What Causes Hot Spots On Dogs?

Hot spots are a skin condition mostly found in dogs. But what causes hot spots on dogs? Can it be treated? If you have a pet dog, you must be worried by listening to this word! Just like humans, even dogs develop bacterial infections on their skin. It spreads rapidly if you failed to prevent it with the right management. So, here’s everything you need to know about what causes hot spots on dogs and how to treat them. We will also have a look at the preventive measures needed for dog hot spot treatment. Now, let’s understand what causes hot spots on dogs in-depth.

What Causes Hot Spots On Dogs?

Most dogs suffer from hot spots due to their unhealthy lifestyle. Below, I have listed common factors that will help you to understand what causes hot spots on dogs in winter more clearly.

  1. Flea allergies
  2. Cuts
  3. Abrasions
  4. Ear infection
  5. Anal gland infection
  6. Foreign objects like thorns or splinters
  7. Food allergies
  8. Seasonal or environmental allergies
  9. Matted fur
  10. Insect bites
  11. Chewing due to stress or boredom
  12. Parasites
  13. Atopic dermatitis
  14. Excess moisture trapped in their costs after swimming or bathing
  15. Poor grooming

However, dog breeds like Golden Retrievers, German Shepherd Dogs, Labrador are prone to skin infection due to their thicker coats. This skin disorder can drastically increase in size in a very short period of time.

Hot Spots Early Symptoms

By now, you have got to know what causes hot spots on dogs’ skin. To treat this skin disorder, you need to check your dog’s body to determine whether he has similar symptoms or not.

Below, I have mentioned some of the early symptoms of hot spots on dogs.

  1. The affected area may discharge pus or fluid.
  2. Crusting and matting around the dog’s hair.
  3. Redness
  4. Swelling
  5. Hair loss
  6. Consistently bleeding
  7. Colored discharge
  8. Affected areas increases in size

You may need a little extra care to keep your pet’s skin healthy. So, keep on reading further to know home remedies for hot spots on dogs.

Hot Spots On Dogs Treatment

Once you understand what causes hot spots on dogs’ back, you can heal dog spots at home. Your vet will likely prescribe the following course of action to treat hot spots.

  • Cleaning

The affected area must be cleaned thoroughly. You can also shave off matted fur from the affected area. Bathing with an antiseptic shampoo such as chlorhexidine can be used to clean the affected area.

  • Treating Infection

After knowing what causes hot spots on dogs’ neck, it’s time to treat the infection. Monthly flea treatments or hypoallergic diets work best for such allergies. Regular grooming or keeping fur cut short can prevent matting.

  • Medications For Pain

Topical or oral steroids and antihistamines (Benadryl) prescribed by doctors can help to control inflammation and decrease itching. Hot spot treatment spray such as Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Hot Spot Spray can be used to fasten up the healing process.

  • Use An E-collar

In order to prevent continuous licking and biting, you can use an e-collar to properly heal the hot spots. 

Henceforth, the hot spot on a dog’s neck will begin to disappear in a few days after the start of the treatment.

How To Prevent Hot Spots On Dogs?

The hot spot is a severe skin condition that can be prevented before it gets worse. After understanding what causes hot spots on dogs’ legs, you can prevent it by following preventive measures.

  • Always keep your dog well-groomed to stop scratching and prevent trauma to the skin. It is also important to ensure that you dry their coats thoroughly after bathing your dogs.
  • You can use environmental enrichment such as puzzle toys or slow-feed bowls to keep your dogs mentally stimulated.
  • Feeding them supplementing fatty acids is another great option to prevent and manage skin disease. Try omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA to promote a healthy skin barrier.
  • In fact, topical aloe vera can be used to soothe damaged skin and decrease itching.

If hot spots continue to occur even after treating them, you need to visit a veterinarian to determine the cause.

What Are Hot Spots On Dogs?

Hot spots on dogs are red, inflamed skin lesions that are caused due to excessive scratching or biting. Hot spots are also known as pyotraumatic dermatitis or acute moist dermatitis in other words.

Below, I have attached a few pictures of hot spots on dogs for reference.


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What Is The Best Thing To Put On A Dog’s Hot Spot?

The best thing to do on a dogs hot spot is

  • Cleaning
  • Treating Infection
  • Medications For Pain
  • Use An E-collar

What Foods Cause Hot Spots On Dogs?

The foods that may cause hot spots on dogs are

  • Dry kibble (it has a warming energetic due to processing at extremely high temperatures and also dampening due to large carbohydrate load)
  • Diet rich in carbohydrates.
  • Warming foods (venison, lamb, chicken, mutton)
  • Dairy & fatty foods.

How Can I Treat My Dog’s Hot Spot At Home?

You can treat dogs hots spots at home

  • Trim the area around the hot spot with dog hair clippers (not scissors). This will allow the affected area to get some air and prevent excess moisture from slowing down the healing process.
  • Clean the skin with a mild, water-based antiseptic spray or wipe, like Douxo Chlorhexidine 3% PS pads, or an antibacterial shampoo.
  • Apply a veterinary-recommended hot spot treatment spray that is safe if ingested. One example is Vetericyn Plus Antimicrobial Pet Hot Spot Spray.
  • Place an e-collar, or “the cone of shame,” on your dog to help prevent them from biting, licking, or scratching the hot spot.
  • Monitor the area for improvement and signs of healing (decreased redness, less moisture, smaller lesion size).

Will A Dog Hot Spot Go Away On Its Own?

Unfortunately, a hot spot won’t go away on its own, especially since dogs have a hard time leaving their irritated skin alone. A hot spot is easier to prevent than to treat, so try to keep your dog free of hot spots by grooming them regularly and keeping them up to date on flea and tick medication.

Should You Bathe A Dog With Hotspots?

Bathe your pup all over with a special shampoo, such as chlorhexidine, to prevent new hotspots from developing. A shampoo made for treating hot spots should be gentle on the skin. You may also use an antiseptic or astringent. However, these products are more likely to burn when you apply them.

How Do Dogs Get Hotspots?

Most hot spots on dogs are caused by an underlying condition that either causes itchiness, excessive licking, or excessive moisture. The most common conditions include: Allergies (flea allergy, food allergy, or seasonal allergies) Ear infections.

Can You Put Neosporin On A Dog’s Hot Spot?

Apply a first-aid cream, such as Neosporin (the cream, not the ointment). For healthy dogs, a generic 1% hydrocortisone cream from the human first-aid shelf is safe and usually effective. It will need to be applied 3-4 times a day.


In my above article, I have discussed what causes hot spots on dogs’ face in detail. The itching or scratching can be either due to flea allergy, anal sac disease, stress, food allergy, or parasites. It mostly occurs during warm weather and high humidity periods. You can treat this skin disorder by physically examining your dog. Try cleaning the affected area with chlorhexidine shampoo to treat the bacterial infection. You can also stop the underlying cause of itching by using allergy medications. Once you understand what causes hot spots on dogs, you can make your dog less susceptible to infection.

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How do you treat hot spots on dogs

What causes hot spots in dogs?