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Homemade Hot Spot Spray for Dogs

Hand spraying contents of a small white spray bottle onto a hotspot on a dog

Hot spots (also known as acute moist dermatitis) are regions of localized inflammation and infection of a dog’s skin. These patches of dry skin are very irritating for canines and they scratch on them rigorously to ease the discomfort. Although hot spots are localized, they can spread quickly if proper treatment is not ensured. Read on to know the common causes of itching and learn the way to make homemade hot spot spray for dogs.

What Causes Hot Spots on Dogs?

Hot spots develop when the inflammation of skin breaks the top-most layer of cells. Holista Pet mentions that this allows bacteria, heat, and moisture to enter the dog’s body. An imbalance of bacteria at that body part results in a hot spot. The scratching, licking, biting of the wound by the dog also paves way for the formation of hot spots. Hence, the major cause of hot spots on dogs can be divided into the following two categories.

Rigorous Grooming

Close up of a yellow lab licking its hind quarter

This is how skin cells are damaged in the first place. However, dogs don’t groom themselves excessively unless there is a problem. Dog owners need to figure out the underlying cause for this behavior to reduce the chances of hot spots.

Generally, they indulge in scratching and licking just to relieve the irritation caused by insect bites, environmental allergens, and fur mats. Similarly, moisture and injuries caused by thorns and other foreign objects can also lead to excessive grooming. Observe your pup for all these possible causes to find out the exact reason for over-grooming.

Although dogs are not known to groom themselves, some pups develop the habit of compulsive grooming. In most cases, it happens with anxious or nervous canines who are trying to reduce their stress. This strategy may prove helpful to control their anxiety, but it will result in painful hot spots. Therefore, you should look for anti-anxiety medications or calming treats to solve this problem.

External Conditions

Yellow Lab laying in a mud puddle

Too much heat and moisture around your pup can also be responsible for hot spots. This is because it boosts the growth of bacteria that can irritate your pup’s skin. This will make him/her scratch that body part excessively which will soon result in a hot spot. This problem is more common in breeds with long hair. Likewise, if you live in a hot and humid climate, your pooch is more likely to suffer from this problem.

Is Your Dog’s Hot Spot Acute or Chronic?

Close up of a hot spot on the hind leg of a brown and white dog standing on hard wood floors

Generally, hot spots on dogs are considered acute because they are caused by external factors. For example, flea infestations and environmental allergens are responsible for them. However, hot spots can turn into a chronic problem for some canines. They spread pretty quickly and become sticky and painful over time. Hence, they must be treated as soon as possible.

If the hot spots of your pup keep coming back, there could be an underlying reason. According to Rita Hogan (a canine herbalist), immune disease, muscle tension (or injury), or liver disease are the most likely causes.

For example, if your canine friend seems to develop hot spots on the spine, examine the area for the stiffness. In case of a chronic problem, your dog may develop multiple hot spots in a very short time. Acupuncture, chiropractic adjustments, or acupressure can be useful to counter this condition. 

Recipe for Homemade Hot Spot Spray for Dogs

Hand holding a white spray bottle outdoors with trees in the background

This amazing recipe is very effective against hot spots because it soothes the itchy sensation in dogs. It only requires three ingredients and will relieve a lot of your pup’s discomfort.


  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup brewed green tea (cooled)
  • 1 cup distilled water


  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and sprinkle it on the affected skin.
  3. Massage, rinse, and pat dry the wound.
  4. This mixture can also be stored in a refrigerator for 1-2 weeks. Discard the mixture if it looks moldy.

Recipe for Herbal Hot Spot Rinse for Dogs

Natural additives laying on a green background with a small brown glass spray bottle with a tan label

Herbs are an excellent source of hot spot treatment. They relieve the pain of the hot spot and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria around the wound. Let’s discuss this two-fold herbal remedy to treat hot spots on dogs.

Ingredients (for Hot Spot Rinse):

  • 10 drops crab apple flower essence
  • ½ tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 8 ounces boiled, cooled filtered water
  • 20 drops Self-Heal (Prunella vulgaris)
  • 10 drops of echinacea tincture

Ingredients (for Hot Spot Healing Powder):

  • ¼ cup powdered bentonite clay
  • 1/8 cup powdered Echinacea, plantain leaf, or yarrow


  1. Mix the ingredients of Hot Spot Rinse in a spray bottle.
  2. Then, flush the area or gently mist and let dry. Do this 3 or 4 times for the first 24 hours.
  3. Next, combine powdered bentonite clay with powdered echinacea, plantain leaf, or yarrow. Bentonite clay is okay by itself if you don’t have access to the other herbs. 
  4. Sprinkle this mixture on the lesion and let it sit for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Rinse off with tepid water or the Hot Spot Rinse. Do this 2 or 3 times per day. 

Thanks to Dogs Naturally Magazine for this recipe.

Golden retrievers laying outdoors in grass

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