In the summer it is super important to take care of your pup’s well being. It’s hot and most likely your pup has a lot of fur so we want to keep them as cool as possible and make sure we take the appropriate measures to avoid hotspots. With that being said breeds with thicker coats are prone to this skin disease so sometimes it’s best to know about your treatment options as well as preventive steps you can take.
At Dog Threads one of the pups we have running around the office is Teddy. He is a goldendoodle with a whole lot of fur and you guessed it — he is one of those pups that can get a hotspot pretty easily. So I wanted to let you all know how I take care of him so he can avoid the hotspots but also what I do when he ends up getting one.
First things first the textbook description of a hotspot is as follows according to the American Kennel Organization:
Also known as acute moist dermatitis, hot spots are localized areas of skin inflammation and bacterial infection. Often a hot spot will begin as a small red area that owners may mistake for an insect bite. Unlike an insect bite, a hot spot will rapidly worsen and spread, developing into a hot, red, oozing, and painful lesion.
During the summer Teddy has a routine that I try and stick too.
Monthly haircuts: keeping his hair trimmed gives us more control on the airflow to his skin and altogether helps him keep cool.
Keeping his fur dry: if your pup likes to swim or run in the sprinkler that’s great but always make sure you dry them off so they don’t develop sores or any infection due to being wet for a long amount of time.
Covering up irritated spots: if I notice an inflamed area of skin on Teddy on his chest, legs, neck, really anywhere I will put a shirt or pjs on him so he doesn’t have access to itch the area. This way it gives the spot time to heal and reduces the irritation from spreading elsewhere. Our shirts and pjs are super soft so they are a great barrier from stopping the infection transferring.
Careful when playing outside: I always make sure I watch Teddy when he is at the dog park or just running like a madman outside so he doesn’t get anything that might cause a rash or his fur to get matted. If he does get into something which is inevitable I try and give him a bath right away to make sure he is a clean boy.
Lots of toys: to make sure Teddy doesn’t get too bored hanging out at home I always have bones or enrichment toys he can play with so he doesn’t resort to trying to chew the infected area.
These tips helped me navigate the hotspot crisis I have now faced three times so far this summer and I hope they can help any new or seasoned dog parents. Let us know if you have any other helpful tips that might reduce the chance of a hotspot spreading or occurring in general — we would love to hear your advice!