Natural Home Remedies for Hot Spots on Dogs

Hot spots are a common problem for dogs. They are patches of skin that can be red, swollen, painful and itchy. They may ooze pus or even bleed. They may scab, and the hair around the area may be patchy.

Hot spots can be caused by a number of issues, including allergies, infection, fleas and mites. They can even be caused by diet or stress. Some dogs get hot spots when they shed or are left outside for long periods of time.

Whatever the reason that your dog gets hot spots, they can make your dog miserable, causing incessant scratching and licking that could make the hot spots worse or lead to infection.

You can take your dog to the vet to treat hot spots, but if they are relatively minor, you can treat them yourself at home. If your dog is prone to hot spots and gets them often, treating them at home can save you a lot of money and the hassle of repeated visits to the vet.

Hot spots on dogs

Hot spots on dogs (

Here are a few common home remedies that many pet owners use to treat hot spots:


Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Simply spraying it on your dog’s hot spots may help to clear up any infection that may be causing the hot spots.

You can pour apple cider vinegar into a spray bottle directly, or you can mix it with water to dilute the solution. Test it on a small portion of the area to see how your dog reacts. If the sore is very open or tender, the vinegar could cause burning.

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has a cooling and soothing affect on itchy and inflamed skin. This is true for humans and dogs!

Use cotton balls to dab witch hazel on the affected area to soothe the skin. Do not pour the witch hazel on, and do not rub aggressively. Simply blot for a cooling affect.

Black Tea Bags

Black tea has tannins that can help dry and heal the skin. Boil some black tea bags on the stove, or simply soak the bags in hot water. Remove the tea bags and let them cool completely.

Once they have cooled, place the bags directly on the hot spots for 5 minutes. Repeat this several times a day.

Epsom Salts

Run a cool to lukewarm bath for your pup and pour a cup of Epsom salts in the water. Allow them to dissolve and place your pet in the tub. The soak will help to relieve symptoms and to counteract infection.

Be very careful not to let your dog drink any of the water, as Epsom salts have a strong laxative effect. If you can’t keep your dog from drinking the water, you can also use damp cloths dipped in the solution to apply cold compresses to the hot spots.

Oatmeal Baths

Oatmeal baths are soothing for a wide variety of skin problems. Though they won’t treat hot spots, they are a great way to relieve symptoms.

Add oatmeal to your dog’s bath and allow him to soak to relieve itching and to moisturize and heal the skin. Repeat as often as twice a day as needed to relieve symptoms.

There are many other home remedies available for treating hot spots, including using over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams, tea tree oil, and Vitamin E. Other owners also swear by adding fish oil to your dog’s diet. Consult with a veterinarian to ensure that any home remedies you try are safe, and always bring your dog in to see a vet if the spots become infected or do not respond to treatment.

What other home remedies have you used for treating hot spots? Share your tips in the comments!


Kay Winders is presently the resident writer for, where she researches the best way for people to pay off their debts without damaging their credit. In her spare time, she enjoys freelance writing, the beach and gardening.

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Filed under: Dog Care

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