Treating Dog Hot Spots at Home

Hot spots can cause discomfort and pain for your dog. You may be looking for effective treatment options that you can do at home. Discover how you can safely and effectively treat your pup’s hot spots from the comfort of your own home.

Quick facts: Treating Dog Hot Spots At Home

  • ✅ Hot spots can be treated with a mixture of 50% water and 50% Apple Cider Vinegar for 10 minutes each day – PetMD
  • ✅ Treating hot spots early is key to successful treatment – American Kennel Club
  • ✅ Hot spots can form from allergies, insect bites, or excessive licking and scratching – WebMD
  • ✅ An antibiotic ointment or cream can help reduce inflammation and stop the spot from spreading – Petco
  • ✅ Clipping the fur around the hot spot can help improve air circulation and speed up healing – American Veterinary Medical Association
  • Introduction

    A hot spot, also known as a cutaneous pyoderma, is a painful bacterial skin infection that typically affects dogs. Hot spots can form quickly and can be caused by a variety of issues such as allergies, insect bites and poor grooming habits. If left untreated, they can become infected and may require veterinary treatment. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to treat hot spots at home and help your dog feel better.

    In order to successfully treat your dog’s hot spot at home, you first need to identify the cause. Common causes include flea bites or allergies to food or environmental irritants like pollen or molds. Once you’ve determined the cause of the hot spot, the next step is to clean it properly. This includes:

    • Clipping away the fur around the area
    • Gently cleaning the area with an antiseptic solution such as chlorhexidine or betadine solution to disinfect it and help promote healing.
    • Applying an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin or Polysporin to soothe pain and prevent further infection.

    Be sure to talk with your veterinarian if your pet’s hot spots don’t improve after a few days of treatment – they may need additional care from a vet in order for them to heal fully.

    What Are Hot Spots?

    Hot spots are a common skin issue in dogs, often appearing as an area of inflamed, itchy and irritated skin. These skin irritations, also known as acute moist dermatitis, can be quite painful for dogs and can cause them discomfort. It is important to know how to identify hot spots and how to treat them before they can become a bigger problem. Let’s explore this further.


    Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are a type of skin condition that can affect dogs. The affected area appears reddened and inflamed and is usually covered in a thick, yellowish-brown discharge. Hot spots can be painful for your pup, so it’s important to address them quickly and properly.

    Symptoms of hot spots include:

    • Redness
    • Swelling
    • Itching or licking of the affected area.
    • Hair loss may also occur around the spot due to your dog’s constant itching and licking of the area.
    • As the inflammation gets worse, it will become increasingly difficult for your pup to resist licking or scratching on their spot.
    • If not treated promptly, hot spots can become very serious and lead to infection or even bald patches on your pet’s body.


    Hot spots on dogs are typically caused by an underlying skin condition such as allergies, parasites, injuries, or poor grooming habits. Allergies can be caused by food, environmental conditions such as dust, or even grooming products and medications. Parasites such as fleas and ticks can cause irritation to a dog’s skin as well, which can manifest as hot spots. In addition to these issues, direct trauma due to scratching or licking at the affected area may be a culprit.

    Poor grooming habits can also lead to hot spots; matted fur traps moisture and makes it difficult for pets to dry themselves off adequately after swimming or bathing. Ultimately, any factor that leads to inflammation of the dog’s skin can trigger a hot spot.


    Treatment for hot spots on dogs generally involves cleansing the area with a mild antiseptic, such as diluted chlorhexidine, and then applying topical medications to reduce inflammation, reduce itching, and prevent infection. However, there are also some home remedies that can be used to treat hot spots in dogs.

    In this article, we’ll discuss the various treatment options available for treating dog hot spots:

    Cleaning the Area

    When it comes to treating a dog’s hot spots at home, the first step is to clean the area. The best way to do this is to use a gentle antiseptic wash. However, if you don’t have one on hand, regular soap and water will also do in a pinch. Be sure not to scrub too hard—you don’t want to further irritate the already inflamed skin.

    Once you have washed the area, rinse with lukewarm water and then pat dry with a clean towel or cloth. Be sure not to rub too hard as this can further irritate the affected area.

    After cleaning, you may also want to apply some antibiotic ointment or cream in order to help promote healing and prevent infection of the wound.

    Applying Medications

    Applying medications is the second step in treating dog hot spots at home. Appropriate treatments will depend on the severity of the hot spot and your vet’s instructions. Depending on your pet’s condition, a topical ointment, antiseptic shampoo or dip, or oral antibiotics may be recommended.

