The dog days of summer are upon us; are you taking care of your dogs’ skin? Hot spots are one of the most common skin conditions in dogs, especially during the summer months. Hot spots are red, moist, and irritated patches of skin that appear quickly, can spread fast and are very painful for your dog. They are caused by skin irritation and made worse by the presence of bacteria if left untreated.

Careful attention must be paid to your dog’s skin to prevent the development of hot spots. Regular grooming and hygiene of pets, especially during the hot summer months, is essential. Summertime biting insects – fleas, ticks, and flies – can also trigger a hot spot.

While any dog can develop hot spots, some breeds are more likely to get them than others. Dogs with thicker coats – such as Golden Retrievers, Labradors, St. Bernards, German Shepherds, and Rottweilers – are especially prone to developing this condition. Dogs that often get wet from swimming, frequent bathing, or the rain often develop them because of the moisture held against their skin by their coats.

While hot spots are difficult to deal with, they can be prevented and treated by taking some easy precautions.

Investigating Itches

The first way to prevent hot spots is to investigate when your dog is itching themselves and try to determine any underlying causes. Treatment of skin infections and allergies, as well as prevention of parasites, can help to prevent the scratching which will cause further trauma to the dog’s skin.

Common parasites that may lead to hot spots are helminths. Helminths are worm-like parasites that survive by feeding on a living host to gain nourishment and protection; they also can pose a risk to infecting humans. Dogs tend to walk, run or roll through a variety of surfaces like grass, dirt, sand and pavement. The helminth eggs can travel from contaminated soil in their paws into cars and homes. This is why it is important to rinse your dog’s feet off after playing in the dirt.

Good Grooming

Proper hygiene and regular grooming can help to prevent hot spots. When your dogs swim or get wet frequently, it is vital to ensure that their coats are thoroughly cleaned and dried after diving in the water. Murky water has a ton of bacteria in it, so be sure to rinse off your dog immediately after. The K9 Clean Portable Dog Shower is a great tool to use to give your dogs a quick rinse after the beach or a muddy roll at the dog park.

Regular Exercise

Another way to prevent hot spots is by ensuring that your dog has lots of exercise. When dogs are bored or stressed, they will lick their skin as a way of comforting or entertaining themselves. By increasing their activity levels, and keeping your dog mentally and physically stimulated, you can help to alleviate this problem.

Omega-3 Supplements

A great way to keep your dog’s skin healthy is by providing them with proper supplements. This can make sure that your dog is receiving all the nutrients that they need to manage skin disease. For example, Omega-3 fatty acids are excellent for soothing skin. Omega-3s are commonly found in fish oil. K9 Clean also has a Zero Waste Natural Hemp Dog Shampoo that is high in Omega-3s and helps to promote a healthy skin barrier.

Treating Hot Spots

Hot spots are itchy and sore for your dog; they may become a recurring issue if the underlying condition is not addressed. Fortunately, with proper management, your dog’s hot spot will resolve quickly and won’t result in any permanent damage. In most cases, antibiotics are rarely needed. However, make sure to take your dog to the vet when signs of hot spots appear so that they don’t spread, get worse, or turn into a bacterial infection.

We would love to hear your thoughts about hot spots. If you have good suggestions or ideas for hot spot prevention that you would like to add, please let us know by contacting us at info@k9clean.com or visiting our store at k9clean.com.

Be sure to visit us at www.k9clean.com and follow us on Instagram @k9cleanpets or Facebook @k9clean.