1. Home > 
  2. Pages > 
  3. Pet Blog | EntirelyPets Blog > 
  4. Hot Spots on Dogs: How to Treat Canine Dermatitis

Hot Spots on Dogs: How to Treat Canine Dermatitis

In a hurry?

Here are some of the best treatment options for hot spots:

In this article, we’re going to go over a very unpleasant skin condition your dog might be experiencing: Hot spots.

By the end, you’ll know what hot spots are, what causes them, how to treat them, and more.

Let’s get started:

Dog hot Spots image

What Is A Hot Spot? What Are The Symptoms?

A hot spot is a lesion on the dog’s skin. Symptoms include red, hot, irritated and moist skin (hot spots are also called moist dermatitis).

They are extremely irritating and can cause dogs lots of discomfort. If untreated, they can also lead to further issues and infection.

What Causes Hot Spots on Dogs?

Hot spots are caused when something irritates the dog’s skin and the dog licks, chews, scratches or bites the area to try to relieve themselves, further irritating it and opening it up to infection.

The original irritant could be a number of things:

But it’s the actual licking, chewing, scratching or biting that turns a bite or allergic reaction into a hot spot.

If the hot spot is in a general area on the dog’s body, it’s most likely caused by a flea bite. If it’s near the ear, it could be an ear infection. And if it’s near the hip, it may be an anal gland infection.

Hot spots can occur very abruptly, sometimes within a matter of hours. And they happen more often in the warmer months than in winter, but can still occur at any time year-round.

How to Treat Dog Hot Spots

lab bathing

The faster you start treating the hot spot, the quicker it will go away. And sometimes they can go away as quickly as they came.

Here’s a step by step process for treating a dog hot spot:

1. Cut the hair around the affected area to expose it. This will help release the moisture and dry the area faster. It will also aid in the next steps.

2. Clean the area with shampoo or a water-based antiseptic spray. Make sure whatever you clean it with is mild so as to not irritate it further.

3. Use a hydrocortisone cream or spray to help with the itching.

4. Place an E collar (cone collar) around their neck to prevent them from itching or licking the area again.

After this, the lesion should heal on its own. However, it’s important to monitor the area and make sure it heals and doesn’t get worse. If it gets worse or doesn’t heal, take your pup to the vet to get checked out.

There, your veterinarian may prescribe oral antibiotics or administer a cortisone injection to complete the healing process.


Here are some good treatments for hot spot relief:

Which Dogs Are Most Prone?

Any breed can develop hot spots, but dogs with thick coats or long hair are especially prone. Dogs that aren’t groomed on a regular basis or have dirty coats also have a higher likelihood of developing hot spots.

Hot Spot Prevention

Some preventative measures can be taken to reduce the occurrence of hot spots.

First, make sure your dog is bathed and groomed regularly. This will lessen the amount of bacteria present to cause an infection.

Second, many hot spots are started by flea bites, so an effective flea control solution is recommended. Check out this post on the best flea collars and this one on the best flea treatments.

Third, if you dog has an allergic reaction and you notice them excessively itching and scratching, treat the allergy immediately to reduce the likelihood of a hot spot developing.

To Wrap It Up

Hot spots are not fun for your dog to experience, but thankfully they are very treatable.

If you have any questions about this condition, don’t hesitate to comment below!