What You Need to Know About Hot Spots

What Are Hot Spots?

Hot spots, also known as acute moist dermatitis, are red, moist, hot and irritated lesions that are typically found on a dog's head, hip or chest area. Hot spots often grow at an alarming rate within a short period of time because dogs tend to lick, chew and scratch the affected areas, further irritating the skin.

How do Hot Spots Develop?

Anything that causes itchiness of the skin can lead to the development of hot spots on dogs.  Itchy skin can be caused by a variety of things, such as allergies to food or the surrounding environment and fleas. Factors such as mange, anal gland disease, poor grooming, tick or mosquito bites, and even warm weather can cause your best friend to start the dangerous cycle of repeatedly scratching and licking an itch. The infection is often deep in the dog's skin and, in addition to the moist oozing appearance, an odor is often present. Dogs with long, dense coats tend to be more susceptible to this condition.

What are the Symptoms of Hot Spots? 

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If you see your dog repeatedly licking or scratching a particular area and notice hair loss and irritated skinthat is oozing, crusty or scabby on your pet, you have a hot spot.

Can You Treat Hot Spots?

Yes. Before calling your vet, try treating the hot spot yourself to avoid having your pet on antibiotics antihistamines or steroids which can have some nasty side-effects, such as liver disease,  obesity, muscle weakness, excessive thirst and urination, adrenal gland problems and believe it or not, usually more itching. Usually, if your dog is healthy you can easily treat the hot spot on your own. The goal to treatment is to clear the bacterial infection, relieve the itching and pain, and identify and remove the underlying triggers, if possible. The hair in and around the dog's hot spot is usually clipped or shaved to allow initial cleaning of the area and treatehot-spot-oild with sprays, creams or ointments to kill bacteria and help with pain and inflammation. Our Hot Spot Oil is all natural, USDA Organic made with organic golden jojoba oil and organic calendula petals. Treating hot spots naturally will prevent causing further irritation or stinging that can be caused by harsh chemicals or alcohol. Jojoba oil has many benefits to your pet’s skin, and healing hot spots is just one of them. Calendula is known among medical herbalists as nature’s miracle skin healer. It is used today among clinical herbalists and naturopathic physicians to treat eczema, boils, skin ulcers and pretty much every skin condition ever suffered. Apply our Hot Spot Oil directly to damaged area. Rub gently and massage in a calming manner to keep pet still and relaxed. Do not rinse. Apply 3-4 times a day until area begins to heal. Reduce usage as area improves. Some hot spots can result in fever and serious underlying skin problems, so if you see the wound growing rather than improving after a couple of days, it’s time to seek veterinary care.

Preventing Hot Spots

Determine The Cause

Common causes of hot spots include: fleas or other parasites, bacterial or fungal infections of the skin (dermatitis), moist/unkempt hair coat, and allergies. If a cause can be identified and treated, this is a great first step for prevention.

Grooming & Bathing

Good grooming is important for the health of all dogs. For dogs prone to hot spots, regular use of a soothing shampoo will help reduce skin irritation and inflammation. An unscented oatmeal shampoo will help relieve itchiness, try our Nourishing Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo (Unscented).

Treating Cuts

Be sure to treat cuts, abrasions, irritants or rashes in a timely fashion once discovered. Our Organic Healing Balm is fast acting and calming. After cleaning affected area apply our healing balm to affliction by massaging it gently over wounded area. This is an organic balm and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or alcohol so it is cool and soothing on your pet.


Your veterinarian can help determine if food allergies are a potential cause of itchy skin (and ears and feet). Even if food is not an issue, a high-quality diet will benefit the skin and coat of all dogs, leading to a better defense against dermatitis development.

Behavior Modification

Hot Spots Some dogs will repeatedly lick/scratch/chew an area causing hot spots to reoccur. This may be due to stress, boredom, or anxiety. For these cases, breaking the cycle may require physical restraint, such as an e-collar or medications to reduce anxiety or provide light sedation until the area can fully heal to help break the cycle. Remember natural treatments should always be your first choice. At Pura Naturals Pet™, we are dedicated to delivering the highest quality pet products using only the best materials the earth has to offer. Learn more about our promise here.