Dog Skin Rash Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Home Remedies

Dog skin rash
Heat rash on dog skin

Contact allergies, skin sensitivity, fleas and heat are among some of the causes of dog skin rash. This skin problem is most common during the summer as this is when the causative agents are at their pick. This though does not mean your dog will not be affected during other seasons. We explore these and other causes in details, the treatments and home remedies appropriate for them as well as tips on protecting your pet from skin rash.

Dog Skin Rash

Skin rash can result from parasitic infestation, allergic reactions, yeast or fungal infections. The characteristics and parts of the body affected will depend on the cause. While your pup may suffer a widespread skin rash, it is also possible for it to only be present on specific parts of the body such as the genital area, armpits or the belly. In most cases, a rash will also be accompanied by additional symptoms such as:

  • Itchy skin
  • Excessive scratching
  • Skin infection
  • Hot spots
  • Hair loss
  • Redness


A dog skin rash may emanate from various causes as seen below.

Skin Allergy

The skin of dogs could suffer sensitivity due to different things. It could be caused by food, contact with pesticides, environmental allergens, grooming products and even insect bites. These will result in skin hypersensitivity and will be seen in the formation of dog skin rash, skin reddening, irritation and itch. The key to stopping this kind of reaction is to identify what the allergen is and eliminating it. This way the reaction is stopped and the rashes will stop forming.

Itchy Skin

A dog with itchy skin is usually uncomfortable and spends most of their time scratching. Where this happens for extended periods, dog skin rash accompanied by sores and hot spots may form. These could lead to a lot of discomfort and deteriorating health if not tackled as should be. Itchy skin can be caused by dry skin, parasitic infestation as well as sensitivity to things the dog comes into contact with. The primary causes have to be dealt so as to eliminate itchy skin in dogs.


Fleas are quite common in dogs. They mostly attack your dog when the weather is humid and warm. These can be seen hoping on the dog’s skin. At times though, when the infestation is not severe, all you might see is the bites. Some dogs are allergic to the fleas’ saliva and will suffer a flea rash which is commonly referred to as flea allergy dermatitis when bitten. Additional symptoms may include itching, scratching, pawing and biting affected areas. Fleas in dogs usually attack the tail, belly, armpits and groin area. If you a rash on these areas, it is likely to be a flea infestation causing it.

Hot Spots

This is the name used to describe any red irritated spot on your pup’s skin. These can be caused by various conditions some of which are discussed above. With hot spots, the dog skin rash will be red and inflamed. In addition, they may start oozing.


A ringworm infection is caused by fungus. The condition is highly contagious and could see your dog develop patchy rashes that form a circular ring with hair loss around it. These patches may appear red at the center and usually form on the ears, forelimbs, ears and head of a dog. Severe cases may spread around the whole body.

Heat Rash

Excessive heat could see your dog develop heat rash on their skin. This problem is most common during the summer and is more serious in dogs with heavy hair coats. The condition is likely to occur in areas with skin folds such, the belly, tail, ears and neck. If treated immediately it appears, heat rash on dog skin may not have a great impact. However, continued exposure to excessive heat could lead to excessive itch, licking and biting which may cause the rash to turn in to red fluid filled sores.


To help ease the symptoms of skin rash in dogs, there are specific treatments that are aimed at the various causes. These will get rid of the skin rash by eliminating the causes. They are as discussed below.


This is most appropriate for dog skin rash that is as a result of allergic reactions and internal warms. Antihistamines can help alleviate any symptoms of allergic reactions. If your dog suffered a skin rash after getting into contact with allergens, consider administering antihistamines. in addition, pesticide dips can be used to get rid of severe flea infestation in dogs.


Corticosteroid creams can help to ease inflammation and help get rid of any redness. Calamine lotion on the other hand will help soothe any itch accompanying the dog skin rash. Talk to your veterinarian so you can be directed to the most appropriate one for your case.

Medicated Shampoos

Products developers have medicated shampoos that are formulated to relieve skin problems such as itch, dandruff and rashes on dogs. These could also help clear microorganisms that may be the cause of any skin issues.

Home Remedies

There are a number of dog skin rash home remedies that can help get rid of the skin issue. These remedies should be used to relieve the symptoms and to also help ease any discomfort your dog could be experiencing.

Herbal Tea Soaks

Herbal teas such as chamomile, green tea and calendula can alleviate mild skin irritation, a common symptom accompanying dog skin rash. The tea will act as both an antibiotic and anti-inflammatory remedy. Spray the tea on the areas with rash or allow the dog to soak in a tub enriched with the tea.


When ground oatmeal is poured into a bath, it serves as a relief for quite a number of skin issues your dog might be having. Use this as a dog bath and let your dog soak in it for a while. If this is not possible, use colloidal oatmeal shampoo when giving your dog a bath.

Epsom Salt

Yet another great remedy for dog skin conditions is Epsom salt. This reduces swelling as well as itchy skin and inflamed paws. The salt also will speed up healing and drying up of the rashes. It can be used as soaks or heat packs.

Baking Soda

To use baking soda for dog skin rash, make a paste by mixing it with an equal amount of water. Apply this on the area with the rash and leave it on for at least 20 minutes. Rinse off after this. Baking soda can also be added into their bath water where spot treatment is not viable.

Witch Hazel

This herbal remedy for skin rash in dogs has astringent properties that give it anti-inflammatory abilities. It helps in quickening the skin’s healing process as well as curing sores. Dab some witch hazel on the skin any time you see your dog scratching the rash to give it relief.

Aloe Vera

This home remedy is quite popular when it comes to relieving various skin issues in humans. the same benefits can be reaped from it by your pup. Simply squeeze out fresh gel from an aloe leaf and apply on the dog skin rash.

 Additional Tips for Preventing Dog Skin Rash

To protect your dog from getting skin rash from the various causes, try the following tips.

  • Regularly wash your dog’s bedding in hot soapy water and dry them at least one in a week to keep parasites away and prevent rashes.
  • Every three to five days, vacuum your rug.
  • Bath your dog regularly and take good care of their skin.
  • To promote a healthy coat and quick healing, include fish oil or flaxseed oil, vitamin e,  as well as any other omega 3 fatty acid rich foods.
  • Use a flea comb when grooming your dog so you can easily identify when your dog has fleas before they develop to full blown infestation.
  • During the summer, ensure that your dog stays cool enough to protect him from heat rash.

Dog Skin Rash Pictures

Dog skin rash
Heat rash on dog skin

Dog skin rash from contact dermatitis


1 Comment

  1. Its
    Been helpful will try home remedy vets are too costly an ins for pets are out of our budgets pre exzisting conditions should be removed from ins our pets are not humans how do we know when they will get sick thanks for you coloum it helped

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