Heat Rash on Dogs Symptoms, Home Remedies and Prevention

heat rash on dog's groin

Just like babies react to too much heat through the formation of heat rash on their skin, so do dogs. When subjected to excess heat, your beloved pooch may suffer some tiny red bumps that take the appearance of pimples. This is usually heat rash on dogs. Although rarely a health concern, continued exposure to initial surroundings that resulted in the formation of the pimples could see them get infected. To prevent this, timely intervention is necessary. Below we discuss the causes, symptoms, home remedies and treatments of dog heat rash.

Heat Rash on Dogs

Just like humans, dogs too can suffer heat rash. These rashes are not only uncomfortable but could become painful, swollen and infected. If not dealt with in a timely manner, they could result in inflammation, itching, and anxiety.  Heat rashes are as a result of Staphylococcus pathogen which gets aggravated by humid and hot environmental conditions. They exhibit characteristics not so different from those seen in humans as discussed below.

Symptoms of Heat Rash on Dogs

Initially, a heat rash begins as a non-problematic skin irritation. This may result in your dog scratching regularly. The symptoms for heat rash on dogs may include the following:

  • Tiny red bumps on the skin.
  • Minor irritation on the dog’s skin leading to frequent scratching.
  • Oozing red rash which may appear as pimples, scabs or boils that develop a bad odor with time.

Dog Heat Rash Pictures

To help illustrate the above symptoms further, here are some dog heat rash pictures.

Severe heat rash on dogs
Heat rash on dog ears
heat rash on dogs groin
Heat rash around a dog’s groin

Home Remedies for Heat Rash on Dogs

Before administering any form of treatment, it is important to ascertain that the rash on your dog is a heat rash. In case you are in doubts, consult your veterinarian. If caught and treated on time, heat rash will not have any negative effect on your dog’s health. However, if left untreated and the environmental conditions leading to it remain unchanged, the rash could develop to infected blotches that could result in the deterioration of your pet’s health. To ease the symptoms and discomfort, try the following natural and home remedies for heat rash on dogs.

1.      Cold Packs

When your dog suffers heat rash, they experience inflammation and irritation. There also is a prickly sensation as well as itching. To take care of this, cold treatments in the form of cold compresses or ice packs can help. These are easy to use as all you require is to wrap ice cubes in a washcloth. Frozen bags can also work in the same way. Apply the cold compress on the area with heat rash and hold it for about 10 minutes. This can be repeated every four to six hours to relieve your dog the discomfort of the heat rash. Repeat the procedure for up to three days by which time the cold should have subsided.

2.      Baking Soda

Baking soda acts as an exfoliating agent when used on the skin. It helps to unclog pores and get rid of dead skin. In addition, baking soda can help get rid of heat rash on dogs by eliminating itching and inflammation. This will also help get rid of any pain. There are different ways on how to use baking soda to relief dog heat rash:

  • In a cup of water, add a tablespoon of baking soda. Dip a washcloth in this solution and use it to wipe the area with a heat rash on dogs. Repeat this procedure as necessary until the heat rash is gone.
  • Combine equal amounts of water and baking soda. Apply the resulting paste on the area with a rash and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before rinsing it off.

3.      Aloe Vera

This is a perfect treatment for sunburns in dogs and will go a long way in relieving heat rash in dogs. Its healing properties will see it deliver healing qualities to your dog’s skin. It will cool the affected area naturally and also stop any inflammation resulting from the heat rash. In cases where itching and swelling are also being experienced, the remedy will take care of it too.

4.      Calamine Lotion

For a long time, calamine lotion has been used to relieve various skin discomforts. Given its cooling and anti-itch properties, it will serve as a great remedy for heat rash on dogs. To get rid of the red rashes, simply apply as instructed by the manufacturer.

5.      Hydrocortisone Cream

A 1% hydrocortisone cream can be accessed over the counter. This cream will help reduce itching as well as get rid of the associated redness that comes with the rash. Use this for up to three days and not much longer as it could have adverse effects on the skin of your dog.

Additional home remedies that can help in treating the rash include milk of magnesia, oatmeal, and Listerine. To promote fast healing and recovery of the skin, you can give your dog B vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids (cod liver oil, krill oil) as well as vitamin E. These facilitate stimulate tissue repair and create an oily layer beneath the skin thus ensuring quick recovery as well as maintenance of a well moisturized, supple and healthy skin coat in dogs.

6.      Apple Cider Vinegar

Since heat rash is common in the folds surrounding the armpits, neck and groin area if they become moist and are not well catered for they could subject your dog to yeast infections. Using apple cider vinegar on the rashes can help curb this. Do not use the remedy without diluting it as it could be too harsh on the skin. Use an equal portion of apple cider vinegar and water and use a washcloth to apply the solution on the heat rash. Repeat this about three times a week.

In case the above home treatments do not work, you will need to talk to your veterinarian for prescription treatments. These may come in the form of oral or topical medication as well as antibiotics in case the rash is suspected to be getting infected. Among these may be cortisone tablets or creams to help quell associated itch and inflammation. Your vet knows best what is suitable for your dog.

Preventing Heat Rash on Dogs

In addition to preventing your dog against sunlight in the summer, you also have to keep watch and ensure they don’t suffer heat rash. Humidity and heat are the reasons why your pet suffers heat rash. When leaving him inside the house, ensure the air conditioner is on. When heating up the room, do not allow the dog to stay too close to the heater. Let your dog’s surrounding environment be one you would also be comfortable in. In case you are concerned about the rash, talk to your veterinarian.



  1. Thanks. Dont know for sure if it is from new chewable flea and tick medication started a month ago, change in diet or heat rash. Will start at bottom and work way up.

    • If it is a heat rash, on your dog, it will most commonly be on the back, close to the tail and on the belly. Most common sign on the back: The hair will feel dry a rough ( not smooth like the rest of his hair ), followed by hair loss in the infected area. After that it will be followed by unctrollable biting, which can lead to nasty sores. If you notice a dry, rough patch of hair, its best to treat it before the hair loss. You can try bathing them in baby shampoo, followed by some aloe vera lotion ( or one of the lotions mentioned on this page ). Hope this helps. Good luck to you and your dog.

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