Dog Heat Rash: How to fix hot spots & heat bumps

Dog Heat Rash: How to fix hot spots & heat bumps

I don't know about your pup, but my boxer loves to sunbathe. But, did you know that could cause skin issues? 

In Austin, Texas, we're hitting triple digits this Summer and it's important to know how that can affect your pets - specifically your dog. While the temperature rises, outdoor activities might need to be cut short to prevent a common skin issue: Heat Rash.

Let's chat about what heat rash is, signs of heat rash, and how to soothe these skin hot spots.

What is Heat Rash?

Heat rash in dogs is caused by overexposure to heat or direct sunlight. Overexposure could simply be too much sun bathing, direct sun on a walk, or overheating without enough water.

Dogs that have a short to medium coat, lot of tender skin, or folded skin (Pug or Sharpei) are susceptible to heat rash.

Signs of Heat Rash on a Dog

Heat rashes in dogs tend to occur on the body where the skin is soft and sensitive and hair is sparse. The belly is a common spot for heat rashes, along with the armpits, groin, and skin folds.

Below are the common signs of heat rash in dogs:

  • Red or pink blotches on low, fur areas (armpits, neck, tummy)
  • Itchy or irritated skin
  • Persistent scratching and licking of affected skin
  • Boils, small pimples, pustules, bumps
  • Scabs
  • Sores
  • Foul or off skin odor
  • Bleeding

Experiencing any of these symptoms? If dog has been in hot and humid weather, heat rash could be the culprit of your dog's skin problems.

Remedies for Dog Heat Rash

First off, cool your pup down. Without a proper cool down, your pet could suffer heat stroke. Go inside or find a shaded area. 

In order to cool down, dogs and cats pant to release heat through the grooves in the roofs of their mouths, sweat (a little) through the pads on their paws and use a temperature exchange called convection. Thus, if the air around your pet is much hotter than their internal body temperature, they cannot properly cool down.

Next, apply a cooling or calming ointment or gel. The goal of any topical treatment is to reduce skin irritation and inflammation while helping your dog get relief from the heat. A few pet forward remedies we carry are hydrogelwound gel, and cooling bandana/vest.

If you don't have these on hand, there are a few at home options you can sub for including hydrocortisone cream, aloe vera, and cool towel.

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