Just as with humans, the summer heat can greatly affect our dogs. Sometimes due to a lack of knowledge, we don’t know how to treat the sudden abrasions that develop on our dogs’ skin. Here’s the ultimate guide on the causes, symptoms, and best treatments for dog heat rash.
Before you scroll to a more in-depth answer to this guide, “Dog Heat Rash,” check out: What Are The Overtired Puppy Symptoms? Vet Advice! (2023) and Dog Diaper Rash. What Should I do? (2023).
Can a dog get a heat rash? Heat rash is a normal skin condition from which people might suffer during summertime, but some may not know that these health conditions can also affect our dogs. So, what causes dog heat rash?
The reason dogs get heat rash is overexposure to heat or direct sunlight.
Heat is something that greatly affects dogs, but they can’t really tell us when the weather is too hot or when they are dehydrated. We need to be vigilant to protect them from these external factors that can be dangerous if left unchecked.
Although dogs’ skin is protected by their coat, there are areas of their bodies such as their belly, armpits, and groin that are not completely covered by their fur. These areas are especially susceptible to getting heat rash.
It may not be summer when your dog presents with irritation on its skin, and that might make you wonder: can dogs get heat rash in winter? When your dog experiences itchiness and inflamed skin, it’s only natural to think it could be a heat rash. Let me tell you upfront, heat rash isn’t the reason.
A number of factors can make the skin turn itchy and inflamed during the winter as well.
- Constant exposure to winter conditions such as cold, dry air, rain, and snow can make your dog feel itchy and its skin may start to flake off.
- Contact dermatitis. During the winter, many products are used on the streets to aid the transportation of people and vehicles. When these substances get in touch with your dog’s skin, they may cause irritation, inflammation, and itchiness.
- Allergies may appear at any time, no matter the season. There are many kinds of allergies and the most common ones are food allergies, flea allergies caused by flea bites, and other environmental allergies. While you may think that keeping your dog indoors is the best solution to avoid allergies, that won’t be the case as they are also sensitive to dust and mold.
- Bacterial and fungal infections may also show symptoms in your dog’s skin. As a result, his skin will become irritated and itchy.
- Parasitic infections can also occur during the winter. Fleas and mites picked up in warmer climates can remain with your dog if it doesn’t receive proper treatment. Also, parasites can be spread by other infected animals.
- The humidity of your house, while your dog is indoors, may also be the cause of a rash. Heated air contains less humidity, which will cause your dog’s skin to dry. If it has itchy skin, it will scratch, and that will result in irritation and
What does a heat rash on a dog look like? There are some symptoms you need to pay attention to that will indicate that your dog has a heat rash. Redness and itchy skin will be the first signs you’ll notice that will indicate something is happening to your dog’s skin.
However, other signs will show that the condition is getting serious. What to watch out for:
- Tender skin
- Boils, bumps, and pimples
- Foul skin odor
Many of these signs may present in the case of other medical conditions. You’ll know you’re dealing with heat rash if these symptoms are accompanied by heavy panting.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the skin of your dog turns red and tender, especially in skin folds and on the belly. As the heat rash gets worse, the injury will get itchy and boils, pimples, and scabs will start to form in the area.
One important thing about heat rash is that it won’t just go away with time. On the contrary, it will get worse unless you provide your dog with the proper treatment. What’s more, heat rash can also lead to secondary infections caused by your dog scratching the rash.
To prevent all this from happening, you need to be attentive to what could be the first signs of heat rash and take your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis. A physical exam performed by a vet involves looking at the area to verify if it is a heat rash or some other kind of allergic reaction.
Once the diagnosis of a heat rash has been confirmed, the vet will look at a smear of the rash under a microscope to determine the severity of the condition, which is an essential step in deciding the course of treatment.
Once your dog has been diagnosed with a heat rash, the only alternative is to follow the proper treatment. However, now that you know the causes of the rash, you’ll also know there are some alternatives to prevent it. If the heat is too intense you should avoid taking your dog outside. As they can’t sweat, their fur coat makes hot climates even less bearable.