    When applying medication, it’s important to ensure that you cover the affected areas completely. If the hot spot is more widespread than initially visible, you should apply medication well beyond the circumference of the wound so that any bacteria or infection can be treated as well. It’s also important to get underneath any scabs that have formed. When finished applying medication, gently pat down any residual salve with a clean cloth before wrapping with a bandage or gauze if recommended by your veterinarian.

    Make sure to keep an eye on how your dog responds to treatment and call your vet if symptoms persist or worsen.

    Limiting Activity

    Limiting activity is an important step in treating hot spots on dogs at home. The goal is to minimize the itching and scratching that the dog will do, which can worsen the hot spot.

    In order to limit activity, try to keep your dog away from areas where they are likely to itch or scratch. If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure they have plenty of shade and access to water when it’s hot outside. Additionally, try not to disrupt any healed area with activities such as playing catch or tug-of-war that involve a lot of movement and contact with the skin.

    Finally, use something like a cone of shame or E-collar if necessary to prevent your dog from scratching at the area that needs healing.


    Since hot spots are caused by an underlying cause, the best way to treat them is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. This can be done by ensuring that your dog’s skin and coat are kept clean and healthy. Regular brushing and bathing can help to remove excess oils from the skin and prevent bacteria from forming. Additionally, make sure to talk to your vet if any skin issues or allergies arise.

    Check for Allergens

    When it comes to treating your dog’s hot spots at home, the first step is to figure out what might be causing them in the first place. While there are several things that can lead to an itchy and inflamed patch of skin, the most common culprit is an allergic reaction.

    If your pup has been exposed to an allergen like fleas or pollen, they could develop a hot spot as a result. To rule out allergens, start by doing thorough check-ups on your pup’s fur and skin—especially around any areas where they have experienced hot spots before. Pay special attention to their ears and any other frequent scratching spots. It’s also a good idea to look around for other environmental factors such as weeds or airborne irritants that could also be affecting your pet’s skin.

    If you can identify the allergen in question, you can begin treating it accordingly and help prevent future recurring hot spots from developing on your pup!

    Keep Your Dog Clean

    One of the most important things you can do to help prevent hot spots on your dog is to keep them clean. This may involve regular bathing, brushing, and trimming hair. If your dog’s coat is kept clean and properly groomed, it will minimize the chances of bacteria from getting trapped in their fur which can cause an infection or become irritated skin.

    Cleaning your dog’s face and fur with a gentle soap and water regularly will also help keep them free from dirt, grass or other irritants that could cause irritation. Additionally, you may consider investing in a high-quality shampoo specifically designed for dogs with skin sensitivities.

    By following these steps and keeping your pup clean, you’ll drastically reduce their chances of developing hot spots.

    Groom Your Dog Regularly

    Groom your dog regularly to prevent hot spots. Hot spots, also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis, are areas of skin that have become inflamed due to excessive licking, scratching, or biting. Dogs are susceptible to this type of dermatitis due to their thick coats and can cause them a great deal of discomfort if not treated quickly.

    Regularly brushing your dog’s fur will help identify any potential hot spots before they become an issue. Be sure to pay special attention to frequently moist areas such as the armpits and inner thighs, which are more prone to the condition. Additionally, make sure your dog is up-to-date on their flea and tick prevention treatments which can also lead to hot spots if not managed properly.

    Grooming can go a long way in preventing hot spots while also making sure your pup looks their best!


    In conclusion, treating dog hot spots at home should be done with care and caution. Hot spots can be treated with medicated shampoos or topical antibiotic creams, both of which can be purchased from your local veterinarian or pet store. It is important to keep the area clean and dry in order to help the hot spot heal more quickly. Additionally, avoid harsh brushing or scratching of the area while it is healing, as this can irritate the skin further and lead to infection.

    If possible, it is best to check in with your veterinarian if you are unsure how to proceed or if you think that the hot spot may not be improving with home treatment.

    FAQs about: Treating Dog Hot Spots At Home

    Q: What is a hot spot on a dog?

    A: A hot spot is an area of irritated, inflamed skin that typically appears red and often has a moist discharge. They are also known as acute moist dermatitis.

    Q: What causes hot spots on a dog?

    A: Hot spots on a dog can be caused by any number of factors, including allergies, fleas, mites, bacterial infection, or simply excessive licking or scratching.

    Q: How can I treat a hot spot on my dog at home?

    A: The first step to treating a hot spot on your dog at home is to keep the area clean. You can do this by clipping away any excess fur and gently cleaning it with an antiseptic solution. After the area is cleaned, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover the spot with a bandage or cone collar. Additionally, you should keep the area dry and free of debris.

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