Our pets are our four-legged babies. We love them like part of the family, and always want to do what’s best for them. One problem that many dog owners face is hot spots. Hot spots are those areas of redness that really worry you. They often look very red and irritated, and your pet may not be making matters better by continuing to scratch or lick these areas.
These are actually areas of acute moist dermatitis and can start from a wide variety of conditions, from allergic reactions caused by flea or mite bites to being bored or stressed. As a pet parent, these natural remedies for hot spots may be just what your pup needs to start feeling better.
#1 - Treat the Moisture
The first thing that you can do for your pet is to treat the moisture that is often causing the irritation of the hotspot. You will want to remove any hair around the area with clippers for long haired pets. This hair can be further irritating the skin and traps the moisture in the area that can be bothering your pet. Give your pet a bath using a mild shampoo, and if there is a pest problem causing the hot spot, work to get rid of it at this time. Underlying conditions need to be treated to eliminate hot spots completely, or they could come back.
#2 - Stop the Irritation
One of the easiest to say, but hardest to do when it comes to natural remedies for hot spots would be stopping the irritation that your pet is causing. It’s irritated, so they seek to find relief by scratching or licking, and this causes the area to be more irritated. Even if you work to deal with the underlying cause, this behavior will keep the cycle of skin irritation going.
The problem is it can be hard to stop this behavior without using a cone or finding a way to hogtie your pet until the healing begins. You can trim nails or use nail covers, and be vigilant when it comes to scratching or licking. Some may suggest using something like bitter apple to stop the licking, but that may contribute to the irritation so use caution with this as you don’t want to hurt them further.
#3 - Tea Treatment
Tea is an excellent treatment for a variety of conditions and can be great for dealing with hot spots on your pet. The tannic acids in green and black tea can help to dry out the hot spots, and again remove the moisture that can be causing this irritation. You’ll want to steep the tea bag and take it out of the heat. Let it cool a bit, so you’re not adding the additional heat to the irritation, and apply it to your pet’s hot spot for a little while. You’ll then want to apply this several times a day.
#4 - Essential Oils
There are a few essential oils that can be helpful to use for hot spots. Tea tree oil is one that works well for hot spots. You can apply tea tree oil directly to the hot spots, and rub it in gently with a cotton ball. Let this dry, and use this treatment two times daily. Lavender oil is another great essential oil for hot spots. You can apply it in the same manner as the tea tree oil for about two to three times a day.
One thing to keep in mind is that these essential oils at full strength may hurt this already sensitized skin. You may find that it may be better to dilute the essential oils. Adding some water can be a good way to get the benefits of your oil while not further irritate the skin.
#5 - Seek Professional Help
There are times when the hot spots on your pet may have gotten away from you, and none of these natural remedies are going to help the underlying condition causing the hot spots. Seeking professional help from your local neighborhood vet is often the best thing you can do for your pet when you're not successful in treating it with natural remedies. There may be an actual infection in the skin that has caused this condition and may require antibiotics to clear it up.
Mites are another condition that are extremely hard to deal with without getting help from a vet. In fact, your pet may have mites and require several scrapings before the veterinarian finally finds mites under the scope. Your veterinarian can help you pinpoint the underlying cause, and the best method of dealing with that issue.
Caring for our four-legged children is very important, and it’s hard to see them in pain. Hot spots can start small and rapidly become a bigger issue that makes them miserable while making you feel horrible for not being able to make them feel better. These are all great natural remedies for hot spots that you can feel good about using to help your pet’s health.
Have you dealt with hot spots with your dog before? What worked best for you? Are you planning on using one of these treatments? Let us know in the comments below and share with others your experience.