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Best DIY Hot Spot Home Remedies for Your Dog

Wondering if your beloved pooch is dealing with more than just an itch? Hot spots, or acute moist dermatitis, are irritable patches that pop up on your dog's skin, causing them distress. They can leave your canine companion feeling uncomfortable and, quite honestly, miserable.

But worry not; from signs and symptoms to causes, and from home remedies to when it's time to rush over to the vet—we've got you covered! Park your worries aside and read on because here is everything you need to help your furry friend deal with hot spots like a pro!

Identifying Hot Spots

The first step towards your pet's relief is identifying the signs and symptoms of hot spots. Common indications include redness, swelling, itching (often intense), warmth in the area, and hair loss around the site. If your pooch seems to be in discomfort, obsessed with a specific area on their body, or constantly nipping and licking at it, they could be dealing with a hot spot.

While it's good to have knowledge about your pet's possible ailments and DIY treatment options, nothing beats a professional diagnosis. Consulting with a veterinarian about your pooch's symptoms ensures that you have correctly identified the issue as a hot spot and that it won't lead to a bacterial infection. Remember: Correct diagnosis equals effective treatment!

Common Causes

close up of dog with hot spot

Before we dive into the DIY remedies for these pesky hot spots, we must understand what causes them. Knowing the origin can help you target treatment options effectively and prevent future occurrences.


Just like us humans, dogs can develop allergies, too. These can include food allergies, environmental irritants, or even reactions to insect bites and stings. When an allergic reaction occurs, your dog may start itching and scratching, potentially leading to hot spots.

Excessive Licking or Scratching

Boredom or stress can prompt your dog to lick or scratch a particular area of their body repeatedly. This continuous self-inflicted trauma to the skin surface can eventually evolve into a full-blown hot spot.

Poor Grooming Practices

Dogs with thick, long fur often develop mats and tangles that trap moisture against their skin. This warm, moist environment becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and may result in hot spots.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are remarkably uncomfortable, and your pup may respond by scratching or rubbing the area around the ear incessantly. This could subsequently cause a hot spot around or beneath the ear flap.

Underlying Health Issues

Some health problems like hypothyroidism or arthritis cause discomfort that your dog may respond to by excessively licking or gnawing on their skin, leading to hot spots.

By understanding these causes, you'll be better equipped not just to treat but also to prevent recurring hot spots in dogs!

Hot Spot Home Remedy For Dogs

Now, let's jump into some DIY home remedies! Homemade treatments can be fantastic alternative options when quickly addressing minor hot spots. They can soothe your furry friend's discomfort without requiring you to sprint to the vet at ungodly hours. Cue the drumroll as we reveal our top picks for DIY hot spot remedies!

Black Tea Bags

First up on our list of DIY remedies for hot spots are good old black tea bags. But why black tea? The answer lies in the tannic acids in black tea that are fantastic for helping dry out hot spots and relieve some of that irritating itching. They're absolutely paw-some at reducing inflammation and promoting healing, making them one of our top pics to soothe Fido's woes.

two tea bags on wooden desk

To use this home remedy on your dog, simply steep a black tea bag in hot water as if you're making a cuppa for yourself. Allow it to cool down (we don't want any burnt doggies!), and then gently pat the tea bag onto the affected area.

Do this for about five minutes while giving your furball much-needed cuddles and encouraging words. Repeat the process a few times daily, and you should see improvement soon enough!

Witch Hazel

Next, we have witch hazel, a popular ingredient in skincare products. It's no wonder it secured a spot (pun intended!) on our list, given its renowned soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Witch hazel can help to reduce the inflammation and itchiness associated with hot spots, making it one rockstar of a remedy!

Using witch hazel on your dog's hot spots requires some careful application. Simply soak a clean cloth or cotton ball in witch hazel and apply it directly to the hot spot. Note: You'll want to avoid any open wounds, as this can sting!

Repeat this process two or three times a day until you notice the hot spot has started to heal. Ensure that your fur buddy cannot immediately lick the area, as ingestion could lead to tummy upset. Definitely not what we're aiming for!

Apple Cider Vinegar

Now, here's a remedy with a kick—apple cider vinegar! ACV, as it's commonly abbreviated, is full of acetic acid, which makes it brilliant at killing bacteria and relieving inflammation. It can offer immediate relief for your dog, aiding in soothing those nasty hot spots.

Before coating Fido in a layer of apple cider vinegar, you'll want to dilute it to minimize any possible skin irritation. Try using one part apple cider vinegar and one part water for your solution. Then, soak a clean cloth or cotton ball in this mixture and gently dab it onto the hot spot. You can do this several times a day until the spot shows signs of healing, but remember: avoid putting ACV on open wounds or raw skin!

Vitamin E

Not just a hero for our skincare regimen, Vitamin E works wonders for pooches, too. Boasting potent antioxidant properties, Vitamin E can help speed up the healing process of hot spots. Plus, it's an excellent hydrator, adding moisture back into the skin to help relieve dryness and itchiness.