On the other hand, concrete, wood, and pavement surfaces heat up quickly and heat up even faster than air. That is why it is extremely important to be extra cautious before taking your dog to those surfaces.
One of the best things you can do to aid your dog during intense heat is to take it to places with partial shade, or places where there is a sprinkler or a hose to keep them cool.
Once we’ve identified the injuries on our dog’s skin and confirmed the diagnosis with the vet, it’ll be time to start with proper treatment. What can I put on my dog’s skin rash? Some of the best treatments for heat rash are hydrocortisone cream, aloe vera, and cold towels.
The main idea of these forms of treatments is to help your dog recover from the heat rash, while at the same time providing relief to the discomfort it might be feeling.
It’s important to follow the treatment indicated by the vet until your dog is completely healed. You will know that the skin is healed when the irritation has disappeared and the inflammation has gone down. If you stop the treatment too soon, the infection will not only return but worsen.
Will dog rash go away on its own? When the skin of your dog displays a rash, it’s important to try and identify what it is in order to follow the corresponding treatment. The belly is one of the most sensitive areas of your dog’s body and may present a rash for no apparent reason.
A Rash Isn’t Always Just a Rash
When the rash is minor, it might go away on its own. You need to be aware, however, that a rash is not always just a rash. It can be the symptom of a more serious situation.
Some of the most common causes of rushes in areas such as the belly, armpits, or groin of your dog can be allergies, insect bites, irritations caused by a chemical substance, or a bacterial infection. There are, however, even more, serious diseases that may cause a rash, such as parasites or diabetes.
There are some specific areas of your dog’s body where it can get heat rash. People frequently wonder: How do I treat a rash on my dog’s groin? If there are no open sores or cuts in the area, the best treatment would be to apply hydrocortisone cream or non-scented lotion. It’s important not to apply hydrogen peroxide as it will sting and irritate the skin.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many inquiries regarding where a dog can get a heat rash when exposed to direct sunlight. Some of the most frequently asked questions are:
Heat rash occurs in areas where the hair is not abundant enough to protect your dog’s skin, which is very sensitive. Armpits are definitely one of those areas.
The dog’s belly is the most common place where a dog can get a heat rash. Depending on the breed, some dogs have little to no hair in their bally, leaving them completely exposed to direct sunlight. Other common areas are their armpits and groin.
The most common places where your dog may get heat rash are his belly, groin, armpits, and skin folds. If your dog presents redness and irritation in its ears you need to consult a vet as it could be an allergic reaction or a symptom of another disease, such as dermatitis. It’s rare for dogs to get heat rash in their ears.
Conclusion For “Dog Heat Rash”
During summer, it’s important to take extra care of our dogs — they cannot tell us when the weather is too intense. Always try to take them to places with partial shade when they need a break from extreme heat.
If your dog exhibits redness, inflammation, scabs, or sores in its skin, it’s possible it has a heat rash. You need to take it to the vet so the diagnosis can be confirmed and a proper treatment indicated.
The basic treatment for a heat rash is hydrocortisone cream, aloe vera, and cold towels. These treatments will not only heal your dog’s skin irritation but also make it feel more comfortable during the healing process.
In conclusion, you should always take extra care of your dog during the summer season, as heat rash is a very common health condition.
If you find this guide, “Dog Heat Rash,” check out these other topics:
- 7 Rare Dog Diseases Every Owner Should Know. (2023)
- Dog Eye Bleeding – What Should I Do? (2023)
- What is Littermate Syndrome: Signs and Treatments! (2023)
You can learn more about dog heat rash by watching “Heat Rash in Dogs: Home Treatment (+ other possible causes) – Dog Care Vet Advice” down below:
Garrett loves animals and is a huge advocate for all Doodle dog breeds. He owns his own Goldendoodle named Kona. In addition, he volunteers at the Humane Society of Silicon Valley, where he fosters dogs and helps animals. Garrett enjoys writing about Doodles and believes that dogs can teach humans more about how to live than humans can teach a dog.
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