Planning a weekend down the shore, maybe a trip to the lake? A hike in the woods with you dog or a day beside the pool. Summer offers us so many opportunities to include our dogs in our plans. But… make sure you are keeping an eye on their health and well being. It’s hot spot season and it is in full swing. The heat and the humidity of summer make for the perfect breeding grounds for those pestering and painful hot spots to form on your pups. So what is a hot spot? The official definition is that hot spots are acute moist dermatitis. They are very painful for your dog and usually hot to the touch. Most dogs constantly scratch, chew and lick them, only causing more inflammation and discomfort. But how did this little spot start? Where did it come from?
Although hot spots are “self-induced” there are many underlying conditions that can be the start of your dogs irritations and obsession with one specific spot. One of the most common things we see leading to hot spots is water. You’re either thinking, well obviously water plays
a role in causing “moist dermatitis” or that is a very broad observation. If we break it down a little bit further, most hot spots that we see this time of year are a result of dogs being exposed to water for long periods of time. This can be as easy to recognize as your dog swims in your pool to a bit more complex as the ground has been wet for a day or a couple of days.
When dogs swim, their coat’s hang onto moisture. It is extremely important to not only groom them regularly, but brush them when they are done swimming to remove any matted hair, debris and excess moisture that may get trapped in their fur.
If your dog is swimming daily, you do not want to shampoo them everyday, but every couple of weeks is okay. To help with that dirty water smell, I have really been enjoying Skout’s Honor Probiotic Deodorizer. Not only is the scent refreshing, the live probiotics in the product help to moisturize the skin and prevent itching that results in hot spots. If your dog wears a collar, make sure to remove after swimming or even out in the rain. We have seen several dogs develop hot spots on their necks that go unnoticed due to be covered by their collar.
If I haven’t been able to avoid hot spots through preventative measures such as appropriate grooming, a raw and balanced diet and daily body checks, taking early action is the best way to prevent a secondary infection. Upon discovering a hot spot, if the dog has a longer coat, I always make sure to shave the area. This allows for me to easily monitor it, as well as provides an easier base for applying sprays or ointments. Some of my favorite products are those containing CBD. King Kalm has an amazing spray that soothes and heals, as does Super Snouts.
Both of these aids in comfort in addition to fighting/preventing bacteria. If the spot isn’t as irritable, your dog may not obsess over it as much and it will heal much quicker!
Paws are often something overlooked in preventative care, yet they’re one of the first things to become irritated and inflamed. When dealing with paws, some things are unavoidable. We cannot control if it has rained for a week straight, but we can make sure to completely dry off our pups paws when they come inside. We cannot control if the temperature is high and the sun is shining, but we can apply balms before walking or stay off the pavement. If you choose to walk on the pavement, make sure that it is not too hot.
Aroma Paws and Kin & Kind have many great products out from after walk salve to paw conditioner.
The below diagram is a great guideline to follow if you are going to walk your pup on the asphalt!