One of the best ways to naturally treat hot spots on dogs is to use witch hazel. Witch hazel does an excellent job of reducing skin irritation, reducing swelling by tightening the skin, and aids in the healing process. Apply a small amount to the affected area using a cotton ball.
Natural remedies are a great way to treat health complications in dogs. The best part is that we usually already have the ingredients needed for these natural remedies in our kitchen pantry. For dogs that are suffering from skin issues, one of the best home remedies is Witch Hazel.
There are several ways you can use Witch Hazel on your dog, but which method is best? What happens if you apply too much? And how many times per day should you apply it? In today’s guide, we will cover all those questions and show you exactly how to use Witch Hazel on hot spots.
Dogs and Skin Health
Just like humans, dogs are exposed to allergens that can cause outbreaks and infection. Fleas, ticks, and mites are creatures that can get into the fur and skin of your dog. Bites from these insects can cause itching, leaving inflammation and open wounds.
Other irritants can come from certain food ingested or switching your dog’s food to a brand they may have an allergy to.
It’s recommended to offer food in small amounts when introducing new food to ensure the food does not contain allergens.
Toxic plants in the home can cause illness and vomiting along with other environmental substances such as cleaning supplies.
Skin irritation is typically a sign that your dog has been exposed to something its body is sensitive to. Routinely checking your dog and being aware of behavior changes can help you understand what triggers these irritations. This helps in preventing exposure when possible.
Hot Spots in Dogs
Hot spots in dogs take on the form of raw, red patches on the skin that can become larger and turn into lesions.
They are bacterial infections that typically appear on the head, hips, and legs of your pup. Hot spots can appear quickly in dogs and spread if not treated promptly.
Triggers for hot spots include being exposed to an allergen, poor grooming, ear infections, a reaction to a bug bite, anal gland disease, inflammation in the body, and various dog behaviors.
Hot and humid weather makes it more likely for hot spots to occur in dogs. Be aware of when these occur and what may cause them to ensure treatment addresses the root problem instead of just treating the symptoms (hot spots in this case).
Once dogs develop hot spots, it’s common that they will occur again in the future. Prevention and good grooming practices can help to reduce the chances of recurrence.
Causes of Hot Spots
We have already mentioned a few causes of hot spots, but other factors that can contribute to hot spots can vary from your dog’s breed to their physical activity.
Certain dogs with thicker fur are more susceptible to developing hot spots. Physical activity such as swimming and frequently bathing your dog can contribute to hot spots from excess moisture trapped in your dog’s fur.
Dog behaviors such as excessive licking and scratching create an environment for hot spots to develop, thrive, and continue spreading. This can be from a bug bite or dry skin.
Other times, it can be a behavior that stems from boredom, creating self-inflicted wounds from excessive licking, chewing, and scratching.
Natural Remedies To Treat Hot Spots
Natural remedies are often used to treat ailments at home. Many look to different oils or liquids in their medicine cabinet that they can apply.
Essential oils are becoming a popular way of aiding in stress relief, digestion issues, nausea, and skin issues.
Coconut oil is another remedy that has been used in aiding healing for skin irritations. If you’ve found a natural remedy you believe will work for your dog, please be sure to consult with your veterinarian for the best guidance and advice to ensure your pup’s safety.
Using Witch Hazel to Treat Dog Hot Spots
Our favorite home remedy to treat hot spots in dogs is witch hazel. This is often used to treat skin irritation due to its ability to reduce inflammation.
Like hydrogen peroxide and alcohol, witch hazel is a common medicine cabinet staple. When addressing hot spots on your pup, you may find that witch hazel is the perfect solution.
Witch hazel can soothe skin irritation and aid in the healing process.
Consult your veterinarian before applying witch hazel to your dog’s hot spots or skin irritations to ensure this remedy is right for your pup.
Benefits of Witch Hazel For Dogs
Witch hazel is derived from a plant and has been used to bring relief to insect bites that cause itching. It reduces inflammation by tightening the skin, bringing relief to areas of discomfort and redness.
Witch hazel has been known to aid in fighting sore throats and reducing puffiness in eyes. It aids in wound healing due to the antioxidants it contains.
Individuals with skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema have found relief with witch hazel. Some have used it to help with sunburns due to the anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also been used to improve oral health by removing inflammation in gums.
Treatment for hot spots typically begins with a visit to your veterinarian. Often a hot spot can be confused with a bug bite.
By delaying a visit to the vet, the area can quickly become sore for your dog. Once the veterinarian has diagnosed your pup, the infected area is typically shaved to allow the hot spot to breathe and be cleaned.
The area is cleaned thoroughly to prevent infection and further spread of the bacteria. Antibiotics and steroids may be prescribed to address the infection and reduce inflammation. Once treatment has started, recovery is quick.
After consulting with your veterinarian, you’ll need to find the correct witch hazel for your dog.
Make sure the witch hazel you get is alcohol-free. Many witch hazels contain isopropyl alcohol, which is highly toxic to dogs if consumed.
Applying The Witch Hazel
Once you find a safe brand, you can begin the process of application.
With a cotton ball, cotton pad or microfiber towel, absorb the witch hazel.
Gently pat the infected area with the witch hazel in a blotting motion. Do not apply too much as the witch hazel can dry out the skin and cause further skin irritation.
Be alert to any reaction your dog may have. If you notice a reaction, do not continue the treatment and contact your veterinarian.
Listen To Your Vet
Although witch hazel can successfully treat hot spots in most cases, it’s not 100% effective. If you don’t see any improvements over the next few days, be sure to contact your vet and be open to other topical medication.
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