Do Canines Get Spots?
Worried about your spotty dog? Want to know how and why dogs get pimples? Read on to find out!
Can Dogs Get Spots
Not everyone knows this, but dogs can get pimples, blackheads, whiteheads, pimples and even acne!
Humans aren’t the only species to get acne, dogs can get it too! Adolescent dogs (aged between 6-18 months) are particularly prone to acne due to their changing hormone levels, but adult dogs can get it too.
Dogs are most likely to get pimples around their chin and lip area, although they can turn up on your dog’s stomach too.
Short-haired breeds such as Rottweilers, Bulldogs and Boxers are most likely to get pimples, but they can affect any dog.
Neutered dogs are less likely to get major spots or acne because they are producing less hormones, but they can still get the occasional spot.
Should I Be Worried If My Dog Has Pimples?
Pimples themselves are probably nothing to worry about, but if your dog breaks out in spots you should take them to the vet.
It’s hard to distinguish between pimples and other conditions, which is why your vet will need to take a look at your dog to see what’s going on.
Mild acne is fairly benign, but severe acne can be very painful and can cause permanent skin damage. Your vet may prescribe acne medication if necessary.
If It’s Not Acne, What Else Could It Be?
Some skin conditions are mistaken for pimples or acne when they’re really something else. Here are a few other things your dog’s spots could be.
Folliculitis is an infection of the hair follicles which can cause blackheads, spots, and puss. While regular cases of folliculitis can be treated the same way you would treat regular pimples, severe cases may require antibiotics, removing hair from the affected areas, and medicated baths.
Ringworm, I.e. a fungal infection which can cause lesions around the dog’s head, and ears paws, can be mistaken for acne in its early stages.
This condition got its name from tiny skin mites. They can pass for pimples and blackheads, although they can also cause real spots in dogs.
If your dog is infected with these skin mites, they could start losing their fair, their skin may become sore and inflamed, and they will probably start scratching and itching themselves frequently.
If you suspect your dog may be affected by demodetic mange, take them to the vet. Your vet can test for the mites and prescribe medications to remove them.
Can I Treat My Dogs Blackheads?
As a worried owner your first instinct may be to treat your dog’s skin condition yourself, but you really need to wait until you see a vet.
Skin medication/cream/cleanser designed for humans may not work on dogs and could cause irritation/rash/make the problem worse.
Never pick or pop your dog’s spots. As with humans, fiddling with a dog’s spots can lead to scarring, infection, inflammation and can make the problem worse.
How To Help Your Spotty Dog
Aside from taking your dog to the vet, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate less severe pimples. Bathing your dog one a week, brushing their teeth several times a week or giving them an edible dental treat can help alleviate spots.
If you’re going to bath your dog, try washing them with a medicated shampoo made for dogs (make sure it’s for dogs, not humans!). It’s best to find a shampoo that contains Aloe Vera as this can sooth irritated skin.
Try to find something as natural as possible and keep an eye on your dog to make sure the new shampoo isn’t making things worse!
You should also think about the food you’re feeding your dog. If you just started feeding them a new brand and the spots seem to have sprung up at the same time, maybe they’re allergic to some of the ingredients. Try a different brand of dog food or contact your vet for advice.