.

Due to the tannic acids present in black tea, it helps dry out the infected area and promote a gentle healing of the skin. It also helps reduce the itchiness.

  1. Steep a few black tea bags for 3 to 4 minutes in warm water.
  2. Remove the tea bags from the water and allow them to cool down a bit.
  3. Once cool, place the tea bags directly onto the hot spots.
  4. Let them remain on the hot spots for 5 minutes.
  5. Repeat 4 or 5 times per day until the hot spots have cleared.

6. Calendula

Calendula is a very effective herb for nearly every type of skin condition that your furry friend may suffer from, including hot spots.

Calendula has flavonoids that aid the healing of damaged skin and provide anti-inflammatory action to get rid of the pain and itchiness.

Plus, its antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties assist in eliminating germs and promoting healing.

  1. Apply a few drops of calendula oil on the hot spots.
  2. Gently massage the area with a cotton ball to ensure the oil gets fully absorbed into the skin.
  3. Allow the area to air-dry.
  4. Repeat 2 or 3 times per day until the hot spots have fully healed.

You can also apply calendula cream or lotion on the affected area, a few times a day.

7. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera gel is cooling, soothing and has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that can help treat hot spots on dogs.

Plus, it contains vitamin E that helps keep the skin moisturized and in turn reduces itching.

8. Neem

Neem, also known as Indian lilac, has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic and soothing properties that help relieve itching and discomfort caused by hot spots. Neem is also good for your pet’s overall skin health.

9. Omega-3 Supplements

Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, play an important role in keeping your dog’s skin in good condition. In fact, the essential fatty acids are important to prevent skin problems like hot spots on dogs.

The anti-inflammatory nature of omega-3s helps prevent pain and itching, the most common symptoms of hot spots.

Look for omega-3 supplements that contain EPA and DHA. Supplements come in liquid or capsule form. You can choose whichever is comfortable for you to feed to your dog.

It is always best to seek your veterinarian’s advice before starting your dog on any kind of supplement.

10. Maintain a Healthy Diet

For any kind of skin problem to heal, diet plays a key role. In fact, a nutritionally rich diet plays an important role in maintaining your dog’s health and preventing skin infections.

Also, a good diet helps boost your dog’s immunity, which helps the body stave off hot spots and other problems.

To help the hair grow back in the hot spots, a protein-based diet is important. In addition, your dog’s diet should include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, folic acid, biotin and vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D and E.

For healthy skin, feed your dog eggs, almonds, chia seeds, coconut oil, oats, liver from grass-fed animals, wild salmon, cranberries and sweet potatoes. At the same time, keep your dog hydrated. Make sure your dog has easy access to drinking water all the time.

Additional Tips

Resources:

  1. Dog Grooming Tips. ASPCA. https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/dog-grooming-tips.
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