There's nothing worse than seeing our four-legged friends in discomfort. Dog hot spots can be a real pain, not just for the dogs, but for their loving owners too. Imagine looking deep into those husky eyes, seeking trust, and seeing pain reflected back.

Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are inflamed, raw, and sometimes oozing skin lesions that can pop up virtually overnight. If you've noticed your Norwegian Elkhound scratching more than usual, or if your French Brittany has a reddened area they won’t stop licking, they might be dealing with a hot spot.

What Causes Hot Spots?

One summer, my friend told me a story about her Malamute vs Husky debate she had with a neighbor. As they engaged in playful banter about which breed is superior, her Malamute, Max, was busy licking and biting a spot on his leg. That innocent lick led to an irritated and painful hot spot.

Several factors can lead to hot spots:

  • Allergies
  • Insect bites
  • Poor grooming
  • Underlying ear or skin infections
  • Even something as simple as getting wet from a swim and not drying off completely

How to Recognize Hot Spots?

Remember, early detection is vital. The sooner you identify a hot spot, the quicker you can start treating it. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Hair loss in the area
  • Pus or discharge
  • Constant licking or scratching of the area
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Effective Treatments for Dog Hot Spots

1. Keep the Area Clean

Clean the affected area with mild antiseptic solutions. Always make sure to dry the spot thoroughly as moisture can further aggravate the condition.

2. Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Your vet might prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce swelling and pain.

3. Topical Solutions

There are over-the-counter dog hot spot treatments available in spray or cream forms. These can help to alleviate pain, dry the oozing, and prevent infections.

4. Natural Remedies

For those who prefer natural solutions, a mixture of black tea bags (cool after boiling) can be applied to the affected area. Also, a question that pops up occasionally: can dogs have cinnamon? Surprisingly, in small amounts, cinnamon can be a good anti-inflammatory agent for them, though it's not directly applied to hot spots.

5. Distract Your Dog

Remember the phrase "a dog's life"? Make it enjoyable for them, even during recovery. When my puppy was teething, I discovered the best toy for teething puppies. Something chewable can distract them from the pain of a hot spot, and toys can be a lifesaver during these times.

Preventing Future Hot Spots

  1. Regular Grooming: Regularly groom and brush your dog to prevent matting, which can lead to hot spots. This is especially important for breeds with thick coats.
  2. Proper Nutrition: A healthy diet can keep their skin and coat in top condition, reducing the chances of skin issues.
  3. Keep Them Dry: After a swim or bath, ensure your dog is dried off thoroughly.
  4. Flea Control: Regular flea treatments can prevent bites that could lead to scratching and hot spots.

Home Remedies to Consider

While it's crucial to see a vet if you suspect your dog has a hot spot or if a known hot spot worsens, there are a few home remedies that some pet owners have found useful. Let's delve into some of these:

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Spray

Apple cider vinegar, diluted with water, can act as an astringent and antibacterial agent. A mixture of equal parts of ACV and water can be sprayed on the affected area, but not on open sores. Its acidic nature helps prevent bacterial growth, a common cause of hot spots.

dog hot spot treatment

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory properties, and it can be gently applied to hot spots. Not only does it soothe the skin, but it also acts as a barrier, preventing your dog from licking the area. Bonus: it's also great for a dog's coat, leaving it shiny and healthy.

Aloe Vera

This plant is known for its healing properties, especially for burns. For dogs, pure aloe vera gel can soothe their skin and offer relief from itching.

The Emotional Side of Recovery

The physical treatment of hot spots is one aspect; understanding and attending to the emotional needs of your pet is another. Your dog might feel stressed or anxious due to the discomfort. Comfort them with gentle words, petting, and maybe even some soothing music.

Recall the words of a fellow dog lover who once said, "When I look into the eyes of my dog, I see a soul." That resonated with me because, during recovery, your dog's demeanor might change, reflecting their unease. Be their rock during this time.

Bonding Through Recovery

I remember when I first got to know about the Norwegian Elkhound breed. Those dogs have a resilient spirit. Their owners shared tales of recovery, where they felt their bond with their pet deepened. Your dog's recovery period is not just about administering medicine or ointments. It's about shared moments of trust.

When applying treatment, speak to them, narrate stories, tell them about your day, or maybe share tales of the mighty French Brittany's adventures. These tales can distract and comfort them, making the treatment process smoother.

The Aftercare: Nurturing Back to Normalcy

Once you've successfully treated the hot spot, the journey doesn't end there. Healing is as much about the aftercare as it is about the immediate treatment.

Monitor Healing Progress

Regularly check the affected area to ensure it's healing properly. The redness should subside, and fur should begin to regrow. However, if you notice the hot spot expanding or if pus continues to ooze, it's time for another vet visit.

Limit Physical Activity

While your dog might be eager to run around and play, it's wise to limit their physical activity for a bit. Too much activity could cause them to scratch or irritate the healing hot spot. Think of it as a recovery period, much like how humans need rest after a significant medical procedure.

Provide Nutritional Support

Nutrition plays an undeniable role in skin health. Consider incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into their diet, commonly found in fish oil supplements. These not only boost skin health but also promote a shinier coat. Also, ensuring they have a balanced diet aids in faster recovery.

Bonding through Adversity

Adversity, as they say, brings out the real character. The phase of treating and recovering from a hot spot can reveal a lot about your relationship with your pet.