This treatment involves applying a vitamin E oil or breaking open a vitamin E capsule and applying the oil directly to your pooch's hot spots. Just massage the oil gently onto the affected area about three times daily until you see an improvement.

One advantage of using Vitamin E oil is that it's safe to leave on without being rinsed off and even safe when ingested! Remember, you are not only soothing pesky hot spots but also giving your fur baby an emollient spa treatment!

Gold Bond Powder

One more tick on the list: we're introducing Gold Bond Powder as a trusted go-to treatment for hot spots. Featuring ingredients like menthol and zinc oxide, the powder helps cool down hot spots, reduce redness, and soothe your pup's discomfort while creating an inhospitable environment for bacteria.

To use this home remedy on your dog, first clean and dry the area very well, then sprinkle a little Gold Bond powder onto the hot spot. Be sure to keep the powder away from your dog's eyes and nose and prevent them from ingesting it. Reapply as needed throughout the day, but always clean the area before adding new powder.

Coconut Oil

coconut oil on wooden desk with whole coconut in the background

Here's a tropical treat for your pup—coconut oil! This natural treatment is rich in lauric acid, which boosts its antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, making it a super treatment for hot spots. It also encourages healing thanks to its ability to penetrate the skin barrier, directly nourishing your dog's skin.

Using coconut oil on hot spots is as easy as 1-2-3! After cleaning the affected area, apply a small amount of coconut oil and gently rub it in. Make sure you're using high-quality, unrefined coconut oil for best results. Repeat two or three times each day until you see the hot spot beginning to heal. Plus side, your furball will smell just like summer days at the beach!


Brace yourselves for the sweetest remedy on the list—honey! Its natural antibacterial properties help prevent infections while reducing inflammation and soothe the skin. The sticky, gooey texture of honey also keeps your fur friend from bothering the area and further harassing those hot spots.

If you decide to use this cure, you'll need raw honey to utilize its medicinal properties fully. Simply spread a thin layer of raw honey onto the hot spot and let it be. Be prepared for a bit of mess (honey is sticky!), and make sure your dog isn't licking the area clean—tempting as it might be. The application can be done several times daily until you observe the hot spot fading away to memory!

Oatmeal Bath

Last but not least, an oatmeal bath can offer tremendous relief for your itchy canine companion. Soothing and moisturizing, oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties that can take care of the redness and irritation associated with hot spots.

To dish out this spa-like treatment, simply grind rolled oats into a fine powder using a blender or food processor. Draw a warm (not hot!) bath for your pup, and sprinkle in the oatmeal powder. Let your dog soak in it for about 10-15 minutes. Ensure you pay particular attention to soaking the affected areas well!

After your dog enjoys their relaxing soak, rinse them off thoroughly and pat dry. Try this treatment a few times a week till you see those ghastly hot spots start to heal. Relaxing and therapeutic—what's not to love?

When To Consult A Veterinarian

While DIY home remedies can work wonders for mild hot spots, sometimes your furry friend might need more help. If you notice that the hot spot is getting larger, looking more irritated, or the symptoms persist even after applying home treatments, it's time to call in the professionals. 

The risk of complications increases if hot spots are left untreated or are not responding to home treatments. In some severe cases, these irritating skin conditions can develop into deep skin infections, causing more discomfort or pain for your beloved pet. Don't risk it—if you're unsure or concerned, always reach out to your vet!

Preventing Hot Spots

Being proactive is the first line of defense against hot spots. Knowing how to prevent these pesky skin irritations from occurring in the first place saves your dog from discomfort and you from worry!

welsh corgi taking a bath in a bath tub

Regular grooming and hygiene practices go a long way in preventing hot spots. Brushing your dog regularly can prevent matting, especially in dogs with longer hair, while regular baths with dog-approved shampoo can keep their skin clean and free from potential irritants.

Additionally, proper nutrition and hydration play a huge role in maintaining healthy skin for your pup. Ensure your dog has a balanced diet rich in essentials like Omega-3 fatty acids that support skin health. Keeping them well-hydrated is equally important.

If your pooch is known to have allergies, managing these allergies effectively can prevent the development of hot spots. Your vet may recommend special diets, medications, or even just avoiding certain triggers.

Sometimes, lifestyle adjustments might be necessary for dogs prone to hot spots—particularly those that stem from stress or boredom-induced licking and scratching. This could mean more exercise, introducing stimulating toys, or establishing a calm environment for your fur baby.

Remember: every minute you spend preventing hot spots now could save you hours treating them down the line!

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Dog Hot Spot Treatment FAQ

Can you treat dog hot spots at home?

Yes, you can often treat dog hot spots at home using home remedies, but a veterinarian should evaluate severe or recurring cases.

How do pets get hot spots?

Pets can get hot spots due to various factors, including allergies, insect bites, or excessive licking and scratching, creating an ideal environment for hot spots to develop.

What will the vet do to treat hot spots?

A vet will typically clean and shave the affected area, prescribe antibiotics or topical treatments, and offer advice on preventing further irritation or underlying causes of hot spots.

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