Learn what causes dog acne and what are some of the dog acne home remedies to free your dog from the painful acne experience!
Acne is a common skin condition suffered by humans and dogs alike. Dogs usually suffer from acne during the first two years of their lives. These red bumps can be itchy and cause a lot of irritation to your dogs. While there are a lot of products made specifically to treat dog acne, you can try some of the easy home remedies as a safer alternative to harmful chemicals. There are a lot of preventative measures as well that can be taken to avoid the reoccurrence of acne. Let’s look at what causes dog acne and some of the most effective dog acne home remedies.
What causes dog acne?
It has been usually observed that short-haired dogs are more prone to acne than long-haired breeds. Susceptibility to getting pimples is different for every dog breed but some common reasons might be:
1. Excessive oil production
Just like humans, dogs also have oily glands that are responsible for the production of sebum. Excessive production of oil can clog up pores and cause dirt build-up leading to dog acne. However, this is usually experienced during adolescent age (5-8 months).
Scrubbing short hair over a rough surface, rubbing the skin on hard surfaces, etc. are few such examples of skin trauma. Short-haired dogs are more likely to suffer from acne because of this reason as the protection layer is much thinner in them.
Allergy to a certain food, plants, or even the bowl they eat from can cause dog acne. Some dogs are allergic to plastic bowls and this might be the only reason they are getting acne. This is even more true if your dog is developing acne around the mouth or chin.
4. Poor hygiene
Dog acne is a common result of poor hygienic conditions. Cleaning the toys, bowls they eat from, and keeping the face clean are important in maintaining a safe hygienic environment for dogs.
Dog Acne Home remedies
1. Aloe-vera gel
Aloe vera gel is known for its cooling and soothing properties and can be used to treat inflamed skin. Clean the affected area with a wet cloth. Apply aloe vera gel topically on the affected skin. Wash it off after around 10 minutes. You can also use aloe-vera-based shampoo/bathing soap for your dogs to soothe itchy and dry skin.
Do not use this remedy near the mouth and chin, since the aloe-vera plant can be toxic to dogs if ingested. Only use it externally and don’t let your dogs eat aloe-vera.
2. Coconut oil
Take some coconut oil in your hands and massage the oil onto your pet’s skin by running your hands through its fur. Do this once a week. Coconut oil is beneficial in treating dry skin which can cause acne and is also a great preventative method for ticks and fleas.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apply diluted apple cider vinegar on acne affected area to treat itchy skin. Use it topically on acne by dabbing it using a cotton ball. It will prevent your dog from scratching the skin around the acne and avoid the spread of acne infection. However, you should not use it on open wounds as it can cause a burning sensation.
These methods are useful for treating mild to moderate acne. If your dog is suffering from severe acne, you should see the vet immediately for some stronger chemical treatments specific to the dog breed as dogs end up scratching the skin which can cause more secondary infections.
Also, if mild acne does not go away in 2-3 months, you should consult a vet and check if the dog is having an allergic reaction to anything.
Preventative measures to keep dog acne at bay
1. Daily face wash
Normally, you may not give your dog a bath daily, but you must wash their face daily to avoid dirt and oil buildup. Make sure you clean through the wrinkles and remove all left-over soap from the skin. Try to keep its face dry.
2. Brushing teeth daily
The bacteria in a dog’s mouth can easily transfer to skin and hence it is important to maintain the oral hygiene of your dog.
3. Cleaning mouth after eating
If your dog is prone to acne around the mouth and chin, you must clean its face after every meal.
4. Clean toys
It is important to clean your pet’s toys to avoid any bacteria growth.
What ingredients to avoid using on dog?
It is recommended to always do a patch test whenever you apply any new ingredient to dog skin to avoid any allergic reaction. But there are some ingredients which one should always avoid using on dogs.
- Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil can cause allergic reactions in canines and hence should be avoided at all costs. Do not use human acne treatment products on your dogs
- Products with artificial fragrances and colors can irritate dog skin.
Now that you know some dog acne home remedies, try them on your dog to give your friend relief from the irritation and pain of acne. If you’ve any information related to dog acne that you’d like to share and enlighten us, feel free to do so in the comments below!