For instance, I once met a lady with the most radiant French Brittany. Amidst our discussions, she narrated her ordeal of managing her pet's hot spot. The story wasn't just about the treatment but the late-night cuddles, the soft whispers of assurance, and the unwavering trust her pet showcased. It's these moments of vulnerability and shared challenges that make the bond unbreakable.

Fun Distractions

Now, since you're minimizing their physical activity, it's a good time to introduce new toys or puzzles. Recall the earlier mention of the best toy for teething puppies? Such toys can act as perfect distractions. Not only do they keep your dog engaged, but they also minimize the chances of them fidgeting with their hot spot.

dog hot spot treatment

Embracing the Journey

From the playful debates of Malamute vs Husky to the midnight worries of "Can dogs have cinnamon?" — being a pet parent is a journey with its fair share of ups and downs. Hot spots are just a small chapter in this long, fulfilling adventure of love, trust, and companionship.

Lifelong Learning: The Canine Care Journey

Every experience with your dog, including tackling hot spots, is an opportunity to learn and grow in your role as a pet parent. With each challenge, you become better equipped to handle the next one.

Educate Yourself Regularly

The world of canine health and wellness is ever-evolving. New studies, findings, and techniques come up regularly. Subscribing to reputable pet health websites, joining local dog owner groups, or attending workshops can provide valuable insights. Knowledge truly is your best tool in ensuring your dog leads a healthy life.

Share Your Experiences

The power of community cannot be overstated. By sharing your own experiences, be it about treating hot spots, or the amusing comparison between Malamute vs Husky, you help others on similar journeys. Plus, hearing their tales might offer you new perspectives and solutions you hadn't considered before.

Embrace Holistic Wellness

Beyond immediate concerns like hot spots, consider your dog's overall well-being. Mental stimulation, emotional health, and physical activity all play critical roles in a dog's life. For instance, ever noticed how some dogs have an intrinsic affinity for specific toys, say like the joy a puppy finds in the best toy for teething puppies? These simple joys contribute to their overall happiness and mental well-being.

Seek Professional Advice

While home remedies and over-the-counter treatments have their place, always consult with a veterinarian before making significant decisions about your dog's health. They're trained to provide guidance tailored to your dog's unique needs.

The Changing Dynamics: Growing Together

It's essential to remember that as your dog grows and evolves, so does your relationship with them. The spirited energy of a young French Brittany may slowly mellow with age, or the curious innocence in the husky eyes may become more profound with wisdom. These transitions come with their own sets of challenges and joys.

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Always Stay Vigilant

The key is to always remain attentive to your dog's needs. Routine health checks, noting any behavioral changes, and being proactive in addressing issues will go a long way. For instance, if you notice them continuously licking or biting a specific spot, it could be an early sign of a developing hot spot.

The Game-Changer in Canine Care: FI Dog Collars

As we journey through the multifaceted world of canine care, there's a pioneering advancement that seamlessly fits into our discussion - the FI Dog Collar. This isn't just another dog collar. Instead, it's an epitome of modern pet tech that offers a multitude of features beneficial for every dog owner. Let's delve into how the FI Dog Collar aligns with some of our previously discussed topics.

Monitoring and Early Detection

Remember when we spoke about the importance of monitoring healing progress, especially after treating conditions like hot spots? The FI Dog Collar goes a step beyond and offers real-time health tracking. This collar can track your dog's activity levels, allowing you to notice if they're less active than usual, which could indicate discomfort or a health issue.

Moreover, with the inbuilt GPS, should your spirited French Brittany decide to go on an unexpected adventure, you'll have their location at your fingertips. No more Malamute vs Husky escapades without you being in the know!

dog hot spot treatment

Holistic Wellness and Physical Activity

For the overall well-being of dogs, mental and physical stimulation is crucial. The FI Dog Collar helps track your dog's activity levels, ensuring they're getting the right amount of exercise. Whether you're playing fetch using the best toy for teething puppies or taking a long walk, the collar provides insights into how active your dog has been throughout the day.

Bonding Through Technology

Being connected with your pet doesn't always mean physical proximity. Imagine looking into those deep husky eyes through a camera, even when you're miles away. The FI Dog Collar's integrated system allows for such experiences. With its advanced features, it ensures that even when you're apart, you're always connected.

Educate and Stay Updated

The FI Dog Collar app isn't just a tracking tool; it's a hub of information. Regular updates, articles, and tips related to canine care are available at your fingertips. Whether you're pondering questions like "Can dogs have cinnamon?" or looking for grooming tips suitable for a Norwegian Elkhound, the FI platform has a wealth of knowledge.

The Assurance of Safety

In the vast spectrum of dog care, from managing hot spots to ensuring their mental well-being, ensuring their safety remains paramount. With the FI Dog Collar's GPS feature, you can set up safe zones, and the moment your dog steps out of this zone, you get alerted. Such features provide peace of mind, knowing you can always locate and ensure your dog's safety.


In the multifaceted journey of canine care, treating and preventing hot spots is pivotal, with both professional guidance and home remedies playing crucial roles. Beyond immediate concerns, holistic well-being through mental stimulation, emotional support, and physical activity ensures our pets' overall health. The introduction of advanced tools like the FI Dog Collar further revolutionizes our approach, offering real-time health tracking and safety assurance.

By embracing modern advancements, educating ourselves continuously, and nurturing our bond with pets through every challenge and joy, we ensure a harmonious, fulfilling relationship that prioritizes the well-being of our cherished four-legged companions.