Categories: Pets

10 Home Remedies for Hot Spots in Dogs

Living with a pet makes your life a little happy place. There is no better love than a dog’s love.

“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.” This was said by an anonymous celebrity and rightly so.

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Learn 10 natural home remedies to get rid of hot spots in dogs

And that’s why it breaks your heart when you see them suffering from an ailment. As animals, they are more prone to parasites and bacterial infections, and the worst part is if you don’t notice it, they’ll suffer in silence. One of those kinds of ailments in dogs is hot spots.

A hot spot, also known as pyotraumatic or moist dermatitis, is a condition in dogs that involves an area of skin that becomes inflamed or infected. This is most often set off by your dog scratching, licking, gnawing and chewing on the area. The early stages of formation involve the skin becoming moist, itchy and red. The advanced stage involves a full-blown infection with pus oozing out of the wounded area.

If your dog continuously develops hot spots, it might be a sign of an underlying disease. If that’s the case, you should visit your vet.

Causes of Hot Spots in Dogs

Any skin irritation makes your dog gnaw, scratch and lick the irritated area, which results in the red and inflamed skin. Other reasons for hot spots in dogs may be:

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  • Allergies to grass, dust, and mites.
  • Poor hygiene or grooming.
  • Certain food allergies.
  • Anal gland infections, ear infections, etc.
  • Insect bites.
  • Frequently being in a pool, lake or rain.

Signs and symptoms

Signs your dog may have a hot spot include:

  • Swelling, inflammation, and redness in a contained area.
  • Dry and scaly skin.
  • Crusted or oozing sores.
  • Superficial cuts.
  • Small traumas.
  • Skin patches that are painful to touch.
  • Constant gnawing and licking a specific spot.
  • Loss of hair on the particular spot.
  • A foul odor coming from the infected area.
  • Your dog appearing depressed or unusually aggressive.

Prevention of Hot Spots

You can prevent hot spots from occurring by following the steps below:

  • Ensure your dog stays clean and dry.
  • If they are allergic to fleas or mites, ensure that they are on proper medication for it.
  • Prevent habitual scratching by reducing boredom.
  • Make sure your dog gets adequate exercise.

Here are some 10 home remedies for hot spots in dogs that you can use to improve your pet's condition.

Method 1: Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and antifungal properties. It kills the bacteria present on the skin, improves the skin’s pH levels and soothes the skin when applied topically. This will help prevent your dog from going back to chewing or scratching at the hot spot and worsening the wound promoting faster healing. It is also helpful to get rid of fleas on your furry little friend.

Caution: Apple cider vinegar should not be used if your dog has an open wound. The acetic acid present in apple cider vinegar will cause a burning sensation, which will irritate the wound and be very painful for your pooch.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply diluted apple cider vinegar on the hot spot

On the affected area, spray diluted apple cider vinegar
  • Pour ½ cup each of apple cider vinegar and water into a spray bottle.
  • Shake it to blend the ingredients well.
  • Spray the solution directly onto your dog’s hot spot.
  • Alternatively, you can spray some on a cotton ball and gently dab it on the hot spot.

Apply this 2 to 4 times a day, or as needed, for 1 week.

You can also give your dog apple cider vinegar orally. Mix the specified quantity in with your dog’s wet food:

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  • 1 teaspoon for dogs weighing less than 25 pounds.
  • 2 teaspoons for dogs weighing between 25 and 50 pounds.
  • 1 tablespoon for dogs weighing between 50 and 75 pounds.
  • 1½ to 2 tablespoons for dogs weighing more than 75 pounds.

Add it to your dog’s food once a day for 1 week, or until your dog stops itching and licking the spot.

Method 2: Black Tea

Black tea contains tannic acid, which has the ability to draw out bacteria and soothe the sore. It also dries out the infected area and promotes gentle healing.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply a used tea bag on the hot spot

Dab the area with a used tea bag to get rid of hot spots in dogs
  • Dip a tea bag in a cup of hot water and allow it to cool.
  • Remove the tea bag and place it directly on the hot spot.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes.

Do this several times a day for 1 week.

Method 3: Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and is used as an antibiotic and a disinfectant. It soothes any skin irritation and promotes quick healing.

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Single-Step Treatment: Apply pure aloe vera gel on the hot spot

Apply aloe vera to help heal the hot spot
  • Extract fresh aloe vera gel by cutting open an aloe vera leaf. You can also use a store-bought 100% pure aloe vera gel.
  • Apply a thin layer of the gel directly on the hot spot.

Repeat once or twice a day, until the hot spots begin to heal.

Method 4: Organic Raw Honey

The best type of honey to use to treat any wound in dogs is Manuka honey. Honey is naturally high in enzymes, antioxidants, and flavonoids. When used as a wound-dressing, honey eliminates bacterial infections and helps decrease inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply a thin layer of honey on the hot spot

Heal the hot spot with organic honey naturally
  • Trim the hair around the hot spot and blot it gently to remove any dirt.
  • Using a clean spatula, apply a thin layer of honey directly on the wound.

Do this twice a day daily until the wound is completely healed.

Method 5: Colloidal Silver

Colloidal silver is an all-natural pure substance that contains microscopic clusters of silver, in pure ionized water held in suspension by a tiny electric charge laid on each particle. It is used to treat bacterial, parasitic and viral infections.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply colloidal silver on the hot spot

Use colloidal silver DIY treatment for hot spots in dogs
  • Drop a little bit of colloidal silver onto a cotton ball.
  • Gently dab it on the hot spot.

Repeat several times a day for 1 week to relieve your pooch of their misery.

Method 6: Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps calm the irritation and itching on the wound and promotes quick healing.

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The dishwashing liquid in the solution will help the distilled water blend well with the tea tree oil.

Things you’ll need:

Items needed to use tea tree oil for hot spots
  • Tea tree oil – 5 drops
  • Distilled water – ½ cup
  • Liquid dishwashing detergent – a few drops

Single-Step Treatment: Mix all the ingredients & spray it on the hot spot

Combine the ingredients and spray the affected to heal the hot spot
  • Pour ½ cup of distilled water into a spray bottle.
  • Add 5 drops of tea tree oil and a few drops of liquid dish soap to it.
  • Shake the bottle, so the ingredients get mixed well.
  • Spray the solution directly on the wound.

Use this remedy several times a day.

Method 7: Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is one of the best home remedies for hot spots in dogs, as it is antifungal and antibacterial in nature. It can be used for topical application as well as internal consumption.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply coconut oil on the wound

Use coconut oil to treat hot spots in dogs without going to a vet
  • Use a cotton ball or swab to gently rub some coconut oil on the dog’s hot spot.

Do this several times a day.

Caution: Ensure that your dog doesn’t lick the oil. Ingesting too much coconut oil can act as a laxative and cause diarrhea.

You can also use a specified amount of coconut oil as a supplement in your pooch’s diet. Always start slow. Add a ¼ teaspoon per 10 pounds and 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds of your dog’s weight.

Method 8: Listerine

Listerine is one of the best solutions to help improve hot spots in dogs, as it does not have any alcohol that might burn the wound. The herbal oils in Listerine have antifungal and antibacterial properties that disinfect and dry out the hot spot.

Note: Use the gold Listerine, as the colored ones might have sugar in them.

Things you’ll need:

Things required to make Listerine spray for hot spots
  • Listerine – 1 tablespoon
  • Baby oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Water – 1 tablespoon

Single-Step Treatment: Mix all the ingredients & spray it on the wound

Add up the ingredients and spray on the affected skin of your pet
  • Pour 1 tablespoon each of water, Listerine and baby oil into a spray bottle.
  • Shake the bottle to blend the ingredients well.
  • Spray the solution on the wound.

Use this remedy several times a day for 1 week. This spray can also be used to get rid of manges in dogs.

Method 9: Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has skin-soothing properties. It is also a powerful astringent that will dry out the wound and help it heal faster.

Single-Step Treatment: Apply witch hazel on the wound

Dab the affected skin with witch hazel to cure hotspots in dogs
  • Put a few drops of witch hazel on a cotton ball.
  • Gently dab the cotton ball on your dog’s hot spot.
  • Let the witch hazel get absorbed into the skin.

Repeat 2 or 3 times a day until the hot spot vanishes.

Method 10: Benadryl

Benadryl is an antihistamine and anti-allergic agent. It is an over-the-counter medicine that can be used to ease itching and skin irritation in dogs. Always use Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) with no additional additives or products.

Single-Step Treatment: Give your dog Benadryl to eliminate itching

Treat hot spots in your dog by giving him Benadryl orally

Give your pooch Benadryl orally after consulting your vet. The dosage should be:

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  • 25 mg per 25 pounds of the dog’s body weight.
  • Only half of a 25-mg dose for dogs weighing less than 15 pounds.

Tips to get rid of hot spots in dogs

  • Make your pooch wear an Elizabethan collar before using any remedy to treat the hot spots. This will prevent your dog from gnawing or scratching at the hot spot, promoting quick healing.
  • Carefully clip all the hair away from the affected lesion in all hot spots.
  • Give your dog a soothing bath using dog shampoo infused with aloe vera gel once or twice a week.
  • Essential oils are not for internal consumption. Make sure your pet does not lick or bite the wound after being treated with essential oil.
  • Always start slow when you’re adding a supplement to your pooch’s diet. Add supplements in smaller quantities in the beginning.
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Published by
Jennifer Bonnell, DVM

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