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Hotspot Dog Home Remedy

Hot spot on the back of a chihuahuas head

Hot spots on your dog’s skin, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are regions of localized inflammation and infection. Your dog can’t ignore these areas of heated, irritated skin and will keep licking and scratching them. Hence, hot spots can grow quite rapidly if they are left untreated. They are generally accompanied by considerable hair loss and grow significantly in size in a couple of days. Keep reading to know the causes of this condition and some useful home remedies for dog hot spots.

Causes of Hotspots on Dogs

According to Holistapet, these patches are formed when the first layer of skin cracks and dangerous bacteria penetrate the wound. Canines can then stimulate the formation of more hot spots through frequent biting, licking, or scratching of their skin. Therefore, you should keep a careful eye on your pooch to figure out the onset of this problem. Some of the most common triggers of dog hotspots are discussed below.

Excessive Grooming

Dig biting at its hind quarter

It can happen due to several reasons, and you will need some investigation to find out the exact cause. For instance, any irritation to your dog’s skin can lead them to scratch or bite themselves, resulting in a hot spot. Similarly, allergens, bug bites, foreign objects (such as thorns or splinters), fur matting, and skin injuries can be responsible.

Dog owners need to observe their pet’s surroundings to see if he/she came in contact with an allergen. They may also need to consider recent injuries and check them to rule out that possibility. All these observations will help you to determine why your pup is over-grooming and creating a hot area.

Food Allergies

Chihuahua on a grey background with a small bowl of dogfood in front of it

Your enraged pal may have consumed something odd that triggered an allergic response. When the canine is in an open environment, there are various edibles. However, not everything suits the immune system of your furry friend and they can develop allergies.

Allergens in the Environment

During their walk, canines can be exposed to dirty grass, pollens, or mold. Hotspots can also be the result of swimming in filthy pond water.

Skin Infections

Close up of a hotspot under a dogs fur

Excessive scratching and biting due to a skin infection can also make way for a hot spot. Other than bacterial attacks, an unbalanced diet is also a major reason for skin infections.


This can be the leading cause of hotspots in your dog because fleas result in irritation and excessive itchiness.

Home Remedies for Hotspots in Dogs

Red colored hound scratching behind its ear with its paw

Although there are medical treatments for hotspots, they tend to cost a lot of money. Fortunately, dog hotspots can also be treated with a home remedy. Relievet explains that you can treat a painful hot spot on your dog at home through proper care and effective home remedies. The following are some of the best ones to try.

NOTE: If the condition of your dog doesn’t improve (or keeps worsening), it’s recommended to consult your vet.

A Bath in Oatmeal

Pug laying on its back in a bowl of soapy water with a braided bath scrubber

Anti-inflammatory elements in oatmeal assist in relieving itchy and irritated skin. It delays the loss of moisture from your dog’s skin to slow down the inflammation process.

  • Make a fine powder out of plain, uncooked oats (no flavorings, fruits, or other additions).
  • In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the powdered oatmeal in the water until completely dissolved.
  • Now, put the oatmeal mixture and warm water in a tub. Make sure that the water level reaches your pet’s chest. It’s advised to use a non-slip mat because the oats will make the surface slick and slippery.
  • Once it is done, carefully place your dog in the tub for the oatmeal bath.
  • Use, gentle circular motions to massage the oatmeal mixture into the dog’s coat. Make sure that it reaches the skin to get the desired results.
  • Allow your dog to enjoy the oatmeal bath for around 15 minutes.
  • After that, run a moderate stream of water over your dog’s coat. This will eliminate any pieces of oats that could irritate if not rinsed away.
  • Using a warm, thick towel, dry your dog.
  • You can repeat this treatment once a day until the symptoms of hot spots persist.

Packs of Soothing Tea

Used tea bags in a strainer

Tea is not only useful for relaxing humans but it can also be used for curing dog hot spots. Here’s how to do it.

  • Put a teabag in some water (black tea, not herbal) and boil it.
  • Let it cool completely before placing it against the hotspot. Tea contains antibacterial properties that aid in the healing of sores.
  • You can do this numerous times during the day.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Display of apple cider vinegar in a store

Organic apple cider vinegar is an excellent home treatment for itchy skin in dogs. You can use a 50% solution of this vinegar to treat hot areas. Spray the solution into the affected region 2-4 times each day to cure the problem. Let’s discuss the steps of this hotspot dog home remedy.

  • Shave the affected area. Removing the fur will allow the irritated skin to stay dry because the moisture can’t accumulate there.
  • Clean the heated location with cool water, a mild skin cleanser, and a soft sponge or rag.
  • Apply a cold compress to the hot region 2 to 4 times a day to reduce inflammation and heat. Wet washcloths can also be used if the skin is dried properly after the procedure.
  • Apply apple cider vinegar solution to fasten the healing process.


Benadryl bottle with several pink pills spilled about on a blue background

Some veterinarians suggest Benadryl (diphenhydramine) for irritation caused by hot spots. However, this chemical is seldom necessary and should only be used after consulting a vet. An oral dose of approximately 1 mg per 1 kg (or 2.2 lbs) of body weight (every 8 hours) is recommended. Although this dose is modest and has minimal adverse effects, it does produce drowsiness.

